an international jurist and Doctor of Law, was Deputy Director of the Institute of State and Law, Academy of Sciences (USSR), and is currently Senior Researcher at the Institute of Law and Government of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Peace and war, goodneighbourly attitudes and aggression, brutality and humanity exist side by side in the contemporary world as well.
Nevertheless, manifestations of compassion, mercy and mutual aid have a no less ancient record.
The documentary evidence, oral tradition and the mute testimony of archaeological sites tell an incontrovertible tale of man's cruelty and violence against his fellow man.
In the history of humankind, no matter how far back we look into the past, peaceful relations between people and nations have always been the ideal, and yet this history abounds in wars and bloodshed.
In March 1996, he was awarded the Martens Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Martens -jurist, diplomat and publicist" (Moscow 1993, 287 pages).
The primary task of modern times is to break this vicious chain and to put an end to war and violence - a goal which is all the more vital because of its close links with the need to prevent the ecological disaster that threatens the whole planet and its inhabitants.
Recipes for the elimination of war are many and varied and are all worthy of attention, but at the same time no one can question the significance and fruitfulness of the noble idea of protecting the life, honour and dignity of human beings by legal means, with the ultimate aim of banishing war itself from international relations.
In this connection, the importance of promoting legal awareness is primordial, since behaves in accordance with conceptions formed in his mind, and a legal norm can come into effect only when it becomes inherent in the way of thinking of a large enough number of people.
The Ten Commandments of the Bible can be carved on stone tablets, cast in bronze or stamped on steel plates, but will nevertheless remain a dead letter unless they become part of the legal consciousness of society.
According to Martens, the inviolability of human life, honour and dignity is recognized to be the right of everyone, not because it is protected by criminal law, but because everyone has an inalienable right to life, honour and dignity.
With regard to the driving force of international law, Martens saw it in the development of international relations, reflecting the nations'need to communicate among themselves: " " ( " where there is communication there is law " ).
He wrote: " The idea of international communication under which every independent State is an organic part of a single whole, linked with the other States by their common interests and rights, should serve as the basis for a scientific system of contemporary international law " .[3 ]The real needs of States are constituted by international relations, which in turn are expressed in international law.
At the same time, international law is not merely a device for recording the formation of relations between States, but is also a manifestation of the moral values of the human race.
Although a down-to-earth realist, Martens stressed the " ideal power of law " , the power of the ideals of justice and humanity, and as a jurist and a humanist, he saw the basis for an equitable legal order, not in State sovereignty, " political balance " or nationalistic ideas, but solely in law: it is only law and the absolute rule of law that can ever serve as a basis for a properly organized life, free from war and violence.
In his analysis of the history of antiquity, feudalism and the modern era, Martens recorded a steady shift in the correlation between law and force in favour of law.
He believed that " in the area of international relations, too, the time will come wh en the great law of social life will finally prevail, and each nation will exist for the world and the world for each nation " .
[4 ]Martens'sublime humanism and foresight caused him to situate the human being at the centre of international life.
He concludes that there is but one law running through the entire history of nations, namely " the principle of respect for the human person " .[5 ]It is to his credit that he placed the human being at the centre of international law in spite of the views prevailing at the time.
Martens considered protection of the rights, interests and property of a human being to be the substance of the entire system of international relations and regarded respect for human rights as a yardstick of the degree of civilization of States and international relations.
When delivering his first lecture to students in January 1871, he defiedtradition by not continuing the course begun by his predecessor, but by criticizing the current state of the science of international law, on the grounds that it was not yet based on the study of material factors, was not trying to identify the objective laws of development and " made no attempt to investigate the internal laws of communication between States and of international relations " .
Martens believed that it was time to " start looking into the laws of the historical development of nations in their international life " .
[2 ] It was indeed bold of the young academic to claim to have created his own school of thought in international law.
Martens was above all opposed to any concept implying that law was based on force.
He regarded such views as unworthy of human beings and pernicious for international relations, pointing out that in such cases even prominent experts were confusing law enforcement procedures with law itself, for the fact that law was safeguarde d by force did not mean that force should serve as the basis for law.
At the age of nine he lost both his parents and was sent to a Lutheran orphanage in St. [1 ] Apparently the hardships of his childhood had not faded from his memory...
Petersburg, where he successfully completed the full course of studies at a German high school and in 1863 entered the law faculty of St. At the university the young man was a brilliant student and his gifts caught the attention of I. Ivanovsky, the faculty dean, whose support enabled him to continue his studies at the university and to obtain the degree of professor of international law.
Martens soon defended his master's thesis and was sent on a study tour abroad, attending lectures at the universities of Vienna, Heidelberg and Leipzig. Petersburg University, who advocated the ideas of the rights of the individual and West European constitutionalism, by L.
As may be seen from his later works, he was mainly influenced by A. von Stein, professor at the University of Vienna, well known for his works on management and " social intercommunication " across State boundaries, and by J. Bluntschli, professor at Heidelberg University, who published in the form of a code.
His growing knowledge of Russian and West European schools of thought helped to broaden his outlook and to develop his spirit of innovation and independent thinking.