CYIL vol. 11 (2020)

CYIL 11 (2020) THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS TO THE DEVELOPMENT… The League of Nations, as an international democratic forum, had gradually developed into an institution in which endless, completely pointless discussions on peace and disarmament had taken place instead of seeking for specific treaties which ensured the security of the member states, and thus peace in Europe and the world. 21 The next step in securing peace was the Briand-Kellogg Pact of 1928. Offensive warfare as a means of national policy was not banned until the Briand-Kellogg Pact of 1928. The second article of the Pact required that the states resolved all disputes and disagreements of any nature and origin only by peaceful resources. War continued to be admitted only in self-defence, the question of the use of armed reprisals was controversial. The fact that it prohibited the offensive war, but not the use of force in general, also proved to be a problem of the Pact. As a result, several states conducted military action but did not declare them to be a war. They claimed that they had not violated the Pact. An example was the behaviour of China and Japan in 1931 and 1937, which carried out large-scale military operations against each other that resulted in significant loss of life and property. However, both states insisted that there was no state of war between them, as illustrated by uninterrupted diplomatic relations. The Briand-Kellogg Pact was connected with the idea of building an organization parallel to the League of Nations, using a systemof arbitration agreements.The main shortcoming was, that the compliance with the Briand-Kellogg Pact was not ensured by a coercive mechanism, nor did it contain any other practical measures, such as disarmament commitments. The League of Nations had limited powers to influence the states. In addition, some nations withdrew from the League of Nations before World War II. As for the Briand-Kellogg Pact, Dr. Edvard Beneš expressed his criticism towards it. Compared to the Geneva Protocol, he considered it a step backwards. He stated in the National Assembly: The American proposal has the same goal as the Geneva Protocol, it demands that all states renounce war as an instrument of their policy and proceed to arbitration and conciliation in resolving all their disputes. It is worded briefly and simply, which is its advantage over the Geneva Protocol, but it does not contain any sanctions against those who violate the Pact. It should therefore have a moral weight – the whole concept shows that it was originated primarily from the psychology and Anglo-Saxon ambience. 22 A. Hobza also stated that the importance of the Briand-Kellogg Pact was seen in its fundamental novelty, but, for the international practice, it brought almost no benefit, because it lacked sanctions. It had a moral rather than a legal meaning. 23 3. Disarmament and the League of Nations After the end of the World War I, disarmament was considered one of the main means of maintaining world peace and was therefore considered one of the leading tasks of the League of Nations . 24 According to A. Hobza, 25 peace would be permanently secured once a complete 21 ORT, A. Edvard Beneš diplomat a politik . [ Edvard Beneš, Diplomat and Politician. ] Praha: IRMA, 1994, p. 28. 22 Ibid., p. 32. 23 HOBZA, A. Úvod do mezinárodního práva mírového. Část I . [ Introduction to International Law of Peace. Part I. ] Praha: 1933, p. 141. 24 HOBZA, A. Úvod do mezinárodního práva mírového, Část II . [ Introduction to International Law of Peace. Part II. ] Praha: 1935, p. 448. 25 Ibid., pp. 438-439.


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