Слике страница
PDF
ePub

In France it is similarly approved.28 The German law is built upon the same general principle.29 It is likewise found in the Italian

les tribunaux qui ont été appelés à en faire l'application. C'est qu'en effet la base en est essentiellement rationelle et logique. La conquête définitive du territoire met fin à la situation créée par la guerre pour y substituer les relations de paix et de bonne harmonie; et dès que l'administration militaire a achevé son rôle, l'autorité et le gouvernement civil reprennent le premier rang pour faire prévaloir de nouveau les règles du droit commun. Où l'État puiserait-il donc le pouvoir de confisquer la propriété de ses nouveaux sujets, que le fait d'avoir été des ennemis ne peut rendre indéfiniment punissables? Le conquérant n'a pas seulement le devoir strict de respecter les droits acquis; il est encore moralement tenu de chercher par tous les moyens en son pouvoir à en garantir le maintien et à en améliorer ou à en faciliter l'exercice.

“Le jurisconsulte américain Marshall, en traitant cette question spéciale, fait remarquer avec raison que par le mot propriété privée il faut entendre une possession reposant sur un titre entouré de toutes les garanties légales, complètement valide; sanctionnant des droits acquis et des obligations ayant force de loi."

28 Gidel, in his Des Effets de l'annexion sur les concessions, page 90, says: “La jurisprudence américaine, qui a consacré ce principe de l'inviolabilité de la propriété privée dans une foule de décisions, s'est distinguée par la manière particulièrement large dont elle l'a entendu. 'Ce serait violer un usage qui a acquis force de loi entre les nations modernes,' dit le juge Marshall en des termes qui se trouvent reproduits dans tous les arrêts ultérieurs de la Cour suprême des États-Unis relatifs à la matière, “ce serait outrager ce sentiment de justice et d'équité reconnu par tous les peuples civilisés que d'ériger en règle générale la confiscation de la propriété privée et d'annuler les droits des particuliers. L'allégeance des sujets se trouve modifiée: leurs rapports avec leur ancien Souverain se trouvent rompus; mais les relations respectives des citoyens entre eux et leurs droits de propriété subsistent intacts.' Telle fut la doctrine appliquée sans interruption par la Cour suprême à propos des annexions de la Louisiane, de la Floride, de la Californie, du Texas, c'està-dire au moment du grand développement territorial de la République américaine. ... Les obligations dérivant de la seule équité devaient être protégées par le droit international autant que celles que dérivaient de titres strictement légaux. ... La Cour de cassation française a, elle aussi, entendu dans un sens très libéral l'application de ce principe de l'inviolabilité de la propriété privée. Elle n'a pas sanctionné seulement les droits de propriété naissant au profit de particuliers de contrats passés entre eux. Elle a formellement reconnu et protégé les droits acquis par des individus sur le domaine public de l'État annexé. . . . Mais les aliénations antérieures à l'annexion, que le Souverain avait le droit de consentir sous la loi alors en vigueur, doivent être respectées après l'annexion. Et les tribunaux doivent respecter les droits acquis sur ce domaine par les particuliers avant l'annexion." See also an article by Pierre Descamps in 15 R. G. D. I, P., 385, where the above passages are cited and commented upon.

29 The law of Germany is set forth by Huber in his excellent treatise on Staatensuccession: “Ist es unbestritten dass die subjektiven Privatrechte, soweit sie wohler

law.30 It seems fair to assume, therefore, that the general principles underlying the decisions of the United States land cases are not of purely local extent, but are principles of international recognition and validity.

FRANCIS B. SAYRE.

worbene Rechte sind, von dem Wechsel der Staatsgewalt nicht betroffen werden" (p. 57). See also references there cited.

30 See Fiore, Droit International (transl. by Antoine), p. 150, sec. 154: “L'État cessionnaire sera tenu de respecter les droits acquis par les particuliers relativement au territoire cédé et aussi les droits acquis par les fonctionnaires publics en vertu de l'exercice de leurs fonctions sur le territoire cédé.

"Cette règle est applicable aux droits qui peuvent être considérés comme acquis d'après les principes du droit commun, mais non aux expectatives, ni aux actes de jouissance basés sur l'abus ou sur le consentement implicite de l'État cédant."

SOME REFLECTIONS ON THE PROBLEM OF A

SOCIETY OF NATIONS

A THOUSAND peace proposals doubtless could be accounted for in the last five hundred years. Some of them for one reason or another are famous. Dubois, Crucé, Podebrad, Henry IV, Rousseau, Kant, Bentham, Penn, Ladd, are names in this connection quickly recalled to memory.

Now why did all these proposals fail to be heeded by war-weary humanity? Two reasons may be given: first, for the most part they were paper proposals; there was not sufficient driving power behind them; they were written out, the ink dried, and the task was done. No more can a peace proposal organize itself on paper than can a corporation manufacture steel billets with a red-ribboned charter. There must be responsible and powerful initiative, and this initiative must come from a state. Of course, every paper proposal helps to fertilize the ground against the time when nature in its blind way is ready with a favorable wind to implant the germinal substance of a harvest, be it only of thistles or ragweed.

A romantic view of life has it that law grows, that it can not be created. Another similarly romantic allied notion is that man is a product of the earth like a plant. We would not deny the element of truth in these views which flourish or have flourished in the shadow of great names. But is not there something of one-sidedness in this; is not there some exaggeration? Does not destiny hold out some encouragement in the achievement of metaphysical purpose, of final ends, to the use of man's creative intelligence as a part of the process? It is fortunate for these reflections that on this philosophical joustingground, the beliefs, the practices, habits, and experiences of most men are often — or seem to be — favorable to effort.

A second reason why these proposals have failed is that they were all clearly impossible, as unreal as ghosts for the man of sound nerves. They were part and parcel of a philosophy of morality and law with twin roots of that great intellectual phantasm, natural law, and of that powerful emotional force in the world, religion. The one ruled by force of reason (based on false and unreal premises), the other governed by excommunication. The essence of this philosophy was that there is an “ought” and a "should” superior to human nature. Let us hasten to say that we are not here concerned with the question as one of pure ethics. If there is an ethic, no doubt there is also an “ought.” It is equally clear that when there is law in the Austinian sense, there is also a form of “ought” which is better translated "must." There may be, for anything we have to assert to the contrary, an "ought" and "should” outside of human nature; but there is, it is submitted, no “ought” or “should” in human nature.

The special vice of peace proposals has been to attempt the impossible task of putting into human nature what is not there and what can not be put there. The effort, therefore, has been — contrary to what long since was taught by Aristotle — to have states and nations do what they ought to do instead of attempting to discover what under given conditions they may be led to do. Here, the problem of "ought” as an ideal will have its proper place as a part of the psychic composition of peoples and states, but as a part only among a variety of other elements of which pure egoism unrestrained by moral duty is not the least.

If peace proposals are ever to succeed, the whole point of view must be revised. An effort must be made to estimate the impulses and directions of the social mind, and to act in accordance with these impulses regardless of their ethical bearing. The only theoretically workable alternative is the imposition of force, — and this in turn is practically impossible, because the necessary mass of power probably can not be organized.

The peace proposals of recent years continue to be infected with the fatal germ of piety; but already a number of discussions have clearly shown insight and understanding of the essential difficulties, by avoiding confusion between the possible and the desirable. Most of those thinkers who have reached the right road, it is needless to say, are pessimistic of success, and we think properly so. It rarely has entered into a concrete scheme for peace to consider life as it really is — a perpetual conflict of forces. This struggle is never ended either within or without the state. In this turmoil of action and reaction even states are simply the phenomena of the underlying forces, the expression which is apprehended by the senses. Perhaps less is known of the nature of these forces than of anything else in the field of sociology.

The attitude to which reference is made ignores the necessity of explanation and even the thing itself. State organizations are regarded as static ideas to be dealt with at a peace conference as beyond the fate of change or the processes of life and death. It is interesting here to compare the map of Europe at the end of each century since the Christian era. As everyone knows, there have been repeated alterations in the political, ethnic, and economic situation.

Would peace advocates regard each and all of these violent changes as undesirable? In other words, would it have been better from some point of view not yet disclosed by peace proposals, at some point in the process of fux, that the world should have been tranquilized? 'If so, at what point should the graveyard of peace have been established?

No doubt this way of putting the question is unfair. No one desires to make a graveyard of the world whether by means of war or peace. It is not necessary to go to extremes. The intelligent peace advocate will admit that nothing stands; that change is inevitable; and he will say that he does not object to changes of political maps, if the element of brute force is eliminated. The answer will seem decisive.

It will, however, entirely overlook the hard fact that humanity has not yet discovered any method by which, except within the state, and there only relatively, brute force can be avoided in extreme cases of conflict. The arbitral function of state justice was not an invention which rapidly spread from one tribe and nation to another by imitation. It was a slow and painful growth. The fact that it was only about a hundred years ago that wager of battle was formally abolished in English private law is simply one of many indications of the proximity to our age of private vengeance and the blood feud.

« ПретходнаНастави »