About this book
was discussed by the Institut de Droit International at Siena 1 and recently, in 1954, it was the principal item of the meeting of the Netherlands Branch of the International Law Association 2. This study aims at contributing to the not too extensive literature on the subject. 11. BACKGROUND One cannot consider law and justice without considering at the same time the people whom they concern. And people again cannot be imagined without feelings, political and social views, and economic interests. The law could not exist without such a background. The history of various acts of confiscation in the twentieth century proves the enormous importance of the back ground underlying these problems. Russian confiscations are in the light of the Bolshevist doctrine only becoming intelligible of revolution; the M exicanization of the oil industry is in keeping with Mexican social development preceding it; the confiscations which took place in Germany under the Nazi regime must be understood as the outcome of a certain ideology; unfortunately confiscations due to operations in time of war are self-explana tory. A single school of thought governs each one alike: rights of individuals are considered of less and less importance. It was not by chance that the infringement of private property, notably in the great political upheavals, often went hand in hand with a dedining interest in the protection of the individual freedom. Where the state infringes the proprietary rights of individuals, it will even more readily do the same as regards personal freedom.
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