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fidence, a grandiose fantastic but nebulous scheme of judicial and legis. lative control for the world. Their tendency, he fears, is to weary and alienate public interest and to make a noble topic stale and even ridiculous.
Chief Justice Ryan said long ago that “the record of human legislation was a record of error and presumption.” It can not be said that the projets now epidemic among us are wholly free from the faults which the Chief Justice attributed to our legislation. All this ferment, deeply working throughout the civilized world, will, undoubtedly, result in great good but it will be accompanied with much froth.
We of the colder races follow the more ornamental composition of our tropical Latin brethern with some difficulty and a limited appreciation, but we must attribute this, in part, to our own idiosyncracies which are quite as marked as theirs. That these studies, l'ers La Pair, may serve that good cause is our sincere wish but not our assured prediction.
CHARLES NOBLE GREGORY.
Die moderne Fortbildung des Internationalen Privatrechts. By Dr. F.
Meili, Professor of International Law at the University of Zurich.
The axiom around which the argument of this thoughful little pamphlet revolves is that modern needs demand modern methods of jurisprudence. The gradual conquest of physical barriers as affecting international intercourse has developed an extraordinary complexity in the legal relations of private persons; and the conflicts of jurisdiction and of law resulting from the increasing number of transactions between persons of different nationality, or of different national domicile, and from the greater mobility of private property, demand ever nicer adjustments.
The author has little confidence in the legislation of the nations working individually in this field. He believes that when the rules are simply local they may truly be designated norms of conflict,” for they induce conflicts as well as solve them (p. 4). The practice of European countries in holding official conferences at The Hague in order to arrive at international conventions creating uniform rules for the solution of conflicts of law and jurisdiction is heartily indorsed. The four conferences already held have resulted in treaties now in force between some or all of the fifteen participating nations, upon a limited number of topics. The provision for adherences is based upon the principle of ne varietur and thus the treaties constitute a sort of international union.
Gradually other topics will be covered and the author seems inclined to the belief that the development of international private law will be wrapped up in the work of these conferences much in the same way that international public law has received its direction since 1899 from the Hague Peace Conferences.
The purpose of the present work is to point out the most pressing needs in this field as well as some tendencies deemed unwise. The author proposes that official commisions be created in each state of the treaty union to study and report upon the practical workings of the treaty provisions in their respective jurisdictions and to make proposals based on practical observation to future conferences. Such commissions might well also certify opinions of the local law to foreign tribunals called upon to apply it under the treaties (pp. 24–25).
The author deplores that courts of last appeal in Germany and Switzerland refuse to review determinations of the lower courts where the error assigned is on the interpretation of foreign as distinguished from local law. This result is reached by reason of the interpretation given to the statutes giving such courts jurisdiction to review where an imperial or federal law has been violated. But the author very properly remarks (p. 11) that when a German statute requires the application of a foreign law, the German law would indeed seem to be violated if the judge does not properly apply the foreign law.
Particular objection is made to the ever-widening scope of the lex patriæ as the controlling law in personal and domestic relations. It has been adopted as the standard in all countries except those of the AngloAmerican sphere, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland. The Hague treaties have also favored it and yet it would seem to be most unsuited to a period of the greatest fluidity of population.
In the field of civil procedure, the author hopes that new impetus will be given the movement in favor of the execution of foreign judgments without re-examination on the merits (p. 18). Speaking generally, our own system raises only the questions of jurisdiction and fraud, yet the necessity of bringing a new action, coupled with the complex requirements of our statutes in the way of certification of the record, makes the execution of foreign judgments with us, as it frequently is in Europe, an illusory remedy. The author pleads in fact for a simplification of the methods of proof of all foreign records and documents and in this he truly strikes a responsive chord in the breast of the American practitioner. The requirements of our own statutes are so complicated as to be almost prohibitive. The very forms of administration in the foreign
state often do not permit of compliance. Relief may some day come through local legislation, but such reforms more often wait upon the inducement of reciprocity involved in regulation by international convention.
ARTHUR K. KUHN.
Die Gleichheit der Staaten. By Max Huber.
By Max Huber. Stuttgart: Verlag von
Ferdinand Enke. pp. 88-118. This pamphlet is a reprint of an article by Professor Huber, of the University of Zürich, which appeared in Juristische Festgabe des Auslandes zu Josef Kohlers, 60. Geburtstag, issued by Dr. F. Berolzheimer.
The article is divided into three parts, in the first of which Professor Huber discusses the events in the First and Second Hague Conferences by which the doctrine of the equality of states was brought into question. The various proposals leading to the erection of an International Prize Court and to the declaration in favor of a Court of Arbitral Justice are discussed, as well as the method of organizing the conferences themselves. The treatment in Part I is descriptive rather than critical, and is intended only as an introduction to Parts II and III.
Part II answers in the affirmative the question, Is the equality of states a fundamental doctrine of international law ? Professor Huber excludes from consideration all cases of so-called “half-sovereignty;' treaties in which concrete matters affecting only the signatory powers are involved; cases in which, by treaty, powers are delegated to individual inembers of an administrative union; and ancient distinctions of rank among states.
The concert of the great powers is discussed at length, with the conclusion that it not only lacks legal unity, but is not a politically homogeneous group. “ The concert of the great powers,” he says, “is much less an institution which stands in opposition to the minor powers, than it is an institution for adjusting the divergent interests of the great powers."
It is denied that the lesser powers have ever recognized the legal superiority of the great powers. Apparent violations of the principle of equality are explained on the ground that an independent state except in case of war acts voluntarily when it accedes to the wishes of another state. This is an academic conclusion that is far from convincing.
Among writers on international law mentioned by Professor Auber, he finds almost unanimous support for the principle of equality, and therefore asserts that “practise and doctrine agree that a legal differentiation of states and a legal begemony of great powers do not exist."
In Part III, the author gives his conception of the meaning of equality, and its place in a system of international law. “ Equality does not mean equality in actual possessions, or equality of influence * but merely legal equality, equality in respect to international rights and duties.” A system of “relative” equality is declared to be impracticable. “A classification of all states, or only of the minor powers, according to a general standard, that is, according to a system of relative equality, would be opposed not only on account of the consequent violation of absolute equality, but still more on account of the arbitrary character of every attempt to discriminate between states."
Absolute legal equality should be maintained as a fundamental principle, and the endeavor should be to find that method of organization which corresponds to the essence of modern international law. The theory of political organization, as represented by the federation and confederation, is then examined, and a confederation of states, with due respect to the doctrine of equality, is declared to be possible and practical. But, “nothing can endanger the development of international law more than the attempt to establish rules and to introduce institutions which are not agreeable to great and small states alike.
* * The appeal of the lesser powers to that equality which is inherent in the principle of confederation, and which is the palladium of their independence, should not be condemned; because, on the basis of confederation and equality, a great development of international law is still possible. For the advancement of international law, a powerful organization is not necessary, but a political situation, in which the states, great and small, may meet with confidence.”
Professor Huber has made a valuable contribution to the literature of this subject; but he does not prove that legal equality can, in practice, take the place of actual inequality, or that effective international organization is possible without violating the doctrine as understood by the
FREDERICK C. HICKS.
England and the French Revolution, 1789-1797. By William Thomas
Laprade (Johns Hopkins University Studies). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 1909.
The author says that the original purpose of this study was to show to what extent the popular agitations in England during this period owed their origin to the revolution taking place in France. But it having
become apparent that these agitations were due to conditions existing in England itself, the policies and methods of William Pitt became the primary themes of study. This being the purpose, the author naturally devotes the greater part of his attention to a minute study of English internal political conditions. Incidentally he discusses the diplomatic relations between England and France. It is this incidental portion that will be of chief interest to the readers of this JOURNAL.
The author adheres to, emphasizes, and reveals much hitherto unused material in confirmation of, the generally accepted view of Pitt's absolute domination of English governmental policies during the period under consideration. He declares that during most of this period “Pitt had been ruling England according to the dictates of his own will ” (p. 152). While acknowledging the power of the great minister, Mr. Laprade is far from being a hero-worshipper. He represents Pitt's methods and policies as those of the political boss.
He had not obtained his power by any usurpation of functions which did not properly belong to his office. He did not retain it by opposing his wishes to the desires of a majority of the governing body. His method was to manipulate the men on the political chess-board in a manner that would give him the appear. ance of acting in accordance with the popular wish while in reality he was carrying out his own plans. (Id.)
The principal thesis of the monograph is laid down in the conclusion (p. 184):
In its early stages the French Revolution was regarded favorably by the majority of Englishmen, but was considered a subject rather for speculation than as vital to the interests of England. Gradually this favorable view of the revolution gave way to one that was distinctly hostile, due as is commonly supposed to the infiuence and the writings of Edmund Burke. We believe, however, that this change of opinion may be attributed in slight measure, if at all, to the advocacy of the great orator but was effected by the deliberate efforts of the adherents of William Pitt in order to secure his political advantage,
The tone of the study is decidedly iconoclastic. This is especially true in his treatment of Edmund Burke. Speaking of the latter's forcing the breach between himself and Fox and thereby disrupting the Whig party, Mr. Laprade says, “ There are two possible explanations of Burke's course on this question. One impeaches liis moral the other his mental integrity” (p. 38). The first, the writer continues, is that the author of the Reflections had “deliberately decided to support the ministry, with the design of retrieving his political fortunes;” the second and
more favorable and probably more nearly correct is that he was de