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international administration in the form of unions lacked that romance of history with which the world peace movement and The Hague conferences invested international arbitration, the approach to organization on the juridical side; while an executive department of government functioning in the settlement of great controversies of the nations seemed more like a dream than a political possibility.
To read about administrative unions, therefore, was to pore over dry facts. Dr. Sayre, however, has set forth his facts in brief, clear, scientific fashion, with every topic classified in a short chapter, to which are added plenty of notes and references to documents to enable his readers to go farther than the scope of his book if they desire. He tells us of the Universal Postal Union, which is mentioned in the Covenant of the League of Nations as one of the bases of organization, and of other arrangements for common control, as, for example, the European Danube Commission, of experiments like the Cape Spartel Lighthouse, International Sanitary Councils, the administration of Albania, the Moroccan International Police, the Suez Canal Commission, the Congo Free State, the International Congo River Commission, the Chinese River Commission, the government of Spitzbergen, and the New Hebrides (a condominium); of the International Sugar Commission, and the principle of international river commissions, such as the Rhine Commission.
He divides these experiments into three types of executive organs from the point of view of their power: (1) international administrative organs with little or no real power of control; (2) international executive organs with real power of control over some local situation within a particular state or states; and (3) international executive organs with real power of control over all the member states themselves, placing in the last category the International Sugar Commission and the international river commissions.
He describes successes and failures with these experiments and summarizes his conclusions in his last chapter. Here he discusses, among other matters of interest, the principle of the equality of states before the law and the difficulties with the application of the principle of equality when it comes to voting on subjects of a political nature, especially where action is taken by great and small Powers, calls attention to the slowness of progress made in diplomatic conferences where the rule of unanimity in voting is observed, and expresses the belief that in future if important action is to be taken and advance made there must be some arrangement for a majority vote. In looking towards reconstruction on the basis of experience gained in international unions, although he is conservative, he leaves one with a spirit of hopefulness in what may yet be done. It is fairly easy to get nations to agree to forms of international control over certain practical matters of common interest, such as the mail, the supervision of rivers, and the exportation of sugar; but they have been disinclined to unite in ways seriously to involve their sovereignty, although in the case of the Sugar Commission a right exists to cause the direct modification of laws in the individual treaty states.
In speaking of guarantees of enforcement, Dr. Sayre lays some failures in the past to lack of organized machinery to carry out the objects of an agreement, and evidently feels that when this is created there will be considerable difference in the results, as, for example, in the efficacy of a league that is pledged to secure and enforce peace; but though we have been lacking in executive machinery, and though its creation may make a difference in the efficacy of our peace-making, possibly he should lay greater stress than he does on such obstacles as unsatisfactory political conditions or intense imperial ambitions, and on the fact that nations which are united in a common purpose at one time may face each other on the battlefield as the expression of opposing interests at another time.
Dr. Sayre gives helpful extracts from and short summaries of portions of agreements for collective action and guarantees that are to be found in the treaties of Münster, Utrecht and Paris (1815), well as of more recent arrangements of this kind. But to describe fully the difficulties or successes that these experiments met with would mean a far more extended treatment of the subject than he has undertaken, and in fact would mean another book altogether. Although he does not attempt to deal with the details of the Covenant of the League of Nations, an experiment which is the subject of high hope on the part of many people throughout the world, but the history of which is as yet unwritten, he leads up to it and enables us to see what has been done in unions within the field of which he treats, which is one upon which information is appreciated.
JAMES L. TRYON.
Ontwikkeling en inhoud der Nederlandsche tractaten sedert 1813.
(The growth and contents of the Netherland treaties since 1813.) By Jonkheer Dr. W. J. M. van Eysinga. The Hague: 1916,
America is to be envied for possessing Moore's International Law Digest. So is The Netherlands for having at its disposal the abovementioned book by the Leyden professor of international law.
Up till now treaties have not generally received the close attention and penetrating study they deserve as one of the chief sources of international law. Whilst some of the most important agreements between states have been carefully analyzed and commented upon, writers, as a rule, confine themselves to giving a more or less elaborate account of what perhaps may be termed the external questions to which treaties give rise, as e.g., those regarding their conclusion and ratification and their relationship to national legislations. On the other hand, the more “ordinary” treaties—of delimitation of boundaries, of commerce, of extradition, to quote a few categories—are mostly dealt with in a very general way; and until this book was written, there did not exist in any country a systematic account of the contents of the treaties entered into by, and therefore part of the law of that country. For all those who have made the acquaintance of treaties in the usual way, Professor Van Eysinga's book will be a revelation, as it opens so many interesting views on a matter too often considered as hardly worth while looking at. For Dutch people it has a special interest, as it gives at the same time a full and comprehensive account of what the title justly describes as the growth and contents of the (roughly, 900) treaties entered into by The Netherlands since 1813.
The first chapter of this remarkable book deals with the growth of the complex of treaties to which The Netherlands has become a party since 1813, the year of their restoration as an independent state after the Napoleonic era. A second chapter calls attention to the fact, constantly kept in view in the rest of the book, that, although any subject can, abstractly speaking, be regulated by treaty, some matters are, as a rule, so regulated, while others seem to be preferably reserved for national legislation. This chapter also deals with the element of reciprocity in treaties.
Then, the rich contents of the treaties entered into by The Netherlands are shown in all their diversity, a diversity which demanded a system of classification. Professor Van Eysinga adopted the system which is predominant on the European Continent so far as the law of each nation is concerned, and not unfamiliar to many Anglo-American jurists. It divides the vast domain of law into four parts: private law, criminal law, constitutional law and administrative law, the latter embodying the rules which determine how the rights conferred upon individuals or bodies under the constitution are to be exercised.
This system, generally adopted for national legislation on the European continent, has for the first time been completely applied to international law by Professor C. Van Vollenhoven, of Leyden University fame, and, as already said, is the basis of Jonkheer Van Eysinga's book.
Thus, the first of its four remaining chapters considers those treaty provisions which clearly are of a constitutional nature, inasmuch as they invest certain bodies (existing or created for the purpose) or individuals with certain powers. Then the question is answered how, according to the Dutch treaties, the various national or international organs, either belonging to the legislative, executive, judiciary, or police, have to perform their task; there the "administrative” law as contained in treaties is considered. Two final chapters give an account of the conventional provisions falling within the domain of private and of criminal law, the former dealing with matters such as the contents of The Hague conventions on international private law, the latter with those treaty provisions by which certain acts are made criminal offences, or which refer to extradition.
E. N. VAN KLEFFENS.
Het prijsrecht tegenover neutralen in den wereldoorlog van 1914 en
volgende jaren. (Prize law as affecting neutrals in the World War of 1914 and following years.) By Dr. J. H. W. Verzijl. The Hague, 1917, pp. 342.
This excellent book, as explained in the introduction, deals with the attitude of the belligerent Powers in the first three years of the late war towards neutral sea-borne commerce and traffic. It does not confine itself to a general investigation into the juridical régime of neutral ships and neutral merchandise, but includes in its scope a consideration of the indirect ways in which the belligerent rights affected neutral interests, as, for instance, the refusal to recognize the immunity of enemy property under a neutral flag; the famous British Order in Council of March 11, 1915; the institution of "war zones” on the high seas; the treatment of neutral merchandise on board an enemy vessel when this vessel is destroyed, etc. In addition to this, it also comprises an examination of those questions which, although closely connected with the right of capture, cannot, according to the established doctrine, be dealt with by prize courts, as, for instance, the arrest of enemy subjects on board neutral ships. On the other hand, all questions of pure form or procedure in court are left aside, the author confining himself to what may be styled substantive prize law, embracing the main features of the juridical régime of neutral (enemy) goods on board enemy (neutral) vessels, the law of contraband, of blockade, of unneutral service, and some matters of secondary importance. However, the principal features of formal prize law in its stricter sense are discussed, being defined as the rules governing the exercise of the belligerent rights of arrest and of seizure of ships, and of bringing them in for adjudication by a prize court, all of which rules have to be observed before the matter is in the hands of such a court (this including questions of convoy and destruction of neutral prizes).
The fertile theme expressed in the title of the book is worked out in four chapters. In the first of them is given an account of prize law and its effect on neutral commerce and shipping in the stage which it had reached before the war, special attention being paid to the Declaration of London and to the cases in which it had been applied.
The second chapter deals with the attitude of the governments in the World War as regards prize law in general. It begins with the unsuccessful American efforts to have the Declaration of London recognized by the belligerents on both sides as determining their line of conduct in maritime warfare, and it traces the subsequent reactionary movement in matters of prize law, as embodied in a number of legal measures taken by the various governments.
Chapter III scrutinizes the legal position of the prize courts in different countries during the late war, the author basing his conclusions on the principle of the international responsibility of the state by which such courts are set up, and contrasting the German system