War Crimes Law Comes of Age: Essays

By Theodor Meron | Go to book overview

V
Francis Lieber's Code and Principles of Humanity*

Born in Berlin in 1800, Francis Lieber fought against the French in Ligny (close to Waterloo) and was wounded at Namur as a youth of fifteen. Associated with the German liberal movement, Lieber soon encountered difficulties with the Prussian police and went to Greece, where he became involved in the resistance against Turkey. He returned to Berlin in 1823, after a few years in Rome, where he gained the friendship and protection of the Prussian Minister to Rome, the distinguished historian Barthold Georg Niebuhr. As Lieber's difficulties with the authorities continued, he left for London in 1826 and from there went to Boston in 1827. In 1835, he became Professor of History and Political Science at South Carolina College, and, in 1857, was appointed by Columbia College as Professor of History and Political Science. He continued to be associated with Columbia until his death in 1872.1

In 1881, two volumes of Lieber's miscellaneous writings were published by the J. B. Lippincott publishing house of Philadelphia. The first volume contains primarily personal reminiscences, academic discourses,

____________________
*
I acknowledge with thanks the thoughtful help of my research assistant Laurie Rosensweig.
1
See generally Opening Address by Elihu Root at the Seventh Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law ( Apr. 24, 1913), reprinted in 7 AM. J. INT'L L.453 ( 1913) [hereinafter Opening Address by Elihu Root]; George D. Haimbaugh Jr., Introduction to Panel II: Humanitarian Law: The Lincoln-Lieber Initiative, 13 GA. J. INT'L & Comp. L.245 ( 1983); R. R. Baxter , The First Modern Codification of the Law of War -- Francis Lieber and General Orders No. 100, 3 INT'L. REV. RED CROSS171 ( 1963) [hereinafter Baxter I]; R. R. Baxter, The First Modern Codification of the Law of War -- Francis Lieber and General Orders No. 100 (II), 3 INT'L. REV. CROSS 234 ( 1963) [hereinafter Baxter II]; George B. Davis, Doctor Francis Lieber's Instructions for the Government of Armies in the Field, 1 AM. J. INT'L L. 13 ( 1907); Ernest Nys, Francis Lieber's -- His Life and His Work, 5 AM. J. INT'L L.355 ( 1911); Michael Harris Hoffman, The Customary Law of Non- international Armed Conflict: Evidence from the United States Civil War, 30 INT'L. REV. RED CROSS 322 (No. 277, July-August 1990).

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