« PreviousContinue »
DEFINITION AND GENERAL SCOPE
(a) Philosophical : what ought to be.
(6) Scientific: what is. 2. Divisions.
(6) Private. 3. SCOPE.
§ 1. Definition International law may be considered from two points of view, viz. : - .
(a) From the philosophical point of view, as setting forth the rules and principles which ought to be observed in interstate relations.
(6) From the scientific point of view, as setting forth the rules and principles which are generally observed in interstate relations.
Wheaton, D., 23: “International law, as understood among civilized nations, may be defined as consisting of those rules of conduct which reason deduces, as consonant to justice, from the nature of the society existing among independent nations; with such definitions and modifications as may be established by general consent." See also I. Pradier-Fodéré, pp. 8, 41.
Early writers treated especially of those principles which ought to be observed in interstate action, and the wealth of quotation and testimony introduced to establish the validity of principles now considered almost axiomatic, is overwhelming. In the days of Ayala, Brunus, Gentilis, Grotius, and Pufendorf, all the argument possible was needed to bring states to submit to these principles. The conditions and relations of states have so changed that at the present time a body of fairly established rules and principles are observed in interstate action, and form the subject-matter of international law. 1
§ 2. Divisions International law is usually divided into :
(a) Public international law, which treats of the rules and principles which are generally observed in interstate action, and
(6) Private international law, which treats of the rules and principles which are observed in cases of conflict of jurisdiction in regard to private rights. These cases are not properly international, and a better term for this branch of knowledge is that given by Judge Story, “ The Conflict of Laws." 2
International law, in the true sense, deals only with state affairs.
§ 3. Scope International law is generally observed by civilized states; even some of those states not fully open to
1 Hall, Introductory chapter.
2 Dicey, “ Conflict of Laws,” English, with notes of American cases, by J. B. Moore.