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
Excerpt from A Code for the Government of Armies in the Field :
The American people, as all civilized nations, look with horror upon offers of rewards for the assassination of any enemies, as relapses into the disgraceful courses of savage times.
The assassination of a prisoner of war, is a murder of the blackest kind, and if it takes place, in consequence of the offer of a reward or not, and remains unpunished by the hostile government, the Law of War authorizes the most impressive retaliation, so that the repetition of a crime most dangerous to civilization, may be prevented, and a downward course into barbarity may be arrested.
Lieber, Francis. Manual of Political Ethics, Designed Chiefly for the Use of Colleges and Students at Law. Second Edition, Revised. Edited by Theodore D. Woolsey. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1890. Two volumes. Reprinted 2003 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. LCCN 2002044392. ISBN 1-58477-345-6. Cloth $160. * Reprint of second edition. First published in 1838 and 1839, Lieber's Manual of Political Ethics, a comprehensive theory of the state, is one of his most significant and influential works. It was one of the first treatises on political science, and the first written in the United States. Strongly influenced by German Idealism, it argues that the state is the ultimate expression of humanity's ancient quest for moral, ethical and spiritual fulfillment. As much a work of advocacy as it is of theory, it urges the reader to consider the moral obligations that arise from his participation in government and other civil institutions. Lieber's influence as an educator will make the work of interest to scholars of legal education as well as students of law and government. Theodore D. Woolsey [1801-1889], a professor at Yale (and later its president), was one of the founding fathers of American political science.
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