One of the most distinguished groups of international lawyers ever gathered will meet in Cambridge on February 22, 23, and 24, to prepare a final draft of their views on certain questions of international law, to be presented at the Hague before the First Conference on Codification of International Law, it was announced yesterday by Manley O. Hudson, Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School. The 44 scholars and jurists who will attend this meeting compose the Advisory Committee under which a great Research in International Law has recently been conducted.
The formation of this Advisory Committee grew out of a resolution adopted by the Fifth Assembly of the League of Nations on September 22, 1924. In this resolution the Council of the League was requested to convene a committee of experts representing the main forms of civilization and the principal legal systems of the world, which should have the duty, without trespassing in any way upon the official initiative which may have been taken by particular states:
(1) To prepare a provisional list of the subjects of international law, the regulation of which by international agreement would seem to be the most desirable and realizable at the present moment: and
(2) After communication of the list by the Secretarial to the Governments of States, whether Members of the League or not, for their opinion, to examine the replies received; and
(3) To report to the Council on the questions which are sufficiently ripe and on the procedure which might be followed with a view to preparing eventually for conferences for their solution.
Council to Submit Questions
This "Committee of Experts for the Progressive Codification of International Law", duly convened by the Council, after three meetings and considerable study during a period of about two years, reported to the Council that seven subjects were "ripe for codification", within the meaning of that term in the Assembly resolution of September 24, 1924. The Council transmitted this report to the Assembly of the League of Nations which on September 27, 1927 resolved to submit the following questions for examination by a Conference on Codification of International Law:
(b) Territorial Waters; and
(c) Responsibility of States for Damage done in their Territory to the Person or Property of Foreigners.
The Assembly further resolved to entrust the Council with the task of appointing a Preparatory Committee, composed of five persons possessing a wide knowledge of international practice, legal precedents, and scientific data relating to the questions mentioned above. This committee met in Geneva, February 6 to 15, 1928, and prepared a "Schedule of Points", which was circulated to various governments with requests for information on the points listed.
It was in view of this initiative and the prospect which it created that in November 1927 the Faculty of the Harvard Law School undertook to organize a Research in International Law for the purpose of placing before the representatives of the various governments the collective views of a group of Americans specially interested in the development of international law.