Page images

right on their side, and Ludlow Cotter, of Rockforest, eldest son of Sir James Lawrence Cotter, 4th Baronet, was, on attaining twenty-one years of age, presented by his father to Her Majesty, and was thereupon duly Knighted in accordance with the Letters Patent of the Baronetcy and agreeably to precedent. The right was therefore publicly recognised by the highest authority in the realm, and the position taken up by the Order in 1842 amply justified.

The Committee of Baronets, which has just been revived on the model of that of 1842, is both desirable and useful. The hasty manner in which of late years the chivalrous dignity has been bestowed on the first-found plutocratic grocer, or brewer, is a serious wrong to the older Baronetsmen of position and weight in the Social scale. Again, the attempts made by divers Statutes to interpose new Judicial officers between the Baronial rank of the Peerage and the Baronets, to the disadvantage of the latter, should be stoutly resisted. The Letters Patent of Baronets limit the persons who shall intervene between these two ranks ; but an attack was made on this prerogative by the Statutes 53 Geo. III., C. 24, S. 4, and 5 Vict., c. 5, s. 25, which let in the Vice-Chancellors of the Court of Chancery to rank before Baronets.

These Statutes have, however, been repealed. Another not uninteresting question concerning the precedence of Baronets will doubtless occur some day. By the terms of the Letters Patent constituting the older Baronets of England and Great Britain, it is directed that the following Judges shall take precedence of the Order, viz., the Chief Justice of the King's Bench, the Master of the Rolls, the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, the Chief Baron of the Exchequer, “and all and singular the Judges and Justices of either Bench and the Barons of the Exchequer, of the Degree of the Coif, for the time being.” Of the Degree of the Coif signifies one who has been created a Serjeant; the Degree of Serjeant, when joined to the Judicial appointment, being deemed to be entitled by virtue of its high honour to rank above the Order of Baronets, but only, be it observed, when those two honourable distinctions are united. The Judge of the Court of Admiralty, for instance, altlıough a judge of a superior court, had not the Coif, and therefore always ranked after, and not before, Baronets.

In 1873, on the passing of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, it was enacted (Sect. 8) that no person appointed a Judge of the High Court of Justice, or of the Court of Appeal, should thenceforth be required to take or to have taken the Degree of Serjeant-at-Law. The result of this new law is well known. No Judge has since it has been passed applied for the Coif, and the ancient Order of Serjeants has practically ceased to exist. For all purposes of common law and equity, for all purposes of procedure and practice, a Judge without the Coif is as good a Judge as one with the Coif. It is for social purpose that a difference exists : and umbrage might properly be taken by a Baronet if not accorded his due precedence before those Judges who are not of the Coif, on State occasions, or in the presence of the Sovereign. The present Lord Chief Justice of England has not the Coif, but independently of that he takes precedence as a Peer, so his case is not in point. But Mr. Justice Hawkins is not a peer, nor has he the Coif, and the same is the case with the other Judges of the Queen’s Bench Division, viz., Justices Mathew, Day, Wills, Grantham, and others more recently appointed. Nor would it, we submit, be in the power of Her Majesty to confer the lost pre-eminence on Judges who have failed to attain the Degree of the Coif; for the Letters Patent emphatically declare that, “neither we nor our heirs or successors will hereafter create within our Kingdom of England any other Degree, Order, Name, Title, Style, Dignity, or State, nor give or grant place, precedence, or pre-eminence, to any person under or below the degree, dignity, or state of a Baron of Parliament, who shall be superior or equal to the dignity of a Baronet, nor shall any person under the degree of a Baron (except those previously excepted by the Letters Patent) by reason of any constitution, dignity, office, or other thing whatsoever, now or hereafter, have, hold, or enjoy place, precedence, or pre-eminence before a Baronet."

The Judicature Acts of 1873 and 1875 have been fertile in creating new Judicial officers; but the fact that the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are constituted Barons for life, saves the appointment from being de jure that which it is de facto, viz., a new and dangerous attack on the precedence of the Order; for it is, as above pointed out, prejudicial to the grant of the dignity of a Baronet that new degrees or titles should be interposed between his Order and the Peerage.




International Arbitration. An extremely able and interesting article upon “Treaties of General and Permanent Arbitration " appears in the Revue de Droit International, No.4, 1897. It is from the pen of M. Férand-Giraud, a distinguished French jurist and Honorary President of the Cour de Cassation of France. It is a very complete sketch of the history of the progress of the arbitration principle. The writer considers the views of nearly all the leading jurists in modern times upon the question of the limitations within which arbitration is practicable. In view of the negotiations understood to be still pending between our own Government and the United States for a general Treaty of Arbitration, the question has more than an academic interest.

The chief difficulty which the two Governments found in formulating the rejected Treaty arose, it will be remembered, in connection with the question as to what matters should be excluded from the scope of the Treaty. The reluctance of any State to blindly submit to the award of a third person all disputes which may arise with another State is only natural. Still more is this to be expected when the State in question is a powerful one and its self confidence is backed by material prosperity and great naval or military strength. There is an inevitable repugnance to submitting to the arbitration, even of the most impartial tribunal, matters involving the dignity and prestige of a nation, quarrels which a nation, rightly or wrongly, feels have been forced upon it by the wanton aggression of another State, or questions involving the nationality of its citizens, or its own integrity and independence.

It is difficult to precisely define what subjects must reasonably be regarded as outside the scope of arbitration, but it is easy to indicate those which can obviously be brought within its sphere. Disputes turning on mere questions of fact, questions of compensation or estimation of damages; those of a purely juridical nature involving the application of well-established principles of International Law; and finally questions of construction and application of treaties and other international compactsall these seem to be capable of general submission to arbitration. As regards many other cases, however, of a more strictly political nature, that may arise, there is very great difficulty in attempting to make a similar provision for them. The overwhelming sanctioning force of a Sovereign Power which can enforce the decisions of, and, indeed, compel submission of disputes to, its own tribunals, can alone reconcile individuals or nations to entirely surrender their wills and their claims to a third party's judgment. There seems, in extreme cases, to be no third alternative to diplomacy or the stern arbitrament of war. Having regard to these considerations, it is the more remarkable that M. Férand-Giraud has been able to collect a full score of instances of existing international treaties for general arbitration. The parties to most of these are, it is true, the smaller European States or else the various Republics of America. The only Great Power, other than the United States of America, which figures in the list, is France, which by a treaty of 1888 with Ecuador agreed that " in case of any dispute arising, of a kind to endanger “the good relations existing between the two countries, “and not being capable of an amicable settlement, the high “contracting parties will submit it to the arbitration of a “friendly power to be mutually agreed upon."

The most important treaty is, of course, the PanAmerican Treaty of 1890, by which the United States and all Republics of South and Central America agreed to submit to arbitration “all the differences, conflicts, or “disputes which should arise between any two or more of “them.” By a curious irony of fate, this splendid declaration, signed on behalf of the various parties concerned with pens of gold, was followed almost immediately by a sanguinary struggle between Salvador and Guatemala, and an even more terrible civil war in Chili.

[blocks in formation]

Reprisals. The threatened bombardment in December last of the capital of Hayti by German warships speedily effected its object. It was alleged that a German subject, Herr Lüders, had been unfairly and arbitrarily imprisoned by the Haytian authorities. In consequence of peremptory diplomatic

« PreviousContinue »