About this book
Much of the legal system existing among the members of the society of nations has its origin in treaties and agreements. A substantial share of the mutually-binding precepts governing the relations among independent nations flows from the engage ments to which they subscribe. By crystallizing juridical rela tionships, this world-wide network of compacts helps to stabilize international affairs, and its growth and development are essen tial in the absence of an acceptable alternative law-creating in stitution. From the standpoint of international practice, independent states are empowered to conclude commitments on virtually any subject of mutual interest. Not in all cases, however, does the national government of a country possess internally a treaty making authority coextensive with that of the state under inter national law. Constitutional prescriptions may restrict the range of subjects respecting which treaties may be negotiated, and in addition, as in the case of the United States, the constitutive act may confine the government to a prescribed method of conclud ing international treaties. The problem of American treaty authority and procedure has been under analysis and serious debate since the United States constitutional system was established in the late eighteenth cen tury. As this country increased its participation in international affairs and augmented the network of international arrangements to which it became a party, this fundamental problem has be come increasingly significant.
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