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Author: Georgi Genov


International Law

International law is the term commonly used for referring to laws that govern the conduct of independent nations in their relationships with one another. It differs from other legal systems in that it primarily concerns the rights and liabilities of sovereign states rather than private citizens. However, the term "international law" can refer to three distinct legal disciplines:

— Public international law, which governs the relationship between provinces and international entities, either as an individual or as a group. It includes the following specific legal field such as the treaty law, law of sea, international criminal law and the international humanitarian law;

— Private international law, or conflict of laws, which addresses the questions of (1) in which legal jurisdiction may a case be heard; and (2) the law concerning which jurisdiction apply to the issues in the case;

— Supranational law or the law of supranational organizations, which concerns at present regional agreements where the special distinguishing quality is that laws of nation states are held inapplicable when conflicting with a supranational legal system.

The two traditional branches of the field are:

— Jus gentium, Latin for "law of nations", was originally the part of Roman law that the Roman Empire applied to its dealings with foreigners, especially provincial subjects. In later times the Latin term came to refer to the natural or common law among nations considered as states within a larger human society, especially governing the rules of peace and war, national boundaries, diplomatic exchanges, and extradition, that together with jus inter gentes makes up public international law.

The Constitution Society of America lists several rules of law that make up the jus gentium, including:

1. Not attacking other nations, except in declared wars and similar situations;

2. Honoring truce, peace treaties, and boundaries;

3. Protecting wrecked ships and persons thereon;

4. Prosecuting piracy;

5. Caring decently for prisoners of war;

6. Protection of embassies and diplomats;

7. Honoring extradition treaties;

8. Prohibiting slavery and trading in slaves (in the modern era; enslavement of those defeated in war under certain conditions was not contrary to the jus gentium in antiquity).

— Jus inter gentes, Latin for "agreements among nations", is the body of treaties, U.N. conventions, and other international agreements. Originally a Roman law concept, it later became a major part of public international law. The other major part is jus gentium, the Law of Nations referred to in the United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 10. Jus inter gentes, literally, means "law between the peoples".

The Constitution Society of America notes that John Foster Dulles pronounced the so-called Dulles Doctrine that treaties and United Nations resolutions can be part of the Law of Nations for purposes of the U.S. Constitution.


Public International Law

Public international law (or international public law) concerns the relationships between the entities or legal persons which are considered the subjects of international law, including sovereign nations, the legal status of the Holy See, international organizations (including especially intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations), and in some cases, movements of national liberation (wars of national liberation) and armed insurrectional movements. Norms of international law have their source in either, 1) custom, or customary international law (consistent provincial practice accompanied by opinio juris); 2) globally accepted standards of behaviour (peremptory norms known as jus cogens); or 3) codifications contained in conventional agreements, generally termed treaties. Article 13 of the United Nations Charter obligates the UN General Assembly to initiate studies and make recommendations which encourage the progressive development of international law and its codification. Evidence of consensus or state practice can sometimes be derived from intergovernmental resolutions or academic and expert legal opinions (sometimes collectively termed soft law).

International law has existed since the Middle Ages but much of its modern corpus began developing from the mid-19th century. In the 20th century, the two World Wars and the formation of the League of Nations (and other international organizations such as the International Labor Organization) all contributed to accelerate this process and established much of the foundations of modern public international law. After the failure of the Treaty of Versailles and World War II, the League of Nations was replaced by the United Nations, founded under the UN Charter. The UN has also been the locus for the development of new advisory (non-binding) standards, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Other international norms and laws have been established through international agreements, including the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of war or armed conflict, as well as by agreements implemented by other international organizations such as the ILO, the World Health Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the International Telecommunication Union, UNESCO, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund. The development and consolidation of such conventions and agreements has proven to be of great importance in the realm of international relations.


Conflict of Law

Conflict of laws, often called "private international law" in civil law jurisdictions, is less international than public international law. It is distinguished from public international law because it governs conflicts between private persons, rather than states (or other international bodies with standing). It concerns the questions of which jurisdiction should be permitted to hear a legal dispute between private parties, and which jurisdiction's law should be applied, therefore raising issues of international law. Today corporations are increasingly capable of shifting capital and labor supply chains across borders, as well as trading with overseas corporations. This increases the number of disputes of an inter-state nature outside a unified legal framework, and raises issues of the enforceability of standard practices. Increasing numbers of businesses use commercial arbitration under the New York Convention 1958.


Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a foreign policy think-tank based in Washington, D.C. The organization describes itself as being dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States. Founded in 1910 by Andrew Carnegie, its work is not formally associated with any political party.

Andrew Carnegie, like other leading internationalists of his day, believed that war could be eliminated by stronger international laws and organizations. "I am drawn more to this cause than to any", he wrote in 1907. Carnegie's single largest commitment in this field was his creation of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

On his seventy-fifth birthday, 25 November 1910, Andrew Carnegie announced the establishment of the Endowment with a gift of $10 million. In his deed of gift, presented in Washington on 14 December 1910, Carnegie charged trustees to use the fund to "hasten the abolition of international war, the foulest blot upon our civilization," and he gave his trustees "the widest discretion as to the measures and policy they shall from time to time adopt" in carrying out the purpose of the fund.

Carnegie chose longtime adviser Elihu Root, Senator from New York and former Secretary of War and of State, to be the Endowment's first president. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1912, Root served until 1925.

In 1914, the Endowment published "Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars. In the same year, the Endowment helped created the Hague Academy of International Law. The Academy is housed in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, and opened its doors in 1923.

The Endowment was initially organized into three divisions: 1) first, to aid in the development of international law and dispute settlement; 2) second, to study the causes and impact of war; and 3) third, to promote international understanding and cooperation. A European Center and advisory board was set up in Paris.

Although World War I shattered the high expectations of turn-of-the-century internationalists, the Endowment persevered with its international conciliation efforts. During the interwar period, the Endowment revitalized efforts to promote international conciliation, financed reconstruction projects in Europe, and supported the work of other organizations and foundations. Endowment publications include the unprecedented 22-volume Classics of International Law and the seminal 150-volume Economic and Social History of the World War.

In 1925, Nicholas Murray Butler succeeded Elihu Root as president. For the next 20 years that flamboyant and energetic figure — who also won the Nobel Peace Prize — promoted his vision on international cooperation in business and politics. Among other accomplishments, he was instrumental in fashioning the Kellogg-Briand no-war pact of 1928.

Following World War II and Butler’s retirement, the Endowment’s three divisions were consolidated under the direction of President Joseph E. Johnson. John Foster Dulles led the board.

For the next decades, the Endowment conducted research and public education programs on a range of issues, particularly relating to the newly created United Nations and on the future of the postwar international legal system. The Endowment provided diplomatic training for some 250 foreign service officers from emerging nations and published International Conciliation, a leading journal in the field. The European Center moved to Geneva for closer contact with UN agencies and became a focal point for European and American dialogue on international issues.



Addendum: Georgi Genov graduated from high school, and then studied Law at Sofia University. The founder of Department of Interstate and International Law, Prof. Popoviliev, noticed from early the qualities of curiosity and modesty of the young student. He provided specialization in International Law at prestigious universities in France and Italy. The results of this activity we will see shortly after Genov entered work as provost assistant at the University of Sofia.

A second important factor is the participation of Georgi Genov, a young member of the Radical Party, as an expert to the Bulgarian delegation at the peace conference held in 1919 in Paris. At this conference, Bulgaria participated with five-member delegation comprised of members of the Bulgarian coalition government. Georgi Genov was the only expert. Total Bulgarian team consisted of 30-40 people specialists and five acting Bulgarian politicians, headed by Alexander Stamboliyski. Of all the numerous Bulgarian specialists only three people have affected their future careers. The first was George P. Genov, who in the 1930s issued a monograph entitled “Neuilly Treaty and Bulgaria.” In 143 pages it addresses all issues related to the Treaty of Neuilly. This essay from Professor Genov came out in four foreign languages except in Bulgarian: English, Italian, German and French. Only in 1992 the heirs of Constantine Muraviev, who had attended the conference for peace as an expert, and a private secretary to the head of the Bulgarian delegation Alexander Stamboliyski released essay of 312 pages titled “Agreement for Peace in Neuilly.” During the peace conference in Paris, Professor Venelin Ganev as member delegate from Bulgaria and Bulgarian Minister of Justice, led diary. It can be regretted that only after the death of Venelin Ganev this book was printed and saw a white world.

Fruits of the scientific efforts of George P. Genov, developed during his specialization in France and Italy, was a treatise in two volumes on the Eastern Question. This work is a systematic research devoted to the foreign policy of Bulgaria and other Balkan countries, the Balkan policy of the Great Powers led by Austria-Hungary, Russia and Britain. This is the most complete treatise from Bulgarian scholar on the Eastern question. Other Bulgarian authors have written useful books, usually dealing with only a single stage in the development of the Eastern question.

The second significant period in the scientific and teaching activities of Prof. Georgi Genov began in 1921 and ended in 1944 when he was head of the Department of Interstate and International Law in the Law Faculty of Sofia University. For a quarter century, Prof. Genov regularly read three courses in the Faculty: Interstate law, Private international law and History of the Eastern question, which is actually a course in international relations. Professor Genov read also regular course of diplomatic law at the University of Government and Administrative Sciences (formerly Free University). Almost every year during this period he issued a series of monographs, and this is an eloquent proof of his enormous capacity for work. In 1943, seriously concerned about the future of united Bulgaria, because of the prospect of Germany to lose World War II, he prepared and wrote on a typescript "Pro memorandum" on the outcome of the war.

Prof. Genov had the desire to print his "Pro memorandum" in the yearbook of the Faculty. This could not be done, however, because of catastrophic events in Bulgaria since 9 September1944. Prime Minister of Bulgaria at that time Bogdan Filov, when familiar with the content of this Pro-memory, wanted to repatriate Prof. Genov - what made with him the People's Court government and the Fatherland Front in the 1950s.

Prof. Georgi Genov, member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, since 9 September 1944 was sentenced by the People's Court on seven and a half years imprisonment, from which he served two and a half years at Sofia Central Prison, where pardoned. After short stay at freedom, Prof. Genov was deported with his family in the province where he lived to 1967 (until his death).

Voluminous work from Prof. Georgi Genov is available with thoughtful, prepared and developed research throughout the period from the end of World War I until his death. These are the 2 vols. history of the Eastern question (published in 1925-1926), the legal position of minorities and situation of the Bulgarian minorities (1929), legal position of the Straits: Bosporus and the Dardanelles (1937) , international instruments and treaties that affect Bulgaria (1940), Bulgaria and Europe: San Stefano and Berlin (1940) and some others, ditto.


Picture 1: Sample illustration on the text above.

(i). Part of the staff from Faculty of Law, Sofia University — Dr. Nikola Dolapchiev (left), Prof. Georgi Genov (middle, swarthy man), Dr. Ivan Apostolov. One more interesting fact: from 1921 to 1944 Prof. G. Genov served as office representative of Carnegie Foundation for Bulgaria.



Copyright © 2010 by the author.