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INTERCOURSE OF NATIONS
and their dissent and protest against treaties. 7. Interpretation of treaties. 8. Termination of the validity of treaties.
Intercourse of Nations in their Individual Capacity.
The intercourse of the individuals composing different nations, is in modern times chiefly for the purposes of commerce, or for the exchange of superfluous or abundant commodities, either by a direct exchange of such commodities, the value of which is set off against each other, by bills of exchange, or through an intrinsically valuable or metallic medium. But such intercourse. also takes place, with a view to health, comfort, information, amusement and otherwise, with no reference to profit, from the exchange of commodities. And the latter, namely the intercourse of the individual persons composing different independent nations, simply as such, we shall first notice.
Intercourse of Individuals of different Nations, simply
The exclusive rights of dominion and property, over, and to its own territory, would authorize the denial of entry, or passage to all foreigners, either by land or
IN THEIR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY.
sea. But, with respect to their European possessions, all the powers now generally accord to each other, in time of peace, the liberty of entry, passage and resi. dence, as well by land as by sea, and upon most rivers ; subject of course to such conditions and regulations, as the security and internal tranquillity of the state may require. When once admitted into the territory of the state, and while resident there, a foreigner enjoys the protection of the law and of the government, in all the different departments of its administration. In return, he owes them obedience; and the following are the principal subjects to be discussed under this head :-1. Subjection of resident foreigners to the legislative and judicial powers of the state in matters of civil right, and also in matters of preventive police. 2. Criminal jurisdiction over resident foreigners ; right and obligation to punish ; no right to claim surrender of alleged criminals, except by express treaty; no criminal jurisdiction over foreign territory.
In the intercourse too, of different nations, in their amicable relations, expediency leads, ex comitate gentium, as it is called, to the recognition by the judicial tribunals of one state, of the laws of other foreign states, when the parties interested therein, resided abroad, or acted and transacted, or had their property situated in the territories of these foreign states, or under the laws of these states; as in the laws of marriage, family, and kindred, succession, testate or intestate, contracts, insolvency and bankruptcy of debtors, and ranking of creditors, in cases where there is a conflictus legum. And it has been usual to treat under this head, as a branch of interna
tional law, the effect thus given to the internal law of a nation, in foreign countries, and the effect given in one country to the sentences pronounced by the judicial tribunals of a foreign nation in matters of civil right, as discussed in the valuable works, De Conflictu Legum ; such as those of Hertius, Rodenburgh, Boullenois, Story, and Burge. But, upon investigation, it will, perhaps, be found, that the doctrines just alluded to, do not form a part of international law, strictly and properly so called. For they do not necessarily involve questions between the members of separate independent states, as such, but may arise, and frequently do occur, between members of the same nation, as well as of different nations. The questions treated in the works on the conflict of laws, no doubt originate in the differences in the laws of different nations. But they are raised chiefly by events taking place, and transactions being concluded in one country (such as decease intestate, and ordinary contracts), when the rights and obligations thence arising, must, in the circumstances, be enforced in another country; and such questions thus appear, rather to belong to the internal jurisprudence of nations, whose courts of justice can alone determine, what effect is to be given, within their jurisdiction, to the laws and judgments of the tribunals of other independent nations. The rules, indeed, which are gradually adopted by different nations, for the decision of such cases, are, from the similarity of circumstances, similar and common to a number of nations, and, like the law of maritime commerce, have thus come to be viewed, as a branch of international law, when, in
IN THEIR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY.
reality, they form a branch of the internal jurisprudence of a state; but, being of a general nature, and originating in similar circumstances, are adopted and established, in common, by almost all civilized nations.
Intercourse of Nations in their Individual Capacity,
for the Purposes of Commerce.
But the chief source of the intercourse of nations in their individual capacity, is the exchange of commodities, of natural or artificial production. The territory of one state very rarely produces all that is requisite for the supply of the wants, for the use and enjoyment of its inhabitants. To a certain extent, one state generally abounds in what others want. A mutual exchange of superfluous commodities is thus reciprocally advantageous for both nations. And, as it is a moral duty in individuals to promote the welfare of their neighbour, it appears to be also the moral duty of a nation, not to refuse commerce with other nations, when that commerce is not hurtful to itself. But it belongs to each nation, in this matter, to judge for itself; and except the case of extreme necessity before noticed, a nation is not legally bound to sell its superfluities to any other nation, and still less to purchase from it, or exchange with it, the productions either of nature, or of art.
For we cannot agree, with M. Lampredi in his Jur. Univ. Theorem. p. III. Cap. IV.$ 9, that “jus ad commercia in genere est perfectum; jus ad commercia in specie imperfectum.” And this highly respectable author, has been led to this erroneous conclusion, by confounding a supposed right to carry on commerce with a foreign country, whether it will or not, with the right to carry on commerce with a foreign country, if it chooses, and of not being prevented from doing so, by any other foreign state; in which alone, the liberty of commerce consists. There is no legal right, in any state, to compel another state to admit its inhabitants, or to receive its commodities, and give others in exchange, however great the inducements to maintain such an intercourse and traffic. But so great are the advantages, and so strong the inducements, that such intercourse with persons, and such exchange of commodities have taken place, and are likely to continue to take place, almost universally among nations. And whenever such an intercourse and exchange are permitted, there can be no doubt, of the legal obligation of the nation so permitting, to observe those rules of justice, reciprocity, and general expediency, which appear to be the foundation of the private civil internal law of states, or individual jurisprudence. The foreigners thus admitted are, of course, not entitled to the rights of citizens, nor to any general political or municipal privileges; they are aliens, unless naturalized in the manner prescribed by the internal law of the particular state. But, even as aliens, they are entitled to the ordinary protection of person and property, afforded by the government to its own subjects, viewed merely in their relation to each other, as individuals. In the