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TO THE THIRD EDITION
OPPENHEIM'S Work upon the revision of this volume was unfinished when he died; but most of the material had already been collected, and many passages rewritten. He intended, as he once told me, to introduce the events of the war when they illustrated, extended, or challenged general principles hitherto accepted. But for the history of the war he would have relied on his friend Garner's International Law and the World War, which he had already read in manuscript. By kindly lending me the proofs of that book (since published), Professor Garner has enabled me to make frequent references to it according to the author's plan.
The war has involved changes in this volume; yet they are surely fewer than might have been expected. So Oppenheim felt; and some notes intended for this preface show with what force he would have argued against the prevalent impression that the war has made an end of the laws of war. Confronted with the many brutal violations of these laws which marred the struggle, he would have argued that in almost every case the offender felt constrained either to deny the charge or to plead justification. This seemed to him to be in itself an admission of the power of the law in normal times. But the times were abnormal, and the laws of war
and neutrality were admittedly in partial suspense. This he would have attributed in part to the unusual impotence of the neutral States and in part to new conditions-aircraft, submarines, mines, and the network of Continental railways-for which the old rules were not wholly adapted. Neutrals naturally demanded from belligerents that they should obey the old rules notwithstanding the changes. But the claim of the belligerents that the rules should undergo corresponding change was quite as natural. Again, since neutrals did not see to it that the fundamental rules were not broken by either belligerent, there were bound to be reprisals. Reprisals may injure neutrals as well as States at war, and they provoke counter-reprisals and more reprisals in an unending chain. This Oppenheim held to be a principal cause of the partial anarchy of the war, which he likened to revolution within the State. When order is re-established, the law revives. Even then, no doubt, many criminals escape unpunished. But no one would argue on that account that there was no law.
In the edition of 1912, Oppenheim urged that the Declaration of London should be ratified. But when the war came, he saw that the declaration, even if it had been ratified, could not have survived when Germany had pulled down in Belgium the pillars upon which International Law stood.
Considerations such as these are reflected in Oppenheim's revisions in the chapter on the means of securing legitimate warfare. Other important changes and additions which he himself made are to be found in § 53 in the discussion upon the legality of war, in § 57a dealing with the threatened disappearance of the distinction between members of armed forces and civilians, in §§ 294, 299 which
concern neutral duties and the recognition of neutrality by belligerents, in § 319 discussing the legality of measures of reprisal affecting neutrals, in § 348a examining the status of shipwrecked combatants coming into neutral territory, in the sections dealing with the right of angary, in many of the sections relating to contraband, in § 413a concerning the seizure of enemy reservists at sea, in § 428a relating to the call at an enemy port of a vessel with a neutral destination, and in § 434 discussing the law administered by Prize Courts.
The establishment of the League of Nations called for modifications and additions in the chapters dealing with the settlement of disputes without resort to war; but Oppenheim had not yet made them when his last illness came upon him, and this task fell upon the present writer. New material has also been introduced in §§ 88-92 on enemy character, in § 100a on persona standi in judicio, in § 101 on trading with the enemy, and in § 102 on enemy private property and debts. Reference, for which Oppenheim is not alone responsible, has also been made to the treatment of enemy merchantmen found by the belligerents in their harbours at the outbreak of the World War, to the treatment of prisoners, and to other important controversies which sprang up during the contest. The author's notes on air warfare have been brought together and expanded in a new chapter. The fate of the Declaration of London and recent changes in the conception of neutrality are recorded in § 292. Two new sections have been added to § 390 relating to the long-distance blockade. On the other hand, the chapter on International Prize Courts has been curtailed, as the Hague project of 1907 has lost the position which it held in 1912.