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242 book i: nations in themselves imously resolved, “that his authority did not extend so far as to dismember the crown.”* The treaty was declared void, as being contrary to the fundamental law of the kingdom: and indeed it had been concluded without sufficient powers: for as the laws in express terms refused to the king the power of dismembering the kingdom, the concurrence of the nation was necessary for that purpose; and it might give its consent by the medium of the states-general. Charles V. ought not to have released his prisoner before those very states had approved the treaty; or rather, making a more generous use of his victory, he should have imposed less rigorous conditions, such as Francis I. would have been able to comply with, and such as he could not, without dishonour, have refused to perform . But now that there are nolonger anymeetingsof thestates-general in France, the king remains the sole organ of the state, with respect to other powers: these latter have a right to take his will for that of all France; and the cessions the king might make them, wouldremainvalid, in virtue of the tacit consent by which the nation has vested the king with unlimited powers to treat with them. Were it otherwise, no solid treaty could be entered into with the crown of France. For greater security , however, other powers have often required that their treaties should be registered in the parliament of Paris: but at present even this formality seems to be laid aside. chapter xxii Of Rivers, Streams, and Lakes. When a nation takes possession of a country with a view to settle there, it takes possession of every thing included in it, as lands, lakes, rivers, &c. But it may happen that the country is bounded and separated from another by a river;—in which case, it is asked, to whom this river belongs ? It is manifest from the principles established in Chap. XVIII.that it ought to belong to the nation who first took possession of it. This * Mezeray, ibid.§266. A river that separates two territories. chapter xxii 243 principle cannot be denied; but the difficulty is, to maketheapplication. It is not easy to determine which of the two neighbouring nations was the first to take possession of a river that separates them.—For the decision of such questions, the rules which may be deduced from the principles of the law of nations, are as follow:— 1. When a nation takes possession of a country bounded by a river, she is considered as appropriating to herself the river also; for the utility of a river is too great to admit a supposition that the nation did not intend to reserve it to herself. Consequently, the nation that first established her dominion on one of the banks of the river, is considered as being the first possessor of all that part of the river which bounds her territory. When there is question of a very broad river, this presumption admits not of a doubt, so far at least as relates to a part of the river’s breadth; and the strength of the presumption increases or diminishes in an inverse ratio with the breadth of the river: for the narrower the river is, the more does the safety and convenience of its use require that it should be subject entirely to the empire and property of that nation. 2. If that nation has made any use of the river, as for navigation or fishing, it is presumed with the greater certainty, that she has resolved to appropriate the river to her own use. 3. If, of two nations inhabiting the opposite banksof theriver,neither party can prove that they themselves, or those whose rights they inherit, were the first settlers in those tracts, it is to be supposed that bothnations came there at the same time, since neither of them can give any reason for claiming the preference: and in this case, the dominion of each will extend to the middle of the river. 4. A long and undisputed possession establishes the right of nations; otherwise there could be no peace, no stability between them: and notoriousfactsmustbeadmittedtoprovethepossession .Thus,when,from time immemorial, a nation has without contradiction exercised the sovereignty upon a river which forms her boundary, nobody can dispute with that nation the supreme dominion over the river in question. 5. Finally, if treaties determine any thing on this question, they must be observed. Todecide...


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