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International Law at America’s Centennial: The International Code Committee’s Centennial Celebration and the Centenary of Field’s International Code

  • Kurt H. Nadelmann (a1)



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1 One of the participants in the Exposition was the (French) Sociétéde Législation comparéwhich for its publications received the Centennial Medal from the international jury. See [1877] Bull, De La SOCIéTé De Législation Comparée (hereinafter cited as BULL.) 89; [1878] id. 399. Lévy-UIlmann, , Account of the French Society of Comparative Legislation, 10 Harv. L. Rev. 161, 166 (1896).

2 For an announcement of the meeting, see 14 Albany L. J. 205 (1876). Detailed reports on the meeting appeared in all Philadelphia papers (Inquirer, Public Ledger, Public Record, Times Philadelphia, Daily Evening Telegraph) and the New York Times Called for Friday afternoon, the meeting had to be adjourned to Saturday morning because the Hall had been engaged for other purposes. Before the adjournment the Chairman gave the history of the International Code Committee, announced the papers which would be presented, and gave the text of the resolutions prepared for submission. Among those present on Friday, according to the papers, were Howard Malcolm, Philadelphia, and Edward S. Tobey, Boston, of the American Peace Society, John Jay, ex-Governor Emory Washburn of Massachusetts, Judge Charles A. Peabody, New York, Rev. Dr. Irenaeus Prime, New York, Justice Stephen S. Field of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge W. S. Peirce, Philadelphia, Alfred H. Love, Philadelphia, and Lafayette S. Foster.

3 A contemporary account is in Miles, , Association for the Reform and Codification of the Law of Nations, A Brief Sketch of the Formation of the Association, 2 Int’l Rev. 32 (1875) (also separate print Paris 1875). The Rev. James B. Miles (1822- 1875) was the first general secretary. On Miles, see Notice in January 1876 issue of the Advocate of Peace.

4 An “official” write-up is in International Law Association (I.L.A.), Reports of the First Conference Held At Brussels, 1873, and of the Second Conference Held at Geneva, 1974, at 3 -4 (1903). The Preface indicates that the Proceedings were reconstructed in 1902 from available original materials. A “History” of the Association can be found at the beginning of each volume of the I.L.A., Conference Reports.

5 The name was changed after the death of David Dudley Field. See I.A.L., Report of the Seventeenth Conference, Brussels, 1895 at 282–85 (1896).

6 Elihu Burritt (1810–1878) was vice president of the American Peace Society. See E. L. Whitney, The American Peace Society: a Centennial History 246–47 (3rd ed. 1928).

7 The paper was read for Burritt who could not b e present, by Dr. Henry T. Child of Philadelphia. It included a tribute to the late Rev. Miles, supra note 3, who had died on November 13, 1875.

8 Abram P. Sprague (1846–1882) had become secretary in 1876 as successor to Rev. Miles. On Sprague, see Notice in 27 ALB. L. J. 382 (1883). For some time he had helped edit the Albany Law Journal; he had been associate editor of the International Review for two years. In 1875, he had won the prize offered by de Marcoartu through the (British) National Association for the Promotion of Social Science for the best essay upon codification of public international law. See 12 ALB. L. J. 281 (1875). The essay is in A. De Marcoartu, Internationalism and Prize Essays by A. P. Sprague and Paul Lacombe on International Law 61, 69 (1876).

9 Summaries of the lengthy paper are in the newspaper reports.

10 On Emory Washburn (1800–1877), see Notice in 15 ALB. L. J. 238 (1877) and 2 Annuatre De L’Institut De Droit International 23 (Rivier) (hereinafter cited as Annuatbe).

11 Washburn, , The Feasibility of an International Code, 4 Int’L Rev. 537 (1877). For an earlier paper of his on the same subject, read at the 1874 Geneva conference of the Association, see I.L.A., Reports, supra note 4, at 99; cf. Washburn, , The International Congress at Geneva, 2 Forum 205, 213 (1874). 12 Field, American Contributions to International Law, 14 Alb. L. J. 257 (1876), reprinted in 1 Speeches, Arguments and Miscellaneous Papers of David Dudley Field 475 (Spragueed. New York .1884) (hereinafter cited as Field, Speeches).

13 David Dudley Field, Outlines of an International Code (1876). The Preface has a July 1876 date.

14 David Dudley Field, Draft Outlines of an International Code (1872). The Preface has a January 1872 date. Book I: Peace, appeared first; Book II: War, followed. Reviewed in 11 (N.S.) Am. L. Register 337 (1872); 5 Revue De Droit International Et De Législation Comparée 502 (1873) (Rolin-Jacquemyns).

15 On David Dudley Field (1805–1894), see Notice 49 Alb. L. J. 268 (1894); Fiero, David Dudley Field and his Work, 51 id. 39 (1895) (paper before N.Y. State Bar Ass’n); Hoy, David Dudley Field, in 5 Great American Lawyers 125 (Wm. Draper Lewis ed. 1908); Pound, David Dudley Field, An Appraisal, in 1 David Dudley Field Centenary Essays 3 (A. Reppy ed. 1949).

16 See Briggs, , David Dudley Field and the Codification of International Law, in Institut De Droit International, Livre Du Centenaire 18731973, Evolution Et Perspectives Du Droit International 67 (1973) (hereinafter cited as Institut, Evolution). Necrology, 14 Annuaire 1895–1896, at 310 (Albéric Rolin/John Bassett Moore).

17 Text in [1866] Transactions of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science 42 (1867) (hereinafter cited as transactions); 22 L. MAG. & Rev. 138 (1866/67), 1 L.J. 556 (London 1866), reprinted with the title On a Project for an International Code in 1 Field, Speeches, supra note 12, at 384.

18 The American members were Field and Wm. Beach Lawrence.

19 A part covering private international law is in French translation in [1869] Bull. supra note 1, at 32–42; see Helbronner, id. at 24. The Manchester project seems to have become known widely. See Anonymous, A Code of Private International Law, 2 am. L. Rev. 599, 605, n. (1868), a draft due to George Merrill, of New York and Paris. See Preface in G. Merrill, Studies in Comparative Jurisprudence and the Conflict of Laws III (1886).

20 Field referred to the Bluntschli work in his October 1869 speech Advantages of an International Code before the American Social Science Association. Text in 2 J. Soc. Sci. 188 (1870), reprinted in 1 Field, Speeches supra note 12, at 407. And see Preface in Field, Draft Outlines of an International Code, supra note 14, at i-ii. 21 J. G. Bluntschli, Das Modehne VÖlkebrecht Der Qvhjsierten Staaten Als Rechtsbuch Dargestellt (1868); Bluntschli, Le Droit International Codifié (Lardy transl. Paris 1870 with Preface by Laboulaye); Bluntschli, E L Derecho Internacional Codificado (Covarrubias transl. Mexico 1871). French edition reviewed in 6 am. L. Rev. 340 (1872). On Bluntschli (1808–1881), see Schindler in Institut, Evolution supra note 16, at 45. 2 2 See Preface to Field, Draft Outlines, supra note 14. 23 Burritt, A Preliminary Congress of Jurists and Publicists, Advocate of Peace, April 1871, at 40; Resolution of May 27, 1872, id., July 1872, at 196. See Whitney, supra note 6, at 126. 24 See id. at 129. 2 5 Advocate of Peace, Nov. 1872, at 228. 26 Account in Miles, supra note 3, at 35; I.L.A. Reports, supra note 4, at 6. 27 Replies by Count Sclopis, Viscount d’ltajuba, Drouyn de Lhuys, Mancini, Holtzendorff, Heffter, Montague Bernard, Vernon Harcourt, Westlake, Edwin C. Clark, Auguste Visschers, G. Moynier, Rolin-Jaequemyns, Dr. Levy, E. de Parieu, in Amis De La Paix (France), March-April 1873. Advocate of Peace, Aug. 1873, at 57–64, Sept. 1873, at 65–72, 7 ALB. L. J. 358–62, 373–80 (1873). In a letter dated April 7, 1873, John Westlake expressed his preference for the plan developed by Rolin-Jaequemyns in a confidential memorandum of March 12, 1873. See id. at 374. 28 On Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns (1835–1902), see Jean J. A. Salmon in Institut, Evolution, supra note 16, at 103; 19 Annuatre 391 (Descamps) (1902). 29 Reference to the visit is in Rolin-Jaequemyns, , De la nécessité d’organiser une institution scientifique permanente pour favoriser l’ étude et le progrès du droit international, 5 Revue 465, 482 (1873), and in his Miles necrology, 8 id. 148 (1876). 30 The meeting is reported in 7 ALB. L. J. 325 (1873). Unable to attend, Wm. Beach Lawrence sent a letter, printed at id. 379. 31 Resolutions in Advocate of Peace, July 1873, at 51; Sept. 1873, at 69. Text of invitation of June 30, 1873, in I.L.A., Reports, supra note 4, at 2; Rolin-Jaequemyns, supra note 29, at 692.

32 Members listed in I.L.A., Reports, supra note 4, at 3. A membership list for 1874 is in 10 ALB. L. J. 32 (1874).

33 Pasquale Stanislao Mancini (1817–1888) is famous as founder of the Italian School of International Law (nationality as foundation of international law first argued in his Turin lecture of 1831). See A. P. Sereni, the Italian Conception of International Law 157 (1943); De Nova, Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, in Institut, Evolution, supra note 16 at 3. Nova, De, Historical and Comparative Introduction to Conflict of Laws, 118 Recueil Des Cours, 437, 465 (1966 III ).

34 Noted in 8 ALB. L. J. 211, 230 (1874); 2 am. L. Record 452 (1874); Lorimer, , The Institute of International Law Founded in Ghent, 8 ALB. L. J. 402 (1874), reprinted in J. Lorimer, Studies—National and International 77 (1874). Documentation in Communications relatives à l’Institut de Droit International, 5 Revue 667, 807 (documents) (1873).

35 William Beach Lawrence (1800–1881) was best known abroad as author of the Commentaries sur les Eléments du droit international et sur l’Histoire du progrès du droit des gens de Henry Wheaton (4 volumes 1868–1880); review of I and I I in 1 Revue 637 (1869) (Westlake), of III (private international law) in 5 id. 504 (1873) (Rolin-Jaequemyns). On Lawrence, see Notices in 23 ALB. L. J. 261 (1881); 6 Annuaire 1882–1883, at 47 (Rivier).

36 On Theodore D. Woolsey (1801–1889), ex-president of Yale College, author of Introduction to the Study of International Law (5th ed.), reviewed in 11 Revue 654 (1879) (Rivier), see Notices in 25 Revue 84 (1893); 13 Annuaire 1894–1895, at 415 (Lehr/John Bassett Moore).

37 See note 10, supra 38 Francis Wharton (1820–1888) was the leading authority on private international law. Wharton, Conflict Of Laws or Private International Law (1872), reviewed by Bar in 12 ALB. L. J. 232 (1875). The second, 1881, edition with a Preface surveying the huge new literature, was noted in 13 Revue 664 (1881) (Asser) and 9 Journal Du Droit International Privé 463 (1882) (Clunet). On Wharton, see Notice in 13 Annuaire 1894–1895, at 412 (J. B. Moore) and Moore’s Brief Sketch of Francis Wharton in 1 The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States xi (Wharton ed. 1889).

39 See letter by Rolin-Jaequemyns to Wm. Beach Lawrence of July 30, 1873 and Lawrence’s reply of Aug. 29, 1873, 8 ALB. L. J. 230 (1873).

40 For the full list of original members, see ibid; and 5 Revue 711 (1873).

41 Field ‘ s address is in [1873] Transactions 219 (1874), 3 (N.S.) L. MAG. & Rev. 251 (1874), 8 ALB. L. J. 277 (1873), 2 am. L. Record 705 (1874), reprinted in 1 Field, Speeches, supra note 12, at 416. Cf. HelbronneT in [1874] Bull. 300.

42 The meeting was chaired by Auguste Visschers, distinguished Belgian jurist and humanitarian. On Visschers (1804–1874), see Yakemtchouk, , Les origines de l’lnstitut de Droit International, 77 Revue Générale De Droit International Public 373, 385 (1973).

43 Reports appeared immediately in 8 Alb. L. J. 291 (1873), 2 (N.S.) L. MAG. & Rev. 1094 (1873). Furthermore, see Lorimer, supra note 34, at 408; and see Miles, supra note 3; Field, Association for the Reform and Codification of the Law of NationsIts History and Aims, Address at the Association’s Third Conference, The Hague 1875 (London 1875), reprinted in 1 field, Speeches, supra note 12, at 432.

44 See I.L.A., Reports, supra note 4, 16 (codification), 25 (arbitration), 44 (relations with Institute). Cf. Comment, , The Proposed Codification and Reform of the Law of Nations, 9 Am. L. Rev. 181, 185 (1875). In the Index to Legal Periodicals (Jones), the Comment is attributed to John N. Pomeroy (1828–1885).

45 I.L.A., Reports, supra note 4, at 110; Comment, supra note 43, at 192.

46 “Prime linee di un codice internazionale del giurista americano Davide Dudley Field precedute da un lavoro originale ‘La riforma del diritto delle genti e I’lstituto di Diritto Internazionale di Gand’ del traduttore Augusto Pierantoni” (Naples 1874), reviewed 1 Journal Du Droit International Privé 347 (1874); cf. 6 Revue 699 (1874). On Augusto Pierantoni (1840–1911) see De Nova, Institut, Evolution supra note 16, at 99.

47 “Projet d’un Code International par David Dudley Field,” traduit par Albéric Rolin (Paris and Gand 1881). Rolin was a brother of Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns.

48 Supra note 21.

49 See Baxter, , The First Modem Codification of the Law of War, Francis Lieber and General Orders No. 100, 3 Int’L Rev. of the Red Cross 171, 234 (1963).

50 On Francis Lieber (1798–1882), see Root, , Francis Lieber, 7 ASIL Procs. 8 (1913); 7 AJIL 453 (1913); Scott, The Gradual and Progressive Codification of International Law, 21 id. 417, 420 (1927); Sallet, On Francis Lieber and his Contribution to the Law of Nations of Today, in Recht Im Dienste Der Menschenwürde— Festschrift Für Herbert Kraus 277 (Göttinger Arbeitskreis ed. 1964).

51 See Introduction to the work, supra note 21; and see Bluntschli, , Lieber’s Service to Political Science and International Law, in 2 The Miscellaneous Writings of Francis Lieber 7, 12 (1881). His small volume on the law of war, Das modeme Kriegsrecht der civilisierten Staaten als Rechtsbuch dargestellt (1866), was based entirely on General Orders No. 100 and the Rules of the Geneva Convention of August 22, 1864, 18 Martens, Nouveau Recueil GéNéRAL 607 (1873), relating to ambulances and hospitals and the treatment of military persons wounded in battle (first of the “Red Cross” Conventions).

52 See Comment, supra note 44, at 203–211; noted in 11 ALB. L. J. 37 (1875).

53 See I.L.A., Reports, supra note 4, at 16, 25.

54 By letter of July 22, 1874 (10 ALB. L. J. 79 (1874)), Lawrence asked that his name be dropped from the membership list of the International Code Committee published previously, 10 id. at 32. He considered the membership to be inconsistent with his duties as a member of the Institut.

55 See Field, supra note 42, 1 Fteld, Speeches, supra note 12, at 432, 441.

56 See Elihu Root, , The Function of Private Codification in International Law, 5 AJIL 577, 579, 581 (1911); United Nations, Documents on the Development and Codification of International Law, 41 AJIL, SUPP 29 (1947).

57 See Lauterpacht, , Codification and Development of International Law, 49 AJIL 16 (1955); “The merging of codification into progressive development has meant that the futile search of the League days for topics ‘ripe for codification’ has happily been abandoned.” Jennings, , Recent Developments in the International Law Commission: Its Relations to the Sources of International Law, 13 Int’l & Comp. L. Q. 385, 395 (1964). Cf. Charles de Visscher, Stages in the Codification of International Law, in Transnational Law in a Changing World—Essays in Honor of Philip C. Jessup 17 (Friedmann, Henkin, Lissitzyn, eds. 1972).

58 Mancini-type “general” codification proposed at the first (1893) Conference was shelved in favor of work on concrete problems. See Nadelmann, , Multilateral Conventions in the Conflicts Field: An Historical Sketch, 19 Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor International Recht 107, 124 (1972); Notes, 30 L. J. 226 (London 1895). Cf. Nadelmann, , The United States Joins the Hague Conference on Private International Law, 30 Law & Contemp. Probl. 291, 297 (1965), reprinted in K. Nadelmann, Conflicts of Laws: International and Interstate 99, 106 (1972). The most recent controversy is discussed in Nadejmann, , Impressionism and Unification of Law: The EEC Draft Convention on the Law Applicable to Contractual and Non-Contractual Obligations, 24 am. J. Comp. L. 1 (1976).

59 Cf. tribute by Albéric Rolin in 14 Annuaire 1895–1896 311, quoted in Briggs, supra note 16, at 73.

60 Note 12, supra 61 Treaty of May 8, 1871, 17 Stat. 863, T.S. 133, 12 Treaties and Other International Agreements of the U.S.A. 1776–1949, at 170 (Bevans ed. 1974).

62 Award, Geneva, Sept. 14, 1872, 4 Papers Relating to the Treaty of Washington 49 (1872); 1 J. B. Moore, International Arbitration 495 at 653 (1898); award reproduced in W M . W. Bishop, International Law, Cases and Materials 1023 (3rd ed. 1971).

63 The reference is to the three rules of Article VI of the Treaty, supra note 61.

64 14 ALB. L. J. at 260; 1 Field, Speeches, supra note 12, at 481.

65 The peroration of the address was a quotation from Longfellow.

66 See, e.g., Woolsey, , International Arbitration, 1 Int’L Rev. 104 (1874). Of the huge material, the Mancini speech in the Italian Parliament (David Dudley Field in the Galery) may be mentioned. Mancini, , Per Varbitrato internazionale, reprinted in 56 Rivista Di Dirrito Internazionale 474 (1973). The resolution voted by the Italian Chamber on November 24, 1873 is noted in 8 ALB. L. J. 384 (1873).

67 The principal resolution, introduced by Lafayette S. Foster of Connecticut and seconded by Charles A. Peabody of New York, stated that the duty is imposed upon the United States, by its history as well as its political and geographical position, to endeavor by all proper means to promote the reform and codification of the law of nations, with the view of unfolding and defining international rights and duties, and devising, if possible, a peaceful method of settling international difficulties. The text is reported in the Philadelphia newspapers, supra note 2. Another resolution urged formation of local committees in different parts of the country in aid of the general committee. Ibid.

70 See Rolin-Jaequemyns, supr note 29, at 481; cf. Rueger, Gustave Moynier (1826- 1910), in Institut, Evolution supra note 16, at 90.

71 See F. Fretdel, Francis Liebeb 319 (1947); Sallet, supra note 50, at 282.

72 See Nadelmann,Multilateral Conventions, supra note 58, at 108. On Henry Brougham and Vaux (1778–1868), see F. Hawes, Henry Brougham (1957).

73 See Nadelmann supra note 58, at 109; and see Yakemtchouk, supra note 42, at 387.

74 Westlake was “foreign secretary” (in charge of foreign contacts) of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science. His treatise on Private International Law had appeared in 1858. On John Westlake (1828–1913), see 26 Annuatjre 698 (1916) (Holland), id 701 (Albéric Rolin), and contributions by Dicey, Nys, de Lapradelle, and others in Memories of John Westlake (1914).

75 T. M. C. Asser, noted Dutch jurist, Nobel Peace Prize 1911, succeeded in what Mancini had tried too early, launching of the (Hague) Conferences on Private International Law. On Tobias Michael Carel Asser (1838–1913), see Voskuil in Institut, Evolution supra note 16, at 11; Offerhaus, , L’Université d’Amsterdam et le droit international prié in Lus Et Lex Festgabe FüR Max Gutzwuxeh 283, 284 (1959); Scott, 8 AJIL 343 (1914).

76 The history of the Revue is given in Asser, , Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns (1835- 1902), 34 Revue 109, 111 (1902), 19 Annuaire 401, 403 (1902).

77 See Lawrence, , The Institute of International Law, 16 ALB. L. J. 130 (1877). Also memorable is the contribution made on this side of the Atlantic by the Advocate of Peace and the efficient Albany Law Journal, started in 1870. Cf. Pound, , Types of Legal Periodicals, 14 Iowa L. Rev. 257, 264 (1929).

78 See Preface in Association for the Reform and Codification of the Law of Nations, Report of the Fourth Annual Conference Held at Bremen, September 25–28, 1876, at 11.

79 The death is noted in Association, Report of the Tenth Annual Conference Held at Milan, 1883, at 42. Cf. note 8, supra.

80 No mention of the fact is in the “History” given in the bi-annual Proceedings and Committee Reports of the American Branch of the International Law Association.

* The writer is indebted to Leonard E. Klein, Senior Reference Librarian, Harvard Law School, for valuable assistance in locating the domestic materials.


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