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Author(s): Friedrich Fromhold Martens

Journal: Acta Societatis Martensis
ISSN 1736-3918

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2006;
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ABSTRACT
[War and Law] This text is a translation of the first chapter of Friedrich Fromhold Martens’ renowned opus magnum ― La Paix et la Guerre (1901). The text was first translated into Estonian in 1921 by general-major Nikolai Reek and published in an annex to magazine Sõdur (Soldier). Here the same translation appears in an edited form,which contains mostly modernisation of language, and improvement of references and citations. In this historical text Martens challenges the views of various authorities of his time (among others De Maistre, Proudhon, Girardin, von Treitschke and Herder) and seeks to develop a proper understanding of the relationship between war and law. He opposes in clear terms both the divinisation of war as well as its complete and unconditional denunciation. In contrast with both of these extreme views he argues that for the time being war is a reality which mankind will not be able to escape and thus, it is absolutely essential to make the best effort to subject it to strict customs and regulations. In his deliberations, he sets forth a clear vision of what we today know as the law of armed conflict.
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