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Inserting Visions of Justice into a Contemporary History of International Law

  • Shirley V. SCOTT (a1)

Abstract

The history of international law is often told in terms of the rise and fall of great powers or as a mechanism of colonial subjugation. To the extent that these accounts consider justice, it is usually to demonstrate its absence. This paper points out that justice has been integral to the evolution of international law in the era of the United States. Individuals and members of civil society in the US and Europe have influenced systemic developments in international law through their efforts to realize a vision of justice in interstate relations, their vision being of a body of international law and a world court which together obviate the need for war. To suggest the possibility of an historical narrative constructed around justice is not to deny the validity of other histories focused on inequitable relations of power, but to point to the scope for nuance in the frameworks within which we portray international law and its history.

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Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales. A previous version of this paper was presented in the opening plenary of the First Joint Conference of the Asian Society of International Law and Australian & New Zealand Society of International Law, held at the University of New South Wales on 25 and 26 October 2012.

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1. WOOLSEY, Theodore Dwight, Introduction to the Study of International Law Designed as an Aid in Teaching and in Historical Studies, 6th ed. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901) at 2 (emphasis in original).

2. ANGHIE, Antony, Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

3. Richard FALKet al., “Introduction” in Falk et al., eds., International Law and the Third World. Reshaping Justice (London: Routledge-Cavendish, 2008), 17 at 5.

4. See, inter alia, BYERS, Michael and NOLTE, Georgeds., United States Hegemony and the Foundations of International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003);

KOSKENNIEMI, Martti, “International Law and Hegemony: A Reconfiguration” (2004) 17 Cambridge Review of International Affairs 197;

VAGTS, Detlev F., “Hegemonic International Law” (2001) 95 American Journal of International Law 843;

Wilhelm Georg GREWE, trans. Michael BYERS, The Epochs of International Law (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2000).

5. SCOTT, Shirley V., “Is There Room for International Law in Realpolitik? Accounting for the US ‘Attitude’ Towards International Law” (2004) 30 Review of International Studies 71.

6. SCHACHTER, Oscar, “The Invisible College of International Lawyers” (1977) 72 Northwestern University School of Law Review 217.

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8. PHELPS, Christina, The Anglo-American Peace Movement in the mid-Nineteenth Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 1930) at 36.

9. Whitney, supra note 7 at 21.

10. Ibid., at 53.

11. LADD, William, “Advertisement” in An Essay on a Congress of Nations for the Adjustment of International Disputes Without Resort to Arms, Together with a Sixth Essay Comprising the Substance of the Rejected Essays (Boston: Whipple and Damrell, 1840).

12. Ibid., at iii.

13. Ibid., at 11.

14. Ibid., at 8.

15. James Brown Scott, cited in “Permanent Court of International Justice, a Fact” (1921) 83 Advocate of Peace, 323−4 at 323.

16. Phelps, supra note 8 at 105.

17. Ladd, supra note 10 at 16.

18. Ibid., at 45.

19. Phelps, supra note 8 at 103. See also

HEMLEBEN, Sylvester John, Plans for World Peace Through Six Centuries (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1943).

20. Phelps, supra note 8 at 104.

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24. Ibid., at 21.

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27. Ibid., at 204.

28. BEALES, Arthur C.F., The History of Peace: A Short Account of the Organized Movements for International Peace (London: G. Bell & Sons, 1931) at 239.

29. CORY, Helen May, Compulsory Arbitration of International Disputes (New York: Columbia University Press, 1972) at 12, ftn 2.

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31. Address by Senator Elihu Root at the first national meeting of the Society for the Judicial Settlement of International Disputes, Washington, DC, 15 December 1910. Reprinted in (1911) 73 Advocate of Peace 81−3.

32. Dennis, supra note 30 at 494.

33. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Instructions to American Delegates to the Hague Peace Conferences and Their Official Reports (New York: Oxford University Press, 1916) 7980 at 79.

34. FINCH, George A., “James Brown Scott, 1866−1943” (1944) 38 American Journal of International Law 183217 at 183.

35. Ibid., at 200.

36. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, supra note 33.

37. “Final Act and Conventions of The Hague Peace Conference, 18 October 1907, Annex to the First Recommendation Uttered by the Second Peace Conference, Draft of a Convention Relation to the Institution of a Court of Arbitral Justice”, reprinted in [Supp. 1908] 2 American Journal of International Law 29−43.

38. Finch, supra note 34 at 200.

39. Editorial comment, “The American Society for the Judicial Settlement of International Disputes” (1910) 4 American Journal of International Law 930932 at 932.

40. Ibid., at 931.

41. Editorial comment, supra note 39 at 930.

42. “Permanent Court of International Justice, a Fact” (1921) 83 Advocate of Peace, 323 at 323.

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45. “The Outlawry of War” (1928) 18 The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs 455 at 461.

46. Ibid., at 464.

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48. “President Coolidge's Annual Message to Congress, 3 December 1924. Extracts Concerning Foreign Affairs” (1925) 19 American Journal of International Law 167 at 169.

49. “Briand Sends Message to America on Anniversary of Entering the War” New York Times (6 April 1927) at 5.

50. General Treaty for the Renunciation of War (Kellogg-Briand Pact), 27 August 1928, 94 L.N.T.S. 57, (entered into force 24 July 1929).

51. SCOTT, Shirley V., International Law, US Power. The United States’ Quest for Legal Security (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012) at 111.

52. “Identic Notes of the US Government to the Governments of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, the Irish Free State, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, 23 June 1928” reprinted in [Supp. 1928] 22 American Journal of International Law at 109.

53. Harle, supra note 44 at 684.

54. Ibid., at 683.

55. For a table comparing the plan made for a Congress of Nations in 1840 and the constitution of the League of Nations as finalized in 1919, see Appendix 1 of Phelps, supra note 8 at 193−206.

56. LACINA, Bethany and GLEDITSCH, Nils Petter, “The Waning of War is Real: A Response to Gohdes and Price” (2013) 57 Journal of Conflict Resolution 11091127.

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59. Ibid., at 264.

60. Louis B. SOHN, “Voting Procedure in International Conferences for the Codification of International Law, 1864−1930” in Gabriel WILNER, ed., Jus et Societas. Essays in Tribute to Wolfgang Friedmann (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1979), 278296 at 279.

61. Ibid., at 281.

62. During the era of the League of Nations, unanimity remained most common, although the rules of procedure for the 1930 Conference for the Codification of International Law provided that Conventions be adopted by majority vote. SABEL, Robbie, Procedure at International Conferences. A Study of the Rules of Procedure at the UN and at Inter-Governmental Conferences, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006) at 313.

63. SOHN, Louis B., “Voting Procedures in United Nations Conferences for the Codification of International Law” (1975) 69 American Journal of International Law 310353 at 332.

64. Report of the Commission to the General Assembly, UN Doc. A/6309/Rev. 1 (1967) 61 American Journal of International Law 253 at 408−9.

65. MALAWAR, Stuart S., “A New Concept of Consent and World Public Order: ‘Coerced Treaties’ and the Convention on the Law of Treaties” (1970−71) 4 Vanderbilt Journal of International Law 143 at 28.

66. S. AGRAWALA “Introduction” in (1972) Essays on the Law of Treaties, at xxxiii, cited in

MALAWER, Stuart S., Imposed Treaties and International Law (Buffalo, NY: Hein, 1977) at 129 ftn 852.

67. SINCLAIR, I.M., The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1973) at 98.

68. Ibid., at 99.

69. “Convention on the Law of Treaties” (adopted 22 May 1969; opened for signature 23 May 1969), (1969) 8 International Legal Materials at 733−4.

70. SZASZ, Paul C., “Improving the International Legislative Process” (1979) 9 Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law 519 at 529. On consensus voting in the WTO, see

TIJMES-LHL, Jaime, “Consensus and Majority Voting in the WTO” (2009) 8 World Trade Review 417.

71. FENWICK, Charles G., “Notes on International Affairs: The Meeting of the Assembly of the League of Nations” (1921) 15 American Political Science Review 94 at 96.

72. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (New York, 9 May 1992; entered into force 21 March 1994).

73. Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Kyoto, 11 December 1997; entered into force 16 February 2005).

74. BRILMAYER, Lea, “International Justice and International Law” (1996) Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 2441, online: 〈http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/fss_papers/2441〉.

75. FRANCK, Thomas M., “Is Justice Relevant to the International Legal System?” (1989) 64 Notre Dame Law Review 945 at 945.

* Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales. A previous version of this paper was presented in the opening plenary of the First Joint Conference of the Asian Society of International Law and Australian & New Zealand Society of International Law, held at the University of New South Wales on 25 and 26 October 2012.

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