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which became necessary in the hearing of a cause, for by general order 16 they declare that, if the Commissioners at any stage of the proceedings think fit to direct inquiries to be made under section 25 of this Act, or under section 3 of the Railway and Canal Traffic Act, 1854, they shall give notice thereof to the parties to the application, and may stay proceedings or any part of the proceedings thereon until further notice from the Commissioners.
Such, then, are the principal provisions of the Regulation of Railways Act, 1873, and such is the way in which the Commissioners mean to exercise their powers under that Act. Some of the provisions are, as we have pointed out, admirable-as in cases under section 13.
The Act is likely to be very beneficial, but as a whole, we cannot but think that it may prove very futile like all the previous railway legislation which was intended to check railway monopoly, foster canal competition, preserve the present independence of sea traffic, and in those ways benefit the public. If that is the result we shall ascribe it to the fact that the Railway Commissioners have regarded their whole duties as judicial instead of regarding them as in a very important way inspectorial. If that is not the result we shall ascribe it to the fact that the principle for which we have contended in this essay is embodied in the 13th section of the Act.
New Queen's Counsel.—The following have been appointed as Her Majesty's Counsel : England-Mr. Charles Clark, Editor of the House of Lords Reports; Mr. Arthur Cohen, Mr. Murphy, and Mr. S. Joyce, of the Home Circuit; Mr. Waddy, of the Midland Circuit; and Mr. R. G. Williams, and Mr. Charles H. Hopwood, of the Northern Circuit ; and Mr. T. E. Winslow, Mr. T. Waller, Mr. W. R. G. Bagshawe, Mr. W. Pearson, Mr. John Westlake, Mr. Joseph Chitty, and Mr. A. G. Marten, of the Equity Bar. Ireland : Mr. Robert Ferguson, Chairman of the Quarter Sessions, County Cork; Mr. J. Chute Negligan, Chairman of Quarter Sessions, County Leitrim; Mr. Edward F. Litton and Mr. Thomas E. Webb, Professor of Laws in the University of Dublin.
III.-ON AN INTERNATIONAL CODE.*
By David Dudley Field.
SEVEN years ago, at the meeting of this Association, held
at Manchester, it was my good fortune to propose the appointment of a committee to prepare the outlines of an International code. The proposition was received with favor, and a committee was appointed, composed of jurists from different countries. In the distribution of the labour of preparing the outlines, a portion was assigned to me, it being understood that the different members of the committee should first interchange what they had respectively prepared, and then meet for a general revision. This, however, was found to be difficult. The members lived at too great distances from each other for an easy interchange. Under this embarrassment, I thought it more convenient for the other members of the committee, as well as for myself, to undertake a draft of the whole work, hoping that the others would take the same course. The work thus undertaken by me has been completed after several years of labour; and I come now to lay it before my colleagues, and with their permission before the Association itself.
It should seem proper, therefore, for me to give you a brief account of the scope and contents of the work to which I thus venture to invite your attention. The importance of the subject no reflecting person can doubt. One has but to open his eyes upon what is passing before him to perceive the necessity and extent of public law. Whether he remains at home or goes abroad, whether he travels by sea or by land, this law is ever present with him. Let us suppose to be at sea. Let us take, for example, the great ship, the City of
* This is an Address by Mr. Dudley Field on an International Code of Law delivered at the late Social Science Congress held at Norwich.
Chester, in which the other day I crossed hither from the farther side of the Western Ocean. As this vast fabric of wood and iron, cordage and canvass, with its outspread wings and its heart of fire, swept on its triumphant way, scarcely swerving to the right or to the left, for aught that wind or storm could do, I thought what an illustration it afforded of that public law which was at once the governor and guardian of the whole company, five hundred souls in all, gathered within these iron walls, how happened to come.
The ship was English, with an English crew. The passengers were members of various nationalities–English, American, German, French, Italian, and I know not how many more. The freight was destined to different ports of Europe. Observe, now, in what manner and by what standard the rights and duties of this mixed company of passengers, of master and mariners, and of the owners of ship and cargo, were to be measured and judged. To avoid collisions with other ships, precautions had to be taken by the display of lights at night, by signals in thick weather, and by steering a particular course when other ships appeared in sight, in conformity with the rules of navigation now adopted by maritime nations. On meeting other vessels we conversed with them in that common language of sea signals, which the mariners of every nation should learn. collision had occurred, the wrong doer and the amount of wrong done, would have been adjudged by the first Court of Admiralty to which the case should, according to the general rules of maritime law, belong. Had another ship, sailing in the same sea, fallen into peril and been rescued by us, salvage would have been awarded by the same Court and according to the same law. Had the vast and complex machinery by which we were impelled broken down, and, in a disabled condition, we had been driven on the French coast, we should have fallen under the jurisdiction of the French courts, where our rights would have been adjudged, not so much according to French law as according to that law which is common both to France and England, to America, and to all the world--the
law of nations. If, to escape a sea peril, a portion of the cargo had been thrown overboard, the loss arising from the jotsom should have been apportioned according to a rule of average common to all civilized nations, though, unfortunately, a common rule has not yet been agreed upon. Besides these questions, how many others might arise ? Suppose a contract or a testament to be made during the voyage, by what law should it be interpreted, or its validity determined ? Suppose a contract between an Englishman and an Italian, and the same to be brought before a French court ; or suppose a testament to be made by a German, according to the form used in Germany, and to be brought before an English court, where are the rules to be found by which the questions should be decided ? We might imagine other questions, and many of them, in respect of collision, jotsom, wreck, salvage, or personal violence, and ask ourselves how those questions would be solved by the Courts of England, of France, or Belgium or Holland, and we should see more clearly the importance of that law, which is not confined to one country or race, but is or should be common to all countries and all races.
From these illustrations in reference to a single vessel, out of thousands on the seas, it is easy to perceive how vast is the extent and how varied are the details of public law which is designated variously as international law or the law of nations. In the outlines of that science which I have attempted will be found a scheme of classification, and an arrangement of subjects, not perhaps the best that can be made, but the best that I could make. The work is divided into two books; one relating to peace, the other to war; or, to speak more accurately, the first treats of the relations of nations and of their members towards each other, except as they are modified by a state of war; the second treats of the modifications of those relations produced by a state of war. The first book is further subdivided into two portions, one containing the rules respecting the relations of nations to each other and to the members of other nations; the second
respecting the relations of the members of each nation to the members of other nations; the first being that which is commonly known as public international law; the second, that which is known as private international law. Bearing these divisions in mind, let us glance at some of the more important provisions which they contain. Besides the regulations which are usually discussed in works on international law, there are many others which, though often mentioned in treaties, do not usually find a place in general treatises. Thus, after considering the essential rights of nations, such as their sovereignty, equality, perpetuity, territory, property, and treating of their extra-territorial action in respect of navigation, discovery, exploration, and colonizations, of fisheries and piracy, of the intercourse of nations with each other by means of accredited agents, of international compacts, of asylum and extradition, of national character and jurisdiction, of domicile and of the reciprocal duties of nations to foreigners, and of foreigners to the nation where they live, in respect of residence, occupation, religion, obedience to the laws, taxation, civil and military service, other provisions for mutual convenience are inserted to the subjects of which I attach much importance. These relate to shipping, imposts, quarantine, railways, telegraphs, postal service, patents, trade marks, copyrights, money, weights, and measures, longitude and time and sea signals.
In respect to copyright, patent-right, and trademarks, I would assert the right of the author, inventor, or first designer, as one to be held sacred and maintained in all countries. Longitude I would compute everywhere, as do the English, from Greenwich, instead of taking it for the maps of one country from Paris, and for those of another from Washington. For weights and measures I would adopt the Metric system of the French; and, as to money, I would have a uniform coinage of certain pieces of gold, which should pass current in every country, and thus save travellers and traders from the loss and embarassment to which they are now subject.