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Historian identifies Harvard Draft that found Eulsa Treaty `null and void`

Historian identifies Harvard Draft that found Eulsa Treaty `null and void`

Posted November. 19, 2015 08:29,   


The author of a Harvard Law School report, on which the International Federation declared the Korea-Japan Protectorate Treaty of 1905 as null and void, has been identified.

Seoul National University professor emeritus Lee Tae-jin will make a presentation Friday on the Korea-Japan Treaty of 1905, also known as the Eulsa Treaty, which deprived Korea of its diplomatic sovereignty and turned it into a protectorate of Japan, at an international academic forum marking the 110th anniversary of the treaty. In the presentation on the Western media`s roles in the movement for nullifying Japan`s annexation of Korea, the professor will identify the author of the International Federation`s 1935 "Harvard Draft" was James Garner, a University of Illinois professor.

In the 1935 Harvard Draft Convention on the Law of Treaties, the International Federation cited the Eulsa Treaty as one of the three "historically invalid" treaties. The other two were the 1773 Russo-Polish Treaty, under which the Russian military surrounded the Polish parliament and pushed for the partition of Poland, and the 1915 U.S. Treaty, which was approved by the Haitian parliament after it was occupied by the U.S. military.

The report came out as the international body`s efforts to turn international treaties into law. It is also called the "Harvard Draft" because a group of Harvard Law School professors led by professor Manley Hudson played a central role.

Professor James Garner became one of the advisors for the International Federation in 1932 and took charge of research on the international law on treaties as part of the project. Garner was a renowned scholar who studied world wars and was awarded the French Legion d`Honneur.

Lee said that Garner had frequent contacts with French academia and drafted the report on the basis of a 1906 thesis by Francis Lai, international law scholar who claimed that the Eulsa Treaty was invalid. The French scholar was a member of the French delegation to the Paris Peace Conference.

Lee also noted that Korea`s Provisional Government during the colonial era had both direct and indirect influences on the report. The Paris mission of the Provisional Government launched a movement in March 1919 to petition to the Paris convention for Korea`s independence, only to hear in June that the Korean issue was not a matter of the convention. "The delegation emphasized the legitimacy of Korea`s independence at international conventions at every opportunity," Lee said. "The International Federation`s expression of its official view takes on the character of a reply to Korea`s petition."

The International Federation`s report was carried on to the United Nations` International Law Commission`s 1963 report declaring that the ratification, approval and acceptance of a treaty under coercion or threat are invalid. Lee claimed that the international law-related organizations under the International Federation and the United Nation were in favor of the argument that the 1905 protectorate treaty and the 1910 annexation treaty between Korea and Japan were "null and void."