Montesquieu

Thus, when a repu­blic holds some peo­ple in its depen­dency, it must seek to com­pen­sate for the disad­van­ta­ges that arise from the nature of the thing by giving them a good poli­ti­cal law and good civil laws.

An Italian repu­blic was kee­ping islan­ders in its obei­sance, but its poli­ti­cal and civil law with res­pect to them was fla­wed. We remem­ber the act of amnesty1 that pres­cri­bes that they would no lon­ger be sen­ten­ced to cor­po­ral punish­ments ex infor­mata cons­cien­tia of the gover­nor. We have often seen peo­ples ask for pri­vi­le­ges ; here the sove­reign grants the law of all nations.

Of 18 October 1738, printed in Genoa by Franchelli. Vietiamo al nostro General Gouvernatore in detta Isola di condanare in avenire solamente ex informata conscientia persona alcuna nazionale in pena afflittiva : potra ben si far arrestare ed incarcerare le persone che gli saranno sospette ; salvo di renderne poi à noi conto sollicitamente, att. VI. [‘We henceforth forbid our governor-general of this island to condemn to bodily punishment any person of our nation unless it be ex informata conscientia : however, he may arrest and imprison those he finds suspect, provided that he make a prompt account of it to us.’] See also Gazette d’Amsterdam, 23 December 1738.