League of Nations and the Laws of War

Everyone would agree that the renovation of international law presents a problem of commanding importance. Diversity of opinion is manifested, however, as soon as attention is directed to the details of the renovating process. Where to begin, what to emphasize, and how to go about it are questions which provoke a medley of discordant answers. Out of this medley a few paramount issues are beginning to emerge. One such issue concerns the so-called law of war. What shall be done about it? The World War revealed its lack of sanction, its confusion with self-interest, its chaotic uncertainty. Can it really be elevated to the dignity of law? There are excellent jurists who believe that it can and that the result will be worth the effort. Others are skeptical. The following paper is without doubt one of the most illuminating and significant discussions of the subject which has appeared up to the present date. It was first published less than a year ago in the British Year Book of International Law. It has attracted a great deal of attention in Great Britain, and some attention, although not so much as it deserves, in this country. It is reprinted in this issue of THE MICHIGAN LAw Rzvizw, with the generous permission of the Editors of the Year Book, and also of the publishers, Henry Froude and Hodder & Stoughton, in the hope that a real service may be rendered by affording it wider publicity among those whose opinions will weigh heavily in influencing the decisions to be made