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The program of the Congress has been divided into nine main sections, and each section is sub-divided into sub-sections. There are 45 subsections, each with a special committee and program. The official announcement states that
Section VI on International Law, Public Law, and Jurisprudence will doubtless be one of the most important sections of the Congress. The subjects to be discussed in this section have always taken a prominent place in Pan-American conferences, owing to the long-established and well-known investigating interest of eminent publicists in the Latin-American countries. The Chairman of this section is Mr. James Brown Scott.
The topics for discussion in the Sub-Section on International Law, of which Mr. Charles Noble Gregory is Chairman, have been given in the preceding comment in connection with the program of the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Society. It will be noted that the question of American problems of International Law figures in the program of the Second as it did in the program of the First Pan-American Scientific Congress.
The other two sub-sections of Section VI, namely, the sub-sections on Public Law and Jurisprudence, contain topics for discussion which will doubtless interest not a few members of the Society.
The topics for discussion in the Sub-Section on Public Law, of which the Honorable Simeon E. Baldwin is Chairman, are:
1. The preferable definition of public law.
4. Criminal law and procedure, with special reference to the scope and limits of jury trials and the several theories for the punishment of criminals, and differences between the criminal procedure of States following the civil law, and those following the common law. 5. The effect on American public law of our written constitutions.
A. In their bearing on the sovereignty of the State.
B. Constitutional provisions making treaties law, 6. Presidential and parliamentary government on the American continent. This topic is suggested particularly to open discussion as to the means for preventing any lack of due co-operation between these two branches, including the admission of cabinet ministers to a voice in debate.
7. Is there an American public law that can be differentiated from that of other continents?
A. The work of previous Pan-American Congresses will be considered. 8. The historical evolution of public law. 9. The permanent elements of public law. 10. The invocation of public law as a rule in war.
The topics for discussion in the Sub-Section on Jurisprudence, of which Mr. Eugene Wambaugh is Chairman, are:
1. A comparison of the substantive private law of two or more Latin-American countries.
2. A comparison of the substantive private law of a Latin-American country with that of one of the United States.
3. To what extent do Latin-American countries and the United States differ in giving weight to judicial decisions as binding precedents?
4. Recent law reforms in any one of the American countries. 5. The extra-territorial effect of statutes.
6. To what extent is it desirable and practicable to have uniformity of law throughout the Americas?
7. How may lawyers of one country be most easily and effectively made acquainted with the laws of another country?
The deliberations of the Congress will be based according to the subject-matter to be discussed in the various sub-sections. In addition to the general sessions of the Congress, there will be joint sessions between the different sections and sub-sections. Several of the leading associations of the United States, concerned with the investigation of subjects of pertinent interest to some of the sections of the Congress, have received and accepted invitations to meet in Washington at the same time and to hold one or more joint sessions with a section or subsection of corresponding interest. As stated in the preceding comment, the American Society of International Law will meet in connection with the Sub-Section on International Law of Section 6 and the participants in this sub-section will be invited to attend and take part in the meeting of the Society, so that for all practicable purposes the meeting of the Sub-Section and of the Society will be a joint meeting. The official announcement concerning membership in the Congress reads as follows:
The following persons will be members of the Congress:
The representatives of the universities, institutes, societies, and scientific bodies of the countries represented.
Such persons in the countries participating in the Congress as may be invited by the Executive Committee, with the approval of the countries represented.
All writers of papers.
All members of the Congress shall be entitled to attend its sessions, to take part in the debates and to receive a copy of such publications as the Executive Committee may issue. There will be no membership fee of any character.
Headquarters for the Congress have been established in the PanAmerican Union, Washington, D. C., and the Shoreham Hotel has been designated as the headquarters for Section VI in which the members of the American Society of International Law are particularly interested.
THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
The origin and preliminary steps toward the formation of the American Institute of International Law, which was founded October 12, 1912, are given in detail in the editorial comments of the JOURNAL for October, 1912, p. 949 and January, 1913, p. 163. Briefly stated, for the last four years a movement has been on foot to found a national society of international law in every American Republic, making in all twenty-one national societies, which will affiliate with an American Institute of International Law, to be composed of five members recommended by each of the national societies, making in all 105 members of the Institute. The local societies are the national element; the American Institute is the international element. The two, as becomes American institutions, are federated one with the other, and the principle of local government and of election obtains. The members of the American Institute are not to be indiscriminately chosen, but recommended by the national bodies from among their membership. Every member of a national society may, upon complying with the constitution and bylaws of the American Institute, be an associate member and take part in all the proceedings of the Institute of a scientific character. It is hoped that each national society will be a center for the study and the popularization of the principles of international law within the particular country, whereas the Institute will give direction to the work of the local societies and will consider the topics selected for its study and investigate from the broad, international standpoint that must necessarily be the case when an equal number of publicists of each of the countries come together to discuss questions of an interest to all.
The organizers of the American Institute are now happy to announce through the columns of the JOURNAL that a national society of international law has been formed in each of the following American Republics: Argentine Republic, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela in addition to the United States. That is to say, national societies exist in nineteen of the twenty-one American Republics. Steps have been taken by the charter members of the American Institute and interested publicists to form national societies in the remaining three countries, namely, Ecuador, Haiti, and Salvador, and it is believed that these societies will be established in each of the countries within the next few weeks. It is planned to hold the first session of the Institute in Washington in connection with and to formally inaugurate it under the auspices of the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress; and it is confidently hoped that representatives will be present from a society of international law in every American Republic.
The formation of a society of international law in each of the American Republics, affiliated with the American Institute of International Law, composed of their chosen representatives, is no common event, if it be borne in mind that these countries lack but two of a majority of the states represented in the Second Hague Peace Conference in 1907. The hope of the members of the national societies and of the American Institute is that international law will be studied and popularized in each country, that by means of the American Institute the position of American publicists will be made known to the world at large; and that by the co-operation of the national societies and of the Institute international law will be developed in such a way as to meet the needs of the society of nations. Such co-operation is expressly provided for in the Constitution of the American Society of International Law, which states that in order “to foster the study of international law and promote 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.” In conformity with this constitutional provision, the Society voted at its last meeting to affiliate with the American Institute and it will discuss at its forthcoming meeting how it can best co-operate with the societies of international law, in the other American Republics in promoting their common objects.
THE ATTITUDE OF JOURNALS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW IN TIME OF WAR
A comment in the last number of the JOURNAL stated the attitude that a journal of international law in a neutral country should observe toward belligerents. A recent letter to the Berliner Tageblatt of September 24,
1 April 25, 1914, Proceedings, pp. 231-232. 2 July, 1915, pp. 709-710.
1915, by a distinguished German publicist, shows the attitude that a journal of international law, published in a belligerent country, should observe towards enemies and questions affecting his country.
It is comparatively easy for neutrals, withdrawn from the theatre of the great European War and suffering little or none of its hardships, to advise scientists of the belligerent countries to observe that calm and moderation which are supposed to be essential, and are really so, in the discussion of scientific questions. Men may act with machinelike precision, but they are not machines. Scientists are things of flesh and blood, and they advocate the cause of their country with passionate earnestness and judge questions concerning their country's enemies with feeling and prejudice. Detachment in questions affecting one's country is always difficult; objectivity, to use a German term, from a publicist whose country is at war, is hardly to be counted upon.
A remarkable example of the international mind, to use Dr. Butler's happy phrase, is furnished by Dr. Wehberg's letter, which the JOURNAL reproduces in translated form, not to criticise the German publicists who do not share Dr. Wehberg's views, but to commend the manly stand which Dr. Wehberg took when it was distressing and difficult to be manly in public:
My Withdrawal from the “ Zeitschrift für Völkerrecht" i
We have received the following communication, with a request for its publication:
Reports concerning a letter sent by me in November 1914 to Privy-Councilor Kohler, in which I informed him of my withdrawal from the editorial forces of the Zeitschrift für Völkerrecht, have recently appeared in the columns of the press. This letter, in the course of which I briefly discussed the violation of Belgian neutrality, may not have been correctly understood by the public at large, for the reason that my discussion of that question was reprinted in extracts only. I believe therefore that in these columns I may give the weightier reasons that at the time prompted me to resign my position as associate editor of the Zeitschrift für Völkerrecht.
After the outbreak of the war, the German science of international law was confronted by the all important question as to the attitude it should assume toward the events of the times. In so far as I was personally concerned, I had no doubt whatever that the science as such should not allow itself to be carried away by the passions of the moment, but on the contrary, that it should strive to treat scientific questions from the point of view of practicality and justice. A publication dealing with international law could have chosen not to consider actual problems; but in uncertain questions of law it was not entitled deliberately to suppress an opposite judgment. For these reasons it would certainly have been best to withhold discussion of actual problems, and to postpone such discussion until times of greater tranquillity of mind.
1 From the Berliner Tageblatt, September 24, 1915.