« PreviousContinue »
T. J. LAWRENCE, M.A., LL.D.
MEMBER OF THE INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
RECTOR OF UPTON LOVEL
OF INTERNATIONAL LAW," ETC.
D. C. HEATH & Co., PUBLISHERS
THERE are in existence several books of cases, dealing with the Law of Nations as a whole or with separate parts of it. Most of them are excellent, and nothing was further from my thoughts in compiling the present work than to enter into competition with them. What I have endeavoured to do is to produce a book which shall contain, not merely judgments and opinions given in connection with disputes brought before Courts for settlement, but documents of all kinds which bear on the formation and development of the rules of International Law.
The student reads in his text-books that certain authors who wrote some three centuries ago made such a deep impression on the collective mind of Western Europe that the principles most of them advocated became the foundations of a science of international relations unlike anything that had gone before it, though borrowing much from previously existing theories and institutions. I have given him extracts from some of the most distinguished of these writers, that he may see for himself how, and against what, they reasoned. He also reads that in modern times states have begun to settle for themselves by common agreement what rules they will obey in many departments of their mutual intercourse. I have placed before him all the great law-making documents in which these agreements are recorded. Further, he learns that in the interval between the great Jurists who watched over and controlled the infancy of International Law, and the great Conferences which have moulded its newest activities, treaties, judgments of prize-courts and arbitral tribunals, state-papers of all kinds, and even the opinions of private persons or associations of persons, influenced its development, and are likely still to do so, some of them in a more marked degree than before. I have given him specimens of all these to study.
The proposition that students are likely to derive much benefit from familiarity with a selection of such documents as