Слике страница

venience, while the entrusting of the work to a competent body already in existence would result in an appreciable saving both in time and in expense. If the membership of the Council were found to be too large for the efficient carrying on of the work in detail, this difficulty could at once be solved by the appointment of subcommittees to deal with particular subjects.

I am, Gentlemen,
Your obedient servant,




On March 27, 1914, Mr. Robert Lansing was confirmed as Counselor of the Department of State and took the oath of office on the first day of April. The position to which Mr. Lansing was appointed, it is understood upon the personal recommendation of Secretary Bryan, is in itself of the greatest importance not only because he is second in authority to the Secretary, but is Acting Secretary of State during his absence, and in view of the delicate and intricate problems of international law confronting the Department, upon whose successful determination the honor and prestige of the United States depend, the position assumes a dignity and importance, which it is difficult to overestimate. It is no doubt a consolation to the authorities, as it is a source of pride to the American Society of International Law, of which he was a founder, and to its Journal, of which he is an editor, that Mr. Lansing has been chosen, and that he has consented to accept the position of Counselor of the Department of State.

His training for the post has more than prepared him for the performance of its duties, as is evidenced by a summary statement of his career. He was born at Watertown in the State of New York on October 17, 1864, the son of an eminent lawyer and descendant of a family closely identified with the history of New York. He graduated from Amherst College in 1886, and three years later began the practice of law at Watertown and has since continued in private practice except when retained by his own and foreign governments in important cases, the list of which is large and imposing. In 1892 he was appointed associate counsel for the United States in the Fur Seal Arbitration and attended the sessions of the international tribunal held in Paris in 1893. In 1894-5 he was counsel for the Mexican and Chinese Legations at Washington. In 1896 he was appointed by Mr. Richard Olney, then Secretary of State, counsel for the government before the Bering Sea Claims Commission and as such attended the Commission as representative of this government at its sessions held in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1896–7, and at Montreal and Halifax in the latter year. He was counsel for private parties before the Canadian Joint High Commission in 1898–9 and counselor for the Mexican and Chinese Legations at Washington in 1900–1. He was solicitor and counsel for the government before the Alaskan Boundary Tribunal in 1903 and attended the sessions of the tribunal at London in his official capacity. He was counsel for private parties in the Venezuelan asphalt disputes in 1905; counsel for the United States in the Atlantic Fisheries Arbitration at The Hague in 1908, and as such counsel attended the sessions of the Hague Tribunal which decided this longstanding and important dispute in 1910. He was technical delegate of the government in the Fur Seal Conference at Washington in 1911, and special counsel for the Department of State on various pending diplomatic questions and for the negotiation with Great Britain of the claims to be arbitrated under the special agreement of 1910; in 1911 counsel for the United States before the American and British Claims Arbitration, and from 1913 to the date of his appointment as Counselor, he was agent of the United States before this Commission.

Such in brief is the experience which he has had in the practice of international law. His interest, however, in his favorite subject has been theoretical as well as practical, for he was one of the founders of the American Society of International Law in 1906 and has been since its foundation a member of its executive committee. He was intimately associated with the establishment of the American Journal of International Law in 1907, from which date he has been an editor of the Journal, and he has from time to time, as his professional engagements would permit, contributed to it articles, editorial comments and book reviews. In addition to this, he is author of a text book on civil government, entitled Government, its origin, Growth and Form in the United States (1902), and also of numerous articles and addresses on diplomatic questions and subjects pertaining to international law and arbitration.

Mr. Lansing has represented the United States, it is believed, in more international arbitrations than any living American, and he has had a longer and broader experience in international arbitration and has appeared more frequently before arbitral tribunals than any living lawyer. It is an interesting fact, and not without significance, that, although a consistent Democrat, Mr. Lansing has been repeatedly appointed to represent his country by Republican administrations, a statement more eloquent than labored comment upon his abilities and attainments. It should be said, in conclusion, that Mr. Lansing, in addition to the sterling qualities which have justified and indeed dictated his selection for his present post, possesses the grace and charm of manner so essential in diplomatic intercourse, and that in fact as well as in theory he is a highminded and Christian gentleman.


FRANCE, GREAT BRITAIN, SPAIN, AND PORTUGAL On July 31, 1913, a special agreement-technically called in French a compromis was signed by representatives of France, Great Britain, Spain and Portugal for the submission to the arbitration of a special tribunal, to be constituted and to sit at The Hague, of “claims relating to the properties of the French, British and Spanish nationals, expropriated by the Government of the Portuguese Republic after the proclamation of the Republic.” It is important to note in this connection certain details of the procedure to be followed by the tribunal and to state its membership.

A tribunal of five with elaborate oral arguments before it by agents or counsel, as provided by the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes of 1899, has been found in practice to be less. satisfactory than a smaller tribunal with summary procedure. At the Second Hague Conference the French delegation proposed an addition to the convention, providing for a tribunal of three with little or no oral argument. It was believed that this tribunal would be more satisfactory in small technical questions, and that the proceedings before it should be written, in the sense that the contentions of plaintiff and defendant, to use a technical term of municipal law, should be prepared, printed, and submitted to the arbitrators in session at The Hague, who should base their judgment primarily upon these documents, although agents or counsel of the contending parties should be present and give explanations upon any point or points suggested by the tribunal. This system of summary procedure was embodied in Chapter IV of the Convention of 1907, the five articles of which read as follows:

ARTICLE 86 With a view to facilitating the working of the system of arbitration in disputes admitting of a summary procedure, the contracting Powers adopt the following rules, which shall be observed in the absence of other arrangements and subject to the reservation that the provisions of Chapter III apply so far as may be.

ARTICLE 87 Each of the parties in dispute appoints an arbitrator. The two arbitrators thus selected choose an umpire. If they do not agree on this point, each of them proposes two candidates taken from the general list of the members of the Permanent Court exclusive of the members appointed by either of the parties and not being nationals of either of them; which of the candidates thus proposed shall be the umpire is determined by lot.

ARTICLE 88 In the absence of any previous agreement the tribunal, as soon as it is formed, settles the time within which the two parties must submit their respective cases to it.

ARTICLE 89 Each party is represented before the tribunal by an agent, who serves as intermediary between the tribunal and the government who appointed him.

ARTICLE 90 The proceedings are conducted exclusively in writing. Each party, however, is entitled to ask that witnesses and experts should be called. The tribunal has, for its part, the right to demand oral explanations from the agents of the two parties, as well as from the experts and witnesses whose appearance in court it may consider useful.

It will be observed that the procedure laid down in the above articles may be varied by agreement of the parties, and this is what has happened in the present case, although the arbitration is to be conducted in general accord with Chapter IV of the Convention of 1907.

It was foreseen that the decision of the cases might require oral explanations for their good understanding, and that the claims of the different governments might require or justify the appointment of agents to represent them before the tribunal. Hence Article 8 authorizes Portugal to appoint one or three agents to represent it, with the right of each plaintiff to appoint a separate agent or to agree upon one and the same agent, if they desire. It was further provided that the agents may be assisted by counsel. The extent to which additional information may be required is, by Article 5, vested in the discretion of the tribunal, which may, “if it shall deem it necessary, ask either of the agents to furnish it with oral or written explanations, to which the agent of the opposite party shall have the right to reply," and the fact that counsel may be appointed by each country to assist the agents leads to the conclusion that something very much like oral argument may be permitted. The written documents are, according to the terms of the same article, a case (mémoire) by the claimant government, to be presented within four months of the date of the agreement, and a counter-case of Portugal to be presented within six months from the filing of the case. The claimant government may present a written rejoinder at least three weeks before the first meeting of the tribunal, and Portugal reserves the right for such period of three weeks, and up to the date of the aforesaid meeting, to answer by a counter-reply.” As is usual in such cases, the time agreed upon has been extended, so that the tribunal will not meet at the date originally fixed. The tribunal is to meet upon the call of its president, each case is to be examined successively and in the alphabetical order of the parties at interest, and each claim shall be the subject of a separate award (Article 4), to be rendered “within fifteen days following the taking of the claim under deliberation” (Article 10). French is the language to be used, and papers and documents in any other language are not to be produced except by authorization or special permission accorded by the tribunal, unless accompanied by a French translation duly certified (Article 7). The tribunal is to examine and to decide the claims "in accordance with the conventional rights applicable thereto, or, that failing, according to the general provisions and principles of law and equity” (Article 3), and it is declared competent “to determine the condition under which its awards shall be executed,” (Article 9).

The agreement contains a provision unusual in such documents, as it states the honorarium which the members are to receive for their services at The Hague, as well as in the preparation of the case, and provides a fund from which the expenses shall be paid. Article 11 dealing with this matter is as follows:

The honorarium of the members of the tribunal shall be fixed at the rate of 1,200 francs per week, traveling and resident expenses included; it being understood that four weeks shall be allowed in view of the necessary study of the case and countercase before the meeting of the tribunal. The honorarium pertaining to these four weeks shall be paid to the arbitrators the day of the first meeting of the tribunal.

Each of the parties shall pay over to the Bureau of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, at the time of presenting his case and by way of provisional deposit, the sum of 3,000 florins (Dutch).

Notwithstanding its unusual nature, the article is believed to be a wise departure from the practice of nations in such matters, as it enables the arbitrator, before his acceptance, to know the exact remuneration

« ПретходнаНастави »