Extraterritoriality: Its Rise and Its Decline

Extraterritoriality: Its Rise and Its Decline

Extraterritoriality: Its Rise and Its Decline

Extraterritoriality: Its Rise and Its Decline

Excerpt

The present thesis is not an exhaustive treatise on the vastly complicated subject of extraterritoriality. It does not pretend to deal with the legal intricacies of this peculiar institution, on which numerous works of unsurpassable value and insight are in existence. All it attempts to do is to present briefly the historical development of the system of consular jurisdiction as a whole, to show how it arose, how it later grew in importance, and how finally it has in recent years declined. It is the author's firm conviction that most aspects of international law have or ought to have their raison d'être somewhere in the cumulative experience of centuries gone by, and his belief seems to be borne out by the history of extraterritoriality. Though the latter is an institution essentially incompatible with modern conceptions of territorial sovereignty, on which the science of international law is founded, the story of its rise and decline will nevertheless serve to demonstrate the continuity of legal development.

In making this study, the attitude adopted by the author is one of impartial investigation. His sole obligation is to bring to the light of day all the salient facts connected with the rise and decline of extraterritoriality, and to draw such conclusions as the facts warrant. He advocates nothing, and suggests nothing. He presents no practical solution of the as yet unsettled problems arising out of the existence of extraterritoriality, but he has sought to furnish the background of historical fact, which is the first condition to a philosophical as well as a practical approach to these problems.

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