Syllabus on International Relations

By Parker Thomas Moon; Institute of International Education (New York, N.Y.) | Go to book overview
International Law. Lawrence, International Law. Garner, International Law and the World War. Or other textbooks and treatises on international law. Further bibliography in works cited.
A. ORIGIN.
1. Earlier codes and theories influential in formation of modern international law.
a. Roman law, especially jus gentium.
b. Medieval commercial codes, feudal law, civil and canon law and theories of natural law.
c. English common law and equity.
2. Rise of international law in 17th century as a response to existing conditions.
a. Need of rules for intercourse of nations as power of papacy and Holy Roman Empire declined.
b. Need of law to abate frequency and savagery of warfare.
c. Need of principles to settle disputed status of multitudinous small and quasi-independent states.
d. Desire of new national states for recognition of their absolute sovereignty as basis of new legal relationships.
3. Importance of early modern treatises, especially Grotius.

B. DEVELOPMENT.
1. By treatises of jurists and theories regarding general principles of law.
2. By usage and common consent.
3. By precedents and judicial decisions, both of national courts and international tribunals.
4. By treaties.

C. CONTENT (a rough general sketch).
1. Rules regarding nature of states in general and their jurisdiction, rights and duties; also regarding special status of a few states such as Belgium, Switzerland, Congo, etc.
2. General rules regarding relations between states in time of peace.
a. Diplomatic representatives and their immunities.
b. Nature and validity of treaties, conventions, protocols, etc.
c. Nature of conferences, commissions, etc.
3. Laws of warfare.
a. Restrictions on methods of warfare.
b. Rights of belligerents.
c. Rights and duties of neutrals.
d. Protection of civilians.
e. Protection of private property on the high seas.
4. Rule of international law that certain questions such as immigration and tariffs, which are fruitful causes of international conflict, are "domestic" questions.
5. Lack of international law for regulation of many international business dealings, monopolies, unfair practices, etc., which cause frequent conflicts.
6. Private international law, concerning relations of private individuals among themselves.

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