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Likewise with the development of the principle of the equality of states before the law, precedence in the enumeration of the negotiators in the preamble and in the signatures is given in the counterpart to the state which retains. Otherwise the two instruments are identical. In case of several parties having various languages, the instrument often appears in only one language, customarily in Europe, the French. The same precedence is given in the retained counterpart, the order of the other countries being alphabetical or determined by lot. The ratification is not only attached to the instrument retained, but, for the assurance of the other contracting party or parties, is also attached to an exact copy of the retained instrument, which is exchanged for a similar copy from the other party, or in case of several parties is deposited in such place as is designated by the treaty. Each state, in case of two parties only, has then not only its own counterpart with its ratification attached, but a copy of the counterpart retained by the other party with the latter's ratification attached. A protocol signed by the plenipotentiaries by whom the exchange is effected records the act.
As there is no common court by which compacts between states can be enforced, they derive their obligation from the plighted faith. To insure their execution and observance, it was customary at one time to give to important treaties a special confirmation by oath or guaranty, or to deliver hostages as a pledge.' Although
"See for instances, Phillimore, vol. ii, p. 77 et seq., and Rivier, vol. ii, p. 94 et seq. In a treaty of amity and commerce between Henry VII of England and Philip, Archduke of Austria, signed Feb. 24, 1495, one archbishop, two bishops, one marquis, five earls, one viscount, one prior, and the mayors and aldermen of seventeen of the principal cities of England, were joined as sureties on the part of the king of England. A General Collection of Treatys (2d ed. London, 1732), vol. ii, p. 21.
as between civilized nations of the first rank the latter expedient terminated with the treaty of Aix la Chapelle of 1748, it has been resorted to in treaties with people of a less degree of civilization. For instance, the United States has accepted hostages in concluding treaties with Indian tribes. Likewise territory may be held as security for faithful performance. Such was the case with the treaties of peace of May 10, 1871, between France and Germany, and of April 17, 1895, between China and Japan. In the desire of each nation to have its word stand unimpeached, is found, however, at present the chief sanction of treaties. As Vattel says, “He who violates his treaties, violates at the same time the law of nations; for he disregards the faith of treaties—that faith which the law of nations declares sacred; and so far as depends on him he renders it vain and ineffectual. Doubly guilty, he does an injury to his ally, he does an injury to all nations, and inflicts a wound on the great society of mankind.":
I Vattel, Bk. ii, ch. xv, sec. 221.
Central control over the execution
Explanation of Senate amendments