CYIL vol. 11 (2020)

CYIL 11 (2020) THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS TO THE DEVELOPMENT… Hobza 4 also wrote about the nature of the Pact, in that it had the nature of a legal and political act. He also expressed ideas that were particularly important in relation to the issue of the system of collective security established by the Pact. He emphasized that: this was not a set of precise legal norms that would clearly and certainly address all relevant issues. Deliberately vague provisions, especially in the most important matters, were intended to enable political – sometimes also called practical – solutions, so the issues were able to be resolved without the need to violate a valid norm. The provisions should also not prevent the emergence of a solid tradition built based on the real situation and conditions, as they would develop in the future. This explains the opposition of the League of Nations to more precise definition of certain regulations. Most members preferred a vague text that allowed either broader or narrower interpretation and thus took into account the specificities of specific issues and cases. A positive example of the appropriateness of some general formulations of the Covenant might be seen in it’s development in the 1920s, which led to the adoption of the Briand- Kellogg Pact in 1928, which for the first time, banned the war. The Covenant of the League of Nations did not directly prohibit the war. In this connection, the representative of Finland 5 spoke at a meeting of the League of Nations, stating that members of the League of Nations must not recognize as a valid requirement, which is a consequence of an attack or of an act in contrary to the meaning of this Article. From the very beginning, the League of Nations was conceived as an institution dependent on actual international development, both on the approach of individual states and on the mutual balance of forces between them. A. Hobza stated 6 that the reluctance of states to adopt precise rules of legal rules stemmed from the sensitive political issues especially. He gave the explicit example of the reluctance of states to legally resolve international disputes in the League of Nations, and in this connection, the effort to reach a peaceful solution and the consent of both or all disputing parties at all costs. There was also the issue of the status of states which were not members of the League of Nations. According to M. A. Zimmermann 7 , the Pact stipulated that only members of the Society were guaranteed the respect for their territorial integrity and political independence. Outside the League of Nations, members of the League might violate the personal rights of subjects of international law in relation to states that had not joined the League, the violation of the personal rights of subjects of international law might also occur among non-member states (the violation of the rights of the members of the League was prohibited), such a thing would be considered by the League in the perspective of the Pact as res inter alios acta . Article 10 spoke only of an external attack, which excluded the League of Nations from needing to take any coercive measure in the event of the internal disintegration of the state through a revolution or civil war. 8 In this case, the members of the League had to maintain special neutrality towards the state experiencing this internal crisis.

Ibid., p. 219.


5 ZIMMERMANN, M. A. Společnost národů . [ League of Nations. ] Praha: Orbis, 1931, p. 273. 6 HOBZA, A. Úvod do mezinárodního práva mírového. Část I . [ Introduction to International Law of Peace. Part I. ] Praha: 1933, p. 220. 7 ZIMMERMANN, M. A. Společnost národů . [ League of Nations. ] Praha: Orbis 1931, pp. 270-271. 8 Ibid., p. 272.


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