« EelmineJätka »
THE SECOND VOLUME
In placing before the public this concluding portion of my treatise I would refer my readers to the preface to the first volume for an account of its general scope and method. The present volume bears the title “War and Neutrality," although Parts II. and III. alone treat of these subjects, whereas Part I. is devoted to Settlement of State Differences. It would perhaps have seemed more consistent to deal with this last topic in Volume I.; for a condition of peace must be considered as existing even at a time when use is being made of the machinery for the compulsory settlement of differences. But it is, at any rate, not unusual to treat this topic in an introductory chapter in the discussion of War and Neutrality.
The reader will find that notice is taken of all incidents of legal interest which occurred during the recent Chino-Japanese, South African, and RussoJapanese Wars. If he belong to the rather numerous class of those who assert that there is no stability in the rules of International Law, which are altering every day and, in an especial measure, during the course of each successive war, I am afraid that he may be disappointed ; for he will find that in this volume an endeavour is made to master the problems raised by these recent wars by the aid of the rules recognised of old. There are, of course, some problems, such, for instance, as the question of floating mines, which call for new rules. And there can be no doubt that, as every war makes history, so it makes law also, as it settles many rules which previously were doubtful. Thus, for example, I believe that the South African War, which gave rise to the incident of the “Bundesrath," has settled the rule, formerly doubtful, that vessels, although running between neutral ports, can nevertheless be considered to be carrying contraband. And, similarly, I hold that the attitude of the neutral Powers towards the Russian men-of-war, which, during the Russo-Japanese War, asked for asylum in neutral ports, has established the rule that belligerent men-of-war must be dismantled and detained, with their crews, until the conclusion of peace if they require more than merely temporary asylum.
Those who compare this volume with other treatises will, I think, find many new topics here discussed which have hitherto been nowhere treated. For instance, no book has furnished previously a detailed account of the means to be adopted for securing legitimate warfare, and, more especially, of the punishment of war crimes. The arrangement, moreover, of the subjects in Parts II. and III. differs throughout from that of other treatises. This departure from the usual grouping has not been prompted by desire for novelty : it has been dictated by that need of lucidity which is the prime consideration in a book by a teacher designed for the use of students.
I have tried to write this volume in a truly international spirit, neither taking any one nation's part nor denouncing any other. It is to be deplored that many writers on the law of war and neutrality should take every opportunity of displaying their political sympathies and antipathies, and should confound their own ideas of justice, humanity, and morality with the universally recognised rules of warfare and neutrality. French books often contain denunciation of the Germans and the English ; English booksHall's classical treatise furnishes at once an illustration and a warning-frequently condemn the Germans and the Russians ; and the Germans on many occasions retaliate by reproaching the French and the English. It ought surely to be possible to discuss these matters in an impartial spirit. And although it may not be necessary for an author to conceal his opinion on some indefensible act or conduct of some particular nation, he should never forget that Niacos intra muros peccatur et extra, and that his own nation cannot fail to have made many a slip from the narrow path of strict righteousness.
I venture to hope that the Appendix will prove useful to every student. The nine law-making Treaties appended are printed in their French texts, because these are authoritative, and the official English translations published in the Treaty Series are sometimes inaccurate. I have also appended the Foreign Enlistment Act, 1870, the Naval Prize Act, 1864, and the Naval Prize Courts Act, 1894 ; they will, I think, be serviceable equally to English and to foreign students.
An arrangement has been made by which the printers have had this present volume indexed in such a way as to facilitate reference to the first volume also. My grateful thanks are again due to Mr. Addis and to Mr. Bucknill for their valuable assistance.
L. OPPENHEIM. THE LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE (UNIVERSITY OF LONDON),
CLARE MARKET, LONDON, W.O.:
October 24, 1905.