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INTERNATIONAL LAW

bearing a still closer resemblance to an international social science association for discussing and furthering the rights of labour. The occasion of its formation was the visit of some French workmen to the London Exhibition of 1862. In the course of their visit the labour question was discussed, and a desire for the further interchange of ideas expressed. Nothing decisive was done till 1864, when a great public meeting of working men of all nations was held at St Martin's Hall, London, and a provisional committee was appointed to draft the constitution of the new association.

The first four Congresses of the International, held at Geneva (September 1866), Lausanne (1867), Brussels (1868), and Basel (1869), marked the rapid development of the association. It gained its first triumph in the effectual support of the bronze workers at Paris during their lock-out in 1867; and it repeatedly aided the English unionists by preventing the importation of cheap labour from the continent. It soon spread as far east as Poland and Hungary, and it had affiliated societies with journals devoted to its cause in every country of western Europe.

It was supposed to be concerned in all the revolutionary movements and agitations of Europe, gaining notoriety as the rallying point of social overthrow and ruin. Its prestige, however, was always based more on the vast possibilities of the cause it represented than on its actual power. Its organization was loose, its financial resources insignificant; the continental unionists joined it more in the hope of borrowing than of contributing support. At the successive congresses its socialistic tendencies became more and more pronounced; it declared its opposition to private property not only in railways but in mines and the soil, holding that these should revert to the community. Even the principle of inheritance was saved only by a narrow majority. In 1869 M. Bakunin, the Russian socialist or nihilist, with his party joined the association, and at once asserted his character as the “ apostle of universal destruction.” The relation of the association to the communal rising at Paris in the spring of 1871 has been the subject of much dispute. It is now agreed that the International as such had no part either in originating or conducting it; some of its French members joined it, but only on their individual responsibility. Its complicity after the event is equally clear. After the fall of the commune the general council of London, Karl Marx included, issued a long and trenchant manifesto, approving its action and extolling the “glorious vanquished.” From this point the decline and fall of the association is to be dated. The English unionists, intent on more practical concerns at home, never took a deep interest in its proceedings; the German socialists were hindered by law from corporate action; America was too remote. But it found its worst enemies amongst its own friends; the views of Marx and his school were too moderate for the universally subversive principles of M. Bakunin and the radical Swiss federation of the Jura. It came to a rupture at the congress of 1872, held at the Hague, when Bakunin, being outvoted and “ excommunicated ” by the Marx party, formed a rival International, which found its chief support in Spain and Italy. Wearied of its European contentions and desirous to form a basis of operation in America, the Marx International now transferred the seat of its general council to New York; but it survived just long enough to hold another congress at Geneva in 1874, and then quietly expired.

The party of destruction styling themselves “ autonomists ” had a bloodier history. The programme of this party was to overturn all existing institutions, with the view to reconstructing them on some vague communal basis such as had been tried at Paris in 1871. It endeavoured to realize this in the great communal risings in southern Spain in 1873, when its adherents set up their peculiar form of government at Barcelona, Seville, Cadiz and Cartagena-at the last-mentioned place also seizing part of the ironclad fleet of Spain. As at Paris, they failed in leadership and organization, and were suppressed, though not without difficulty, by the national troops. The “ autonomists ” lingered on till 1879. The collapse was complete of an association which once extended from Hungary to San Francisco, and alarmed the minds of men with visions of universal ruin. See Villetard, Histoire de l'Internationale (Paris, 1871); Testut, L'Internationale (Paris, 1871); Onslow Yorke, Secret History of the International (London, 1871); ]. Rae, Contemporary Socialism; also the articles MARX and SOCIALISM.


INTERNATIONAL LAW, the general term' for the law governing the relations and intercourse of states with one another. The parties in its application are states (see STATE) and not nations, so that the word “ international ” does not accurately limit the scope of the subject. Nor do authors always confine themselves to its proper limitation. Thus the rules relating to nationality and naturalization, extradition, patents, trade marks, &c., which affect states on the one side and foreign persons on the other, are generally included among the subject matter of International Law. There is a special branch of International Law known as Private International Law (see INTERNATIONAL LAW, PRIVATE) which deals exclusively with the relations of persons belonging to different states, in which states as such are not parties.

The term “ international” was first used by Bentham. His explanation of the new term was as follows:-

“ The word international, it must be acknowledged, is a new one; though, it is hoped, sufficiently analogous and intelligible. It is calculated to express, in a more significant way, the branch of law which goes commonly under the name of “law of nations, ” an appellation so uncharacteristic that, were it not for the force of custom, it would seem rather to refer to internal jurisprudence. The chancellor d'Aguesseau has already made, I find, a similar remark; he says that what is commonly called droit des gens ought rather to be termed droit entre les gens. There remain then the mutual transactions between sovereigns as such, for the subject of that branch of jurisprudence which may be properly and exclusively termed international.” ',

There has been much controversy as to the aptness of the use of the word “law ” in this connexion. “International law, ” said the 3rd marquess of Salisbury in a speech on the establishment of a Court of International Arbitration, “ has no existence in the sense in which the term 'law ' is usually understood. It depends generally upon the prejudices of writers of text-books. It can be enforced by no tribunal, and therefore to apply to it the phrase ' law ' is to some extent misleading.” 2 This has been more or less the view not only of most British statesmen but also of many practical English jurists. It found one of its most emphatic exponents in Lord Chief- justice Coleridge. “ Strictly speaking, ” he observed in his judgment on the Franconia case,3 “ international law is an inexact expression, and it is apt to mislead, if its inexactness is not kept in mind. Law implies a lawgiver and a tribunal capable of enforcing it and coercing its transgressors, but there is no common lawgiver to sovereign states, and no tribunal has the power to bind them by decrees or coerce them if they transgress. The law of nations is that collection of usages which civilized states have agreed to observe in their dealings with one another. What these usages are, whether a particular one has or has not been agreed to, must be matter of evidence. Treaties and acts of states are but evidence of the agreement of nations, and do not, in England at least, per se bind the tribunals. Neither certainly does a consensus of jurists, but it is evidence of the agreement of nations on international points, and on such points, when they arise, the English courts give effect as part of English law to such agreement.” In opposition to this view may be cited the more recent one expressed by Lord Russell of Killowen, who challenged Lord Coleridge's view as “based on too narrow a definition of law, a definition which relies too much on force as the governing idea.” “ If, ” he added, “the development of law is historically considered it will be found to exclude that body of customary law which in early stages of society precedes law. As government becomes more frankly democratic, laws bear less and less the character of commands imposed by a coercive authority, and acquire more and more the character of customary law founded

V1 Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (Clarendon Press edition of 1879).

2 The Times, July 26, 1887. 3 R. v. Keyn, 2, Ex.D. 63.