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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/91

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INTERNATIONAL LAW AND PEACE CONFERENCE.

the time has come when the system of special temporary courts of arbitration, splendid as their work has been, must give way to a more adequate system—they were indeed but stepping stones to a more permanent organization. Under the old system each power was likely to wait for the other to take the initiative; then came a squabble as to just how much and what part of the difficulty should be submitted to arbitration, then a squabble about judges, then a squabble about procedure, place of trial, and so on—all was unpreparedness, uncertainty, and meantime angry passions had full play.

In the preparation for war the modern state lays no end of force on the necessity for a rapid and systematic mobilization. The weak point, however, in preparing for a judicial contest hitherto has been the absence of any system by which to "mobilize judges and counsel" and get the legal forces out into the field. To attain this end the scheme presented by Lord Pauncefote and unanimously adopted by the conference will be found to be a most striking example of the happy adaptation of a means to an end where the way seemed blocked by infinite difficulties. It consists of a few simple provisions for the establishment of an International Bureau of Arbitration with an Administrative Council, and this, with the addition of various other features drawn from the United States, Russia, France, and Italy, with some others, constitutes the composite plan embodied in the Final Act. In brief outline it is as follows:

Permanent Court of Arbitration.—The diplomatic representatives of the signatory powers accredited to The Hague, including the Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs as president,[1] are to constitute an administrative council. This council shall organize and establish an International Bureau of Arbitration, of which it shall retain the direction and control, pursuant to the provisions of the conference. This bureau shall serve as the office of the court, and contain the archives, and the routine business shall be conducted therein. The signatory powers will each appoint four persons, who shall be men of recognized ability in international law and of high character, and the whole number of persons so appointed shall form a list or panel of members of the court, or the international bench. In case of a difficulty arising between two or more powers which they desire to submit to arbitration, they agree to notify the bureau, and the bureau will ask them to choose a certain number of judges from the panel, and these shall constitute the special bench.[2] An agreement is then to be drawn


  1. The amendment to Lord Pauncefote's plan, by which the Dutch Foreign Minister was made the president, is due to Mr. White, President of the American Commission.
  2. In case states, between whom a dispute may arise, do not cf their own accord have recourse to the tribunal, Section 21 permits the powers to remind such states that the Per-