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For the present, it is believed that the most feasible measure will be the adoption of a multilateral convention providing for the termination of the status of dual nationality at the time when the persons concerned attain the age of majority, or, perhaps, one year thereafter. Such a rule should be carefully worked out. Especial care should be taken to avoid leaving everything to the wishes of the individuals concerned. The principle that nationality involves obligations to the state as well as rights on the part of the individual should be observed. The individual should not be allowed to elect either of the two nationalities acquired at birth without regard to his obligations. Election through mere empty declarations should be avoided.
The writer, after considering many actual cases, believes that the most satisfactory way of terminating the status of dual nationality would be to adopt a rule under which the actual domicil of the individual at the time when he reaches majority, or perhaps one year thereafter, would determine his future nationality. A special provision could be made
. for the case of a person who, upon attaining the decisive age, should be residing in a third country. Such a rule would be based upon reality and not upon a mere artificial formality. It is not meant that nationality should continue to coincide and change with the domicil of the indi. vidual. Under the rule suggested, the domicil of the individual at the decisive age would merely serve to terminate his allegiance to one of the countries concerned. It is often said that domicil is hard to ascertain, but, as a matter of fact, in most cases of dual nationality it is quite patent that seems very doubtful at the least. If any single basis for nathe other.
Whether or not the rule suggested is the true rule, it is believed that there must be some principle according to which the anomalous status of dual nationality may be terminated. Where two countries lay claim at the same time to the allegiance of a person of adult years, there must be some principle, it is believed, according to which it may be determined which claim has the greater merit. If this is true, dual nationality in cases of adults arises out of unreasonable claims by one of the countries concerned. To ascertain what this principle is and to shape laws and conventions accordingly is the task before us. Some reasonable agreement should be feasible, provided the various governments of the world can be persuaded that they gain nothing by laws which reach out to obtain and to retain be that adopted by Colombia, Ecuador and Nicaragua, that with the countries making the claim and have no real attachment to them.
THE ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT OF
By DR. EDSON L. WHITNEY
"HE Roman Law studied today is that form of the system
as it appeared in the sixth century of the Christian era when the Emperor Justinian caused the law to be published in an intelligible form. The written law was codified in the year 527 and the unwritten was digested in the year 533, six months after the appearance of the Institutes, a book prepared mainly for the use of law students and giving the essentials of the law as it existed at that time.
Studying as we do the Institutes, which have come down to us complete, and looking casually at the few individual and often unrelated items in the Codex and Digest which have been spared to us, we are often led to think of Roman Law as a system that had always existed in the form in which we now see it. Little do we realize the scattered condition of the law previous to the issue of the Justinian books. Rarely do we pause to consider and examine the nooks, corners, crannies and crevices in which germinated the many seeds that in their development produced that system which today is the basis of the law in every nonEnglish-speaking Christian country.
Perhaps the reason why Roman Law is so generally and satisfactorily accepted today is because of the cosmopolitanism of its contents. Its structure is Roman, but its filling is taken from many nations. History does not tell us whence came these people who settled on the banks of the Tiber. Philology and ethnology, however, tell us that they were allied with the Greeks and that both are members of the Aryan family of nations, thus leading us to look to India for the origin of the fundamentals in Roman Law, and there we find many of them.
Located on the Tiber, near enough to the sea to have easy access to it, yet sufficiently far from it to be protected from the depredations of the pirates on the coast, at the narrows of the river which by easy bridging gave access to the adjacent territory on the other side of the river, at the base of the foothills which enabled it to have communication with the nomads, on the edge of a fertile plain easily accessible to farmers, Rome early became an emporium catering to the farmers of the plain, the shepherds of the hills, and the nations to the north. People early drifted to the city and the law assumed a cosmopolitan character in the prehistoric era.
Very little is known of the law of Rome, however, from the reputed founding of the city, 753 B. C., to the establishment of the republic, 510 B. C. During this time the law consisted of two distinct groups: the customary law, brought by the first settlers of the district, traceable to some extent to its eastern origin, yet recognized and followed by everybody; and secondly, the assembly law, lex as the Romans called it, consisting of such changes in the customary law as were made by the freemen at their gatherings from time to time.
This gathering of the people into assemblies was coeval with the founding of Rome. The people settled by groups, clans or villages, gentes they were called, composed of seyeral families tracing their ancestry back to a common origin. Other gentes settled in their vicinity until in time their number reached thirty, all having many interests in common and claiming a community of descent. Together they formed a political community with a yearly meeting for religious and social purposes, a meeting composed at first of all who came, but later it became a delegated body representing the various gentes, who discussed matters pertaining to the common welfare of all. In time it became a legislative body changing the customary laws at will with a seat of justice in the temple, a safe shelter in time of war, and punishing violations of federal laws.
With the grouping of the thirty gentes into a united state came the king, a personage made necessary by the growth of the state and bearing a relation to it similar to that of the pater familias in the family. The pater familias ruled his household as he would, meted out justice to its members, consulted the elder or wiser members, followed their The power
advice, and governed unhampered by none. of the king, however, was more circumscribed. He did nothing of importance without first consulting the senate a body of three hundred representing the heads of the various families. He nominated the priests, made treaties with foreign peoples, kept the keys of the public treasury, sat in judgment in court, inflicted penalties for breaches of order, and could reduce a citizen to slavery or banish him from the city. An appeal, however, lay from the acts of
. the king to the people in assembly, for he administered the law only. He could not alter it. That was a prerogative of the citizen body.
No matter, except appeals, could be considered by the citizens, except such as the king chose to lay before them, after consulting with and gaining the approval of the senate. Furthermore, no meeting of the people could be called to consider a proposed law without the consent of the priests, who alone were supposed to know the will of the gods.
Thus the ancient customary law of the Romans could be changed only with the concurrence of four bodies—the king, who, representing in a way the government of Rome, proposed the law; the senate, who, representing the older portion of the community, advised in favor of the law; the freemen, who, in the gathering that occurred at regular intervals, voted for the law; and the priests, who, by assenting to the calling of the meeting, professed to make known the will of the gods. Two of these bodies—the king and the people
acted positively, and two-the senate and the priests—acted negatively.
Thus it may be said with a fair degree of truth that the fountain of the law during the period under consideration was the king. Not only was he the proposer of the laws but he was the executor of them, for he sat in court in the more important cases and appointed the magistrates who heard the less important.
Law and religion thus went hand in hand. The priests were the only educated people of the day. The written laws were in their possession and the unwritten law was known only to them. The interpretation of the laws was made by