1860 - Johnston, A. Notes on Maori Matters. - APPENDIX, p 43

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  1860 - Johnston, A. Notes on Maori Matters. - APPENDIX, p 43
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On the question--whether a Sovereign ought to observe the common laws of war towards rebellious subjects--Vattel says, c 18:--

Sec 288. --"The name of rebels is given to all subjects who unjustly take up arms against the ruler of the society, whether their view be to deprive him of the supreme authority, or to resist his commands in some particular instance, and to impose conditions on him."

Sec. 290. --"Violent measures are forbidden in civil society: the injured individuals should apply to the magistrate for redress, and if they do not obtain justice from that quarter, they may lay their complaints at the foot of the Throne. * * *

"What conduct shall the Sovereign observe towards his insurgents? I answer in general, such conduct as shall at the same time be the most consonant to justice and the most salutary to the State.

"In many cases, the safest and at the same time the most just method, of appeasing seditions is to give the people satisfaction."

Sec 292. --"When a party is formed in a State, who no longer obey the Sovereign, and are possessed of sufficient strength to oppose him--this is called Civil War.

"The Sovereign, indeed, never fails to bestow the appellation of rebels on all such of his subjects as openly resist him; but when the latter have acquired sufficient strength to give him effectual opposition, and to oblige him to carry on the war against them according to the established rules, he must necessarily submit to the use of the term 'Civil War.'

"Should the Sovereign conceive he has a right to hang up his prisoner as rebels, the opposite party will make reprisals; if he does not religiously observe the capitulations, and all other conventions made with his enemies, they will no longer rely on his word, * * the war will become cruel, horrible, and every day more destructive to the nation. * * *

"Whenever, therefore, a numerous body of men think they have a right to resist the Sovereign, and feel themselves in a condition to appeal to the sword, the war ought to be carried on by the contending parties in the same manner as by two different nations; and they ought to leave open the same means for preventing its being carried to outrageous extremities, and for the restoration of peace.

"When the Sovereign has subdued the opposite party, and reduced them to submit and sue for peace, he may except from the amnesty the authors of the disturbances--the heads of the party. He may bring them to a legal trial, and punish them if they be found guilty."

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