Lieber, Francis. Legal and Political Hermeneutics, or Principles of Interpretation and Construction in Law and Politics, with Remarks on Precedents and Authorities. Enlarged Edition. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1839. xii, -240 pp. Reprinted 2002 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN 1-58477-226-3. Cloth. $65. * "The Hermeneutics was intended as a chapter of his Political Ethics, but became so extended that it was published separately. His distinction between interpretation and construction had great influence among legal writers of his day. The first is 'the art of finding out the true sense of any form of words' (...) in the sense which the author intended to convey, while construction is the drawing of conclusions respecting subjects that lie outside the direct expression of the text. Constitutions should be construed closely, he holds, since their words have been carefully weighed. The treatise received high commendation from Chancellor Kent, Henry Clay, Rufus Choate, and others." (DAB). Lieber was a Prussian scholar and political activist who was persecuted for his liberalism. He emigrated to the United States in 1827, and his writings, among them an encyclopedia that was the foundation of the Encyclopedia Britannica, advanced his reputation. He became professor of history and political economy at South Carolina College, and was later appointed to the same chair at Columbia College. In 1865 he moved to Columbia Law School, where he was renowned as a prominent political philosopher. Dictionary of American Biography VI: 236-237.
Foundations of the Laws of War Series. The Foundation of the Modern International Law of War. Known officially as General Orders No. 100, Lieber's code (1863) was the first of its kind. It served as the model for several European eff orts and was an important source for the second and fourth Hague Conventions (1899, 1907). It was an authority during the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crime trials. Its use by the framers of the 1998 Rome Treaty, which established the International Criminal Court, demonstrates its lasting value in our time. Indeed, with only a handful of modifications it is used by the U.S. Military today. This edition, printed by the Adjutant General for use in the Spanish-American War, is unchanged from the original. It is enhanced by Prof. Sheppard's illuminating introductory essay and the addition of Lieber's Guerrilla Parties Considered with Reference to the Laws and Usages of War (1862), which contains several ideas that were used in the Code. Born and educated in Germany, Francis Lieber [1798-1872] was an important political philosopher and a distinguished professor at Columbia College and Columbia Law School who pioneered the study of political science in the United States. His works on constitutional law, international law, military law and political science remain influential. With a New Introduction by Steve Sheppard, William Enfield Professor of Law, University of Arkansas School of Law Francis Lieber