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After carefully considering both plans the Committee decided that the Society should have a meeting of its own with a separate program and different speakers, but in order to prevent a congestion of speakers and topics it was thought best to make the Society's program a little shorter than usual and to adopt the topics of the Sub-Section on International Law of the Congress as a part of the program of the Society. This will, of course, include the printing of the addresses and discussions in the Sub-Section on International Law as a part of the proceedings of the Society. This arrangement will enable the members of the Society to accept the invitation of the Congress to attend and take part in the meeting of the Sub-Section on International Law, and the courtesy will be reciprocated by the Society extending an invitation to the visiting publicists to attend and participate in its meeting.
The program of the Sub-Section on International Law of the Scientific Congress, which has been made a part of the program of the meeting of the Society, is as follows:
I. The relation of international law to national law in American countries.
II. The study of international law in American countries and the means by which it may be made more effective.
III. How can the people of the American countries best be impressed with the duties and responsibilities of the state in international law?
IV. Are there specific American problems of international law?
V. The attitude of American countries toward international arbitration and the peaceful settlement of international disputes.
VI. Should international law be codified? And if so, should it be done through governmental agencies or by private scientific societies?
It has been frequently suggested that the Society should give a larger consideration to questions of international law which are of especial interest in the American countries, but the committees in charge of the annual arrangements have not heretofore adopted a continuous plan for covering a certain field of international law and have preferred to select subjects which each year seem likely to be most interesting and useful for discussion at that particular time. Very often subjects of especial interest to American countries have been chosen. The program of the Sub-Section on International Law of the Pan-American Scientific Congress deals primarily, as would naturally be expected, with topics of international law from an American point of view, and the incorporation of these topics into the program of the Society will, no doubt, be pleasing to those members who take a special interest in Latin-American affairs and problems.
There is also a feeling among the members that the Society should not confine its work to certain branches of international law to the exclusion of other branches, that international law is or should be of general application the world over, that whatever affects one nation will affect the others and that it would not be good policy for the Society to create or encourage, even inadvertently or unconsciously, the feeling that certain branches of international law are especially applicable to certain localities and that, therefore, subjects of equal interest to the science in general should form a permanent part of the Society's programs.
The European War has raised a number of questions of fundamental importance wherever nations recognize international law as having any application in their relations with other states. A meeting of the Society at this time, which would ignore the discussion of these questions, would, it is believed, consciously overlook one of the chief objects of the Society. The most important of these questions have accordingly been included in the following program which has been adopted by the Committee for discussion by the members of the Society and which, taken in connection with the topics of the Sub-Section on International Law of the Congress, forms the completed program of the Ninth Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law:
1. Opening address of the President.
2. The duties and obligations of neutral governments, parties to the Hague conventions, in case of actual or threatened violations by belligerents of the stipulations of the said conventions.
3. What means should be provided and procedure adopted for authoritatively determining whether the Hague conventions or other general international agreements, or the rules of international law, have been violated? In case of violations, what should be the nature of the remedy and how should it be enforced?
4. What modifications, if any, should be made in the law and practice as now applied by the principal maritime nations concerning the following subjects of international naval law, in order, under the conditions of the modern interdependence of nations, adequately to safeguard the interests of both neutrals and belligerents: (a) Contraband, (b) Blockade, (c) Continuous Voyage, (d) Visit and Search?
5. Is a uniform law of neutrality for all nations desirable or practicable? If so, what are the principles upon which such a law should be based, and what generally should be its provisions?
6. How can the American Society of International Law best co-operate with similar societies in the other American Republics in promoting their common objects?
It will be observed that the sixth question of this program contemplates co-operation between the American Society of International Law and similar societies in other American Republics in promoting their common objects. The purpose of the American Society of International Law is not merely to consider questions of international law and to enable its members to express their views regarding them, but, as stated in the constitution of the Society, "to foster the study of international law and promote the establishment of international relations on the basis of law and justice." This statement of the object of our Society would, it is believed, be equally descriptive of the aims and purposes of any society of international law wherever founded. The founders of the American Society, however, felt that to accomplish its purpose they should look forward to co-operation with similar societies in other countries, as international opinion can best be created by agencies and forces acting within the different countries. Therefore, in drafting the constitution, it was expressly stated that "for this purpose (the establishment of international relations on the basis of law and justice) it will co-operate with other societies in this and other countries having the same object."
Our readers have been hitherto informed in these columns 2 concerning the progress made in the formation of national societies of international law in each of the American Republics to be affiliated with the larger body to be known as the American Institute of International Law, composed of five members recommended by each of the national societies. At the date of the present writing, national societies of international law have been founded in seventeen American Republics in addition to the United States, and in the remaining countries such societies are in process of formation. It is hoped that before the meeting of the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress the announcement will have been made that national societies have been formed in every American country. At the last meeting of the American Society of International Law, the Society voted to affiliate with the American Institute of International Law and authorized the President to take the necessary steps. This action has been taken and the American Society of International Law is now in a position to co-operate directly with the societies of international law formed in the countries of the American continent or indirectly through the American Institute. It is hoped that the discussion on question 6 will bring out suggestions for practicable and useful co-operative effort.
1 Vol. 6 (1912), p. 949; Vol. 7 (1913), p. 163.
2 This Institute is the subject of a separate comment in this number of the JOURNAL, p. 923.
3 Proceedings, 1914, p. 231.
The meeting of the Society will be held at the Shoreham Hotel, Washington, and December 28–30 are the dates tentatively agreed upon, pending a definite announcement of arrangements by the Sub-Section on International Law of the Pan-American Scientific Congress. As usual, a detailed program will shortly be printed and sent to each member of the Society, giving the dates of the different addresses and discussions. The meeting will close with the customary banquet, with the President of the Society as toastmaster.
: THE PAN-AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS The First Pan-American Scientific Congress sat at Santiago, Chile, from December 25, 1908, to January 5, 1909, and was the first scientific congress in which representatives from all of the American Republics were present. Three Latin-American Congresses had met-namely, at Buenos Aires in 1898, at Montevideo in 1901, and at Rio de Janeiro in 1905. Exclusively Latin-American Congresses showed that at least the scientists of the Latin-American world were willing to come together, and their success apparently suggested the possibility of an All-American Congress, which should include representatives from the United States. An invitation was extended to the United States and accepted. The various institutions of learning sent representatives, good feeling prevailed, and the desire was expressed on all hands to have the next meeting in the United States. The Congress unanimously voted in favor of holding the meeting here, the United States accepted the invitation, and the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress will meet in the last days of the current year and in the opening week of 1916.at Washington under the auspices of the Government of the United States.
A congress of this kind has a very large program, as the aim and purpose is to bring together leaders of thought, scholars, and publicists of all the American countries, and to have subjects included in the program of a general interest to all the American countries, in which American scientists are interested, and in the discussion of which they will participate. The First Congress was divided into nine sections, in one of which the subject of international law received a great deal of attention. The point of greatest interest was that raised by Señor Alejandro Alvarez of Chile as to whether there can be said to exist a special American international law. Señor Alvarez presented a paper on this subject, as did also Professor Sa Vianna of Brazil. As the result of very great discussion the Congress adopted the following resolution:
The First Pan-American Scientific Congress recognizes that in the New World there exist problems sui generis and of a character completely American, and that the states of this hemisphere have regulated by means of more or less general treaties, matters which interest only themselves or which, though of a universal interest, have as yet not been incorporated in a world-wide convention. In this last case there have been incorporated in international law principles of American origin. The sum of these materials constitutes what may be called American problems and situations in international law. The Congress recommends to all states of this continent that in their faculties of jurisprudence and the social sciences, there shall be given special attention to the study of this subject.
As pointed out in an editorial comment in the JOURNAL for April, 1909, the mover of this resolution, Señor Alvarez, “did not desire to propose the establishment of a separate system of international law, but intended merely to point out the fact that on account of the diversity of origin of political institutions, of historical development, and of natural conditions, there exist on the American continent a series of special and characteristic problems which require special attention, and which cannot be solved by a merely imitative study of the established principles of European international law. As in certain matters, America has led the way in the past, so also, in the future, it is desirable that her countries should have a definite American policy in international law naturally flowing out of the special conditions of their political and economic life.”
The main purpose of the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress, according to an official statement issued by the Secretary General the Honorable John Barrett, “will be to increase the exchange of knowledge and bring about a better understanding of the ways in which the several Republics can work to the advancement of science, the increase of culture, and the promotion of trade, commerce, and mutual helpfulness." It is stated that the Latin-American countries will avail themselves generously of this opportunity for Pan-American solidarity of action in intellectual interests, that each country has been requested to select its most eminent writers to prepare papers and that the most distinguished men of affairs and education have been invited to write upon or discuss the subjects described in the preliminary program, a copy of which was sent to each member of the American Society of International Law last spring. The United States Government has asked our foremost scientists, leading societies and educational institutions to co-operate in every way possible in order to insure the success of the congress.
i Vol. 3, p. 429.