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PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW
T. J. LAWRENCE, M.A., LL.M.,
DEPUTY WHEWELL PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL LAW IN THE UNIVERSITY
OF CAMBRIDGE; LECTURER ON INTERNATIONAL LAW AT THE ROYAL NAVAL
QUESTIONS IN MODERN INTERNATIONAL LAW.”
SECOND EDITION. .
This little book owes its origin to the exigencies of tuition. As a teacher of International Law at Cambridge, I found that my pupils were almost unanimous in testifying to the benefits they derived from the syllabus of my lectures which it was my custom to print and distribute among them at the commencement of every course.
The kindness with which these outlines were received has encouraged me to revise them carefully, and publish them as a. connected whole, with many alterations and additions. I trust that in their present form they will be useful to students, especially those who are compelled to read the subject at a distance from the great centres of legal education, and without the assistance of oral instruction; and I am not without hope that teachers will find them helpful in the preparation of their lectures and discourses. I do not for one moment wish to suggest that the book can be used as a sub
stitute for the comprehensive treatises on International Law with which the last half-century has enriched our legal literature. It is rather intended as a guide to them. Their chief defect is to be found in their arrangement. And in order to help the student to overcome any difficulties he may have experienced on this score, I have endeavoured to deal with the subject in a systematic manner, giving clear and definite divisions based on intelligible principles, and shewing throughout a correlation of parts, which may help to a proper understanding of the whole. The book is in no sense an analysis of any larger work; but it claims to be an analysis of Public International Law. Little that is new will be found in it. Indeed no worse condemnation could be written of a treatise on existing international relations than that it was full of rules which had never seen the light before. But I trust that some modifications of generally received doctrines, and some restatements of historical and legal propositions, will find favour with those competent to judge, as being fair inferences from the events of the present century, and fair applications of the results of recent research. International Law is fortunately a living thing; and it behoves even the humblest of its expositors to watch its growth, and set forth its changes and developments. But on the other hand there is danger lest new rules should be laid down, or old ones modified, before there is sufficient evidence of a permanent alteration in the practice of states. I trust I have nowhere laid myself open to the charge of mistaking the puff of a passing breeze for the steady current of international opinion. When old rules no longer receive the deference they once commanded, and no new rules have as yet met with general acceptance, 1 have not hesitated to say that the law is doubtful, though I have generally indicated the direction which it seems to me that change is taking. The uncertainty of International Law is often greatly exaggerated; but nothing is gained by attempting to represent it as more fixed and settled than in some of its chapters it really is.
With a view to the convenience of students I have added at the end of every chapter a few questions on the subject matter, and a few directions as to reading. In the latter I have referred only to English books, and among them chiefly to such wellknown text-books as can be easily purchased, or consulted in any good law library. It is not, of course, supposed that an ordinary reader will look up all the references given. He will probably possess either Mr Hall's excellent International Law, or the scarcely less useful edition of Wheaton's Elements of International Law edited by Mr A. C. Boyd. These are referred to throughout at the commencement of