Lieber, Field, and Wharton: The Science of International Law

Mark Weston Janis

in America and the Law of Nations 1776-1939

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579341
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722653 | DOI:
 Lieber, Field, and Wharton: The Science of International Law

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The era between the American Civil War and World War I, 1865-1914, was the most optimistic period of all for the American tradition of international law. This chapter explores the late 19th-century penchant for the science and codification of the law of nations, an aspiration inspired in part by Jeremy Bentham. After a brief word about Bentham, it introduces two great American codifiers of the time — Francis Lieber and David Dudley Field — and then the important digester of American international law, Francis Wharton. Finally, looking at the German/English scholar, Lassa Oppenheim, it considers the fate of the ‘science of international law’ and asks whether science or codification has significantly improved the efficacy of international law.

Keywords: Francies Lieber; David Dudley Field; international law; Francis Wharton; Lass Oppenheim

Chapter.  7717 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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