The Development of International Law after the World War

By Otfried Nippold; Amos S. Hershey | Go to book overview
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THE condition of peace between states is for international law the normal condition. Since it is only in this condition that a real rule of law seems possible between nations, it must therefore also be to the interest of the international legal order that this condition be maintained. The maintenance of the state of peace, the prophylaxis against war, seems from this point of view then as the chief problem of international law. In this the law of international procedure is of the greatest service.1 As in all provinces of law, one can also distinguish in the field of international law between the material and the formal or the law of international procedure, the latter of which has to do with the procedure for the settlement of international disputes.2 It is the purpose of international law not only to set up rules for international intercourse but also to bring to a decision, by way of law, disputes between states. Even in disputes, the field of law is not to be abandoned. This appears as one of the main tasks. Where it does not succeed, there international law also fails; there self- help or war begins. One should keep as long as possible within the province of law. The goal in view is, of course, that it will

In respect to material international law, Triepel, loc. cit., pp. 11 ff., thinks no great prophetic vision was needed to predict that the larger part of international law, the law of peace, would, upon the conclusion of the war, move along in exactly the same channel as before. The coming changes would in no way affect the fundamental ideas that have hitherto been the impelling forces in international law. In spite of all the devastations which the war may have brought on in the economy of the states and in the souls of the people taking part in it, the threads which world trade has spun will not have been so torn that they cannot again be tied together; the necessity for mutual restoration of the separated system of industrial economy will tend to assert itself more strongly than the mutual hatred of peoples. I, too, believe that. This does not, however, detract from the fact that new tendencies will be added which consist mainly in a decided accentuation of the idea of law.
Strupp in his Neue Probleme des Völkerrechts, 1916, p. 2, proposes the term Kriegsverhütungsrecht [law for the prevention of war].


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