Monthly Archives: August 2018

A Law Faculty Candidate and His Judicial Reference (1934)

Posted over on PrawfsBlawg (thanks!), a piece on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo and a lawyer who was seeking in 1934 to become a law professor.

October 4, 1934:  Justice Cardozo, wearing his Phi Beta Kappa key.

Jackson List: The World Outlaws War (1928)

For the Jackson List:

On Monday, August 27, 1928—ninety years ago today—representatives of fifteen nations, meeting in Paris, signed a treaty that outlawed war as an instrument of national policy. They committed themselves to settling disputes by peaceful means.

On behalf of France, the conference host and treaty-signer was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aristide Briand. On behalf of the United States, the signer was Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg. The other signatory nations represented in Paris were the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Italy, and Japan.

The United States Senate subsequently ratified the treaty. Over time, many more nations joined the Pact of Paris. By early 1933, sixty-five states were parties to the treaty, which in the U.S. came to be called “Kellogg-Briand.”

* * *

This global agreement did not, of course, prevent all war. A second world war started less than a decade after the treaty. From 1939 until 1945, World War II wreaked a horrific toll in Europe and in the Pacific.

The Allied powers ultimately prevailed. They then, acting together, charged surviving leaders of the Axis powers with the crime of waging aggressive war.

In the European theater, this case was tried in Nuremberg. On November 21, 1945, U.S. Supreme Justice Robert H. Jackson, the U.S. chief prosecutor of the Nazi defendants, explained aggressive war’s illegality by invoking Kellogg-Briand as a crucial development. It was, legally, the spine of the Allied prosecution of Nazi leaders for planning and then waging wars of aggression:

The first and second Counts of the Indictment [charge the] crimes … of plotting and waging wars of aggression and wars in violation of nine treaties to which Germany was a party.

There was a time—in fact, I think the time of the first World War—when it could not have been said that war-inciting or war-making was a crime in law, however reprehensible in morals.

Of course, it was, under the law of all civilized peoples, a crime for one man with his bare knuckles to assault another. How did it come that multiplying this crime by a million, and adding firearms to bare knuckles, made it a legally innocent act? The doctrine was that one could not be regarded as criminal for committing the usual violent acts in the conduct of legitimate warfare. The age of imperialistic expansion during the 18th and 19th centuries added the foul doctrine, contrary to the teachings of early Christian and international law scholars such as Grotius, that all wars are to be regarded as legitimate wars. The sum of these two doctrines was to give war-making a complete immunity from accountability to law.

This was intolerable for an age that called itself civilized. Plain people, with their earthy common sense, revolted at such fictions and legalisms so contrary to ethical principles and demanded checks on war immunities. Statesmen and international lawyers at first cautiously responded by adopting rules of warfare designed to make the conduct of war more civilized. The effort was to set legal limits to the violence that could be done to civilian populations and to combatants as well.

The common sense of men after the first World War demanded, however, that the law’s condemnation of war reach deeper, and that the law condemn not merely uncivilized ways of waging war but also the waging in any way of uncivilized wars—wars of aggression. The world’s statesmen again went only as far as they were forced to go. Their efforts were timid and cautious and often less explicit than we might have hoped. But the 1920s did outlaw aggressive war.

The reestablishment of the principle that there are unjust wars and that unjust wars are illegal is traceable in many steps. One of the most significant is the Briand-Kellogg Pact of 1928, by which Germany, Italy, and Japan, in common with practically all nations of the world, renounced war as an instrument of national policy, bound themselves to seek the settlement of disputes only by pacific means, and condemned recourse to war for the solution of international controversies. This pact altered the legal status of a war of aggression. As Mr. Stimson, the United States Secretary of State put it in 1932, such a war “is no longer to be the source and subject of rights. It is no longer to be the principle around which the duties, the conduct, and the rights of nations revolve. It is an illegal thing…. By that very act, we have made obsolete many legal precedents and have given the legal profession the task of reexamining many of its codes and treaties.”

The Geneva Protocol of 1924 for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, signed by the representatives of 48 governments, declared that “a war of aggression constitutes…an international crime.” The Eighth Assembly of the League of Nations in 1927, on unanimous resolution of the representatives of 48 member nations, including Germany, declared that a war of aggression constitutes an international crime. At the Sixth Pan-American Conference of 1928, the 21 American Republics unanimously adopted a resolution stating that “war of aggression constitutes an international crime against the human species.”

A failure of these Nazis to heed or to understand the force and meaning of this evolution in the legal thought of the world is not a defense or a mitigation. If anything, it aggravates their offense and makes it the more mandatory that the law they have flouted be vindicated by juridical application to their lawless conduct. Indeed, by their own law—had they heeded any law—these principles were binding on these defendants. Article 4 of the Weimar constitution provided that: “The generally accepted rules of international law are to be considered as binding integral parts of the law of the German Reich.” Can there be any doubt that the outlawry of aggressive war was one of the “generally accepted rules of international law” in 1939?

Any resort to war—to any kind of a war—is a resort to means that are inherently criminal. War inevitably is a course of killings, assaults, deprivations of liberty, and destruction of property. An honestly defensive war is, of course, legal and saves those lawfully conducting it from criminality. But inherently criminal acts cannot be defended by showing that those who committed them were engaged in a war, when war itself is illegal. The very minimum legal consequence of the treaties making aggressive wars illegal is to strip those who incite or wage them of every defense the law ever gave, and to leave war-makers subject to judgment by the usually accepted principles of the law of crimes.

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This post was emailed to the Jackson List, a private but entirely non-selective email list that reaches many thousands of subscribers around the world. I write to it periodically about Justice Robert H. Jackson, the Supreme Court, Nuremberg and related topics. The Jackson List archive site is http://thejacksonlist.com/.  To subscribe, email me at barrettj@stjohns.edu. Thank you for your interest, and for spreading the word.

Jackson List: Executive Director search, Robert H. Jackson Center

This post is a brief, very important advertisement.

The Robert H. Jackson Center (www.roberthjackson.org), located in Jamestown, New York, is searching for its next leader.  The position description is below.  Please consider applying if you are a strong prospect, and please share this in your networks with others who should be interested in this opportunity.  Applicants should contact the Jackson Center by email, at info@roberthjackson.org.

Thank you very much for your interest and assistance.  We know that teaching, ever better and more widely, the life, work, and legacies of Robert H. Jackson truly matters.


The Robert H. Jackson Center

Executive Director Position Description

Position Summary

The Executive Director is the senior executive and public face of the Robert H Jackson Center (Center) and must be able to articulate the Center’s mission, enduring relevance, values, and work. The Executive Director must inspire, guide, and support the Center’s staff, while marshaling its resources to preserve, promote, and advance the legacy of Robert H. Jackson through education, exhibits, and archives.  Reporting to the Board of Directors (Board), the Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the Center’s staff, programs, fiscal management, fundraising, and execution of its mission.

Duties and Responsibilities

Fundraising & Communications

Spearhead revenue generating and fundraising activities to support high quality programs, facility, and staff expenses. The Executive Director shall lead these efforts with staff and Board support.

  • Articulate the Center’s mission, importance, goals and impact to various stakeholders including: donors, foundations, partner organizations, Board members, staff, volunteers, and general audiences.
  • Identify, cultivate and solicit prospective donors.
  • Identify organizations and foundations with the potential to provide significant financial support, cultivate the relationships, and oversee proposal submissions.
  • Foster partnerships with academic, legal, government, business, and other non-profit institutions.
  • Work with staff, Board, volunteers, and stakeholders to develop and implement fundraising activities.

Leadership & Management

Ensure, by effective leadership and management, that the day-to-day operations and activities of the Center are efficiently administered and that the organization is fiscally responsible with balanced budgets, attainable revenue projections, and financial stability. Advance the Center’s programmatic excellence. Protect and develop the archives. The Executive Director shall lead these efforts with support from all staff.

  • Establish goals and ensure effective systems to accomplish key objectives in the strategic plan. Track progress, regularly evaluate program components, recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals, and report on these quarterly to the Board.
  • Serve as a trusted steward of all Center finances and assets. Prepare the annual operating and capital budget for approval by the Board. Report quarterly on the operating budget.
  • Oversee all activities associated with the Board, including staffing for all Board and committee meetings, meeting schedules, locations, development of agenda, and meeting materials. Identify, assess, and inform the Board of internal and external issues that affect the Center.
  • Work closely with staff and  Board to ensure that the Center has the necessary human resources to support ongoing and planned programs and fiscal growth plans as they are developed. Establish and maintain open lines of communication with the staff and ensure a level of professionalism and teamwork across the organization.  Supervise, motivate, empower, and delegate appropriate responsibility among staff members.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of educational programs for the general public, academic programs for area educators and schools, and scholarly use of the archives.

The Executive Director’s near-term (12-18 month) priorities include:

  • Develop a deep knowledge of current fundraising, core programs, staff responsibilities, operations, and business plans.
  • Become the face and voice of the Center. Learn about Robert H. Jackson and be able to effectively promote his legacy as well as the Center’s programs and objectives.
  • Develop a multi-year operating budget, including additional staff positions.
  • Develop a multi-year fundraising plan.
  • Develop a strategic plan in partnership with the Board.
  • Lead, manage, and strengthen organizational and program growth.
  • Plan, along with the Board Chair, a Board retreat.
  • Administer the execution of the facility renovations resulting from the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant

Qualifications and Experience

All candidates should have proven leadership, coaching and relationship management experience. Concrete demonstrable experience and other qualifications include:

  • Ideally an advanced degree with at least 5 years of senior management and non-profit experience.
  • Track record as an enthusiastic and entrepreneurial fundraiser with measurable results in identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major donors, foundation, government and corporate support, and generating other sources of revenue, and success in launching and completing a capital campaign or similar fundraising initiative.
  • Track record of effectively leading and scaling an organization and staff, including examples of having taken an organization to the next stage of growth.
  • Solid, hands-on budget management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making and reporting.
  • Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation, and demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff.
  • Ability to convey a vision of the Center’s strategic future to staff, Board, volunteers and donors.
  • Ability to assess situations to determine importance, urgency and risks, and to make clear decisions which are timely and in the best interests of the organization.
  • Skills to collaborate with and motivate Board members and other volunteers.
  • Strong writing and public speaking skills.

Compensation

  • Base compensation based on professional experience and current market rates.
  • Reasonable salary increases based on performance.
  • Potential for bonus based on exceeding fundraising goals.

This post was emailed to the Jackson List, a private but entirely non-selective email list that reaches many thousands of subscribers around the world. I write to it periodically about Justice Robert H. Jackson, the Supreme Court, Nuremberg and related topics. The Jackson List archive site is http://thejacksonlist.com/.  To subscribe, email me at barrettj@stjohns.edu. Thank you for your interest, and for spreading the word.