Page:The Green Bag (1889–1914), Volume 25.pdf/104

This page needs to be proofread.


The Editor's Bag designed to supplement rather than to supplant, offers a more satisfactory and a fairer method for the settlement of controversies not solely legal in character but complicated to a greater or less extent by other elements. An international court need not be rendered subject to national bias merely by the presence of representatives of the litigant nations in its personnel. In the North Atlantic Fisheries arbi tration a splendid exhibition of judicial impartiality was furnished by Sir Charles Fitzpatrick and Judge Gray. Under the rules of the Hague conventions, the United States would not secure in a court of five judges more than two na tionals, and would more likely have only one. The same would hold true of Great Britain. The seating of these nationals in the tribunal could hardly be anything but an aid rather than a bar to a fair judgment. Those who speak of the diplomatic character of the court make a some what loose use of language. In the roll of the Permanent Court as now made up there are a large number of diplomats it is true, but those who have served as high officers of state in their respective countries outnumber the diplomats, and statesmen are not as a class so dominated by the habit of compromise as to con fuse justice with expediency. The pro portion of international jurists and municipal court judges is large. It would be easy to select from the panel, statesmen of a disinterested attitude to act as arbitrators, to say nothing of judges and prominent counsel available. The traditional detachment of our bench from politics renders easy the nomina tion of a suitable arbitrator from the ranks of our judiciary, who would have power to deal dispassionately with any political Certainly feature the ofUnited the controversy. States would

93

not be justified in declining arbitration on the ground that not rules of inter national law alone are involved, but the right of a nation to regulate its own domestic affairs as well, and that no tribunal is available for the impartial determination of the controversy in all its aspects. If this nation fears to sub mit its case to the judgment either of statesmen or of international lawyers, to what other sort of tribunal should it be submitted? It must be a very bad case indeed for our country to decline arbitration on such insecure grounds. THE CASE OF ELIZABETH ROB JUST now, when INSON the question of the existence or non-existence of a criminal type is receiving so much attention, lawyers and criminologists will be especially interested in the case of Elizabeth Robinson, who on October 9 pleaded guilty in a London court to a charge of shoplifting and was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment with hard labor. The London Times makes the following statement with reference to the case : — "A wardress from Holloway Prison produced the following record of the woman's sentences: 1854, four months imprisonment; 1854, eight months; 1857, fourteen days; 1858, three months; 1859, six months; 1859, three years penal servitude; 1864, seven years; 1869, ten years; 1882, ten years; 1890, twelve months; 1896, twelve months; 1897, three months; 1898, three months; 1900, four months; 1901, three years; and 1910, twelve months." The defendant received the first of her eighteen sentences when twelve years of age, and, at the time of her latest, she had just attained the three score years and ten allotted unto her by the Psalmist. She is of "the gentler sex."