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296 book ii: nations in relation to other states chapter v Of the Observance of Justice between Nations. Justice is the basis of all society, the sure bond of all commerce. Human society, far from being an intercourse of assistance and good offices, would be no longer any thing but a vast scene of robbery, if no respect were paid to this virtue, which secures to every one his own. It is still more necessary between nations, than between individuals; because injustice produces more dreadful consequences in the quarrels of these powerful bodies politic, and it is more difficult to obtain redress. The obligation imposed on all men to be just is easily demonstrated fromthe law of nature. We here take that obligation for granted (as being sufficiently known), and content ourselves with observing, that it is not only indispensably binding on nations (Prelim. §5), but even still more sacred with respect to them, from the importance of its consequences. All nations are therefore under a strict obligation to cultivate justice towards each other, to observe it scrupulously, and carefully to abstain from every thing that may violate it. Each ought to render to the others what belongs to them, to respect their rights, and to leave them in the peaceable enjoyment of them.* From this indispensable obligation which nature imposes on nations, as well as from those obligations which each nation owes to herself, results the right of every state, not to suffer any of her rights to be taken away, or any thing which lawfully be-longs to her: for in opposing * Might not this duty be extended to the execution of sentences passed in other countries according to the necessary and usual forms?—On this subject, M.VanBeuningen wrote as follows to M. De Witt, Oct. 15, 1666. “By what the courts of Holland have decreed in the affair of one Koningh of Rotterdam, I see they suppose thatevery judgment pronounced by the parliaments of France against the inhabitants of Holland in judicio contradictorio, ought to be executed on requisition made by those parliaments. But I do not know that the tribunals of this country act in the same manner with respect to sentences passed in Holland: and if they donot,anagreement might be made, that sentences passed on either side against subjects of the other state shall only take effect on such property as the condemned party is found to possess in the state where the sentence has been given.” [[Note added in 1773/1797 editions.]]§63. Necessity of the observance of justice in human society.§64. Obligation of all nations to cultivate and observe justice.§65. Right of refusing to submit to injustice. chapter v 297 this, she only acts in conformity to all her duties; and therein consists the right (§49). This right is a perfect one,—that is to say, it is accompanied with the right of using force in order to assert it. In vain would nature give us a right to refuse submitting to injustice,—in vain would she oblige others to be just in their dealings with us, if we could not lawfully make use of force, when they refused to discharge this duty. The just would lie at the mercy of avarice and injustice, and all their rights would soon become useless. From the foregoing right arise, as distinct branches, first, the right of a just defence, which belongs to every nation,—or the right of making use of force against whoever attacks her and her rights. This is the foundation of defensive war. Secondly, the right to obtain justice by force, if we cannot obtain it otherwise, or to pursue our right by force of arms. This is thefoundation of offensive war. An intentional act of injustice is undoubtedly aninjury.Wehavethen a right to punish it, as we have shewn above, in speaking of injuries in general (§52). The right of refusing to suffer injustice is a branch of the right to security. Let us apply to the unjust what we have said above (§53) of a mischievous nation. If there were a people who made open profession of trampling justice under foot,—who despised and violated the rights of others whenever they found an opportunity,—the interest of human society would authorise all the other nations to form a confederacy in order to humble and chastise the delinquents. We do not here forget the maxim established in our Preliminaries, that it does not belong to nations to...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781614878728
Print ISBN
9780865974517
MARC Record
OCLC
466082934
Pages
896
Launched on MUSE
2013-06-27
Language
English
Open Access
N
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