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prize money act of 186271 provided for the division of ransom money in the same manner as prize money, and in the case of Goodrich vs. Gordon?? in the supreme court of New York, ransom bills were held to be good contracts enforceable in court.

(4) The sequestration and sale of prizes in neutral ports are practices which the United States as a neutral permitted France in the wars following the French Revolution.73 Since that time the United States has opposed such practices, although according to treaties?4 and international law75 it has permitted the temporary asylum of belligerent warships and their prizes.

In the Hague conventions of 190776 special provision was made for the sequestration of prizes in neutral ports pending adjudication in the belligerent's prize court, apparently with the hope of somewhat limiting the necessity of destroying prizes at sea. The United States did not ratify this section, thus maintaining its opposition to the principle of sequestration of prizes, which the American delegation spoke of as an “ancient abuse."'77 The Naval War College in a discussion of the subject in 190878 recommended against sequestration. Nevertheless the United States has resorted to sequestration in wars in which she has been a belligerent, and the courts have not hesitated to uphold their jurisdiction over prizes in neutral ports, as well as over prizes


71 Act, July 17, 1862, 12 stat. 600.
72Goodrich vs. Gordon, 15 Johns, 6, (1818) N. Y.
73 Moore's Digest, 7;935-938.

74 Treaties with France, 1778-1798, art. 17, Malloy, p. 474; 1800-1809, art. 24, p. 504; Great Britain, 1794-1807, art. 25, p. 604; Prussia, 17851796, art. 19, p. 1483; 1799-1810, revived 1828, p. 1493; Sweden, 1783-1799, revived 1816, 1827, art. 17, 19, p. 1732; Tripoli, 1805, art. 17, p. 1792; Algiers, 1795-1815, art. 10, p. 3; 1815-1830, art. 18, p. 8; Netherlands, 1782-1795, art. 5, p. 1245.

75 Att. Gen. Cushing, 7 op. 122, (1855), Moore's Digest, 7:982-985. This applies at least to war vessels and their prizes. The privilege was often denied to privateers. See Cushing, 7 op. 122, (1855), Moore's Digest, 7;546. For opinion during the Revolutionary war see Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, 1;255-257, 274; 2;537-538.

76 Hague Conventions, 1907, xiii, art. 23.

77 Report of United States Delegation, see Naval War College, International Law Situations, 1908, p. 76.

78 Naval War College, International Law Situations, 1908, pp. 58-78.

79 Jecker vs. Montgomery, 13 How. 512; The Arabella and The Madeira, 2 Gall. 368; Hudson vs. Guestier, 4 Cranch 293; Naval War College, International Law Situations, 1908, pp. 60-62.

which had been soldo or destroyed.81 The sequestration of prizes in neutral ports seems to be permitted to naval vessels by law of the United States, although not looked upon with favor.

(5) Release of neutral prizes in preference to destruction was recommended by the naval war college in a discussion of 1907,82 but this course would probably not be pursued except as a last resort.

The permission to accept ransom and sequestrate vessels in neutral ports, together with the strict injunction to bring prizes in for adjudication if possible, tends to prevent injury to neutral owners. The permission to destroy prizes, however, would have an opposite effect. The criminal penalties provided for illegal treatment of prizes as well as the rule giving action for damages in such cases are also measures directed toward the duties of prevention encumbent upon the country.

ADJUDICATION OF PRIZES One of the most important measures taken by the United States to prevent infractions of neutral rights by its naval forces, is the establishment of prize courts with jurisdiction over all seizures by naval vessels. This means of prevention is regarded as so essential that it has become a rule of international law. The establishment of prize courts and the adjudication of prizes are duties which international law requires of belligerent states.

(1) In a large number of its treaties83 the United States has reciprocally agreed as a belligerent to adjudicate prizes seized from the other contracting party, when neutral, in its prize court,

80Williams vs. Amroyd, 7 Cranch 423.

81 The Edward Barnard, Blatch. 122; The Schooner Zavalla, Blatch. 173. See Naval War Col., Int. Law Sit., 1908, p. 63.

82 Naval War College, International Law Discussions, 1907, p. 75. Release, where the prize can not be brought in for adjudication, is recommended by Lawrence, op. cit., p. 405; Hall, op. cit., p. 763. British courts have favored this rule in dicta, see The Zee Star, 4 Rob. 71; The Felicity, 2 Dods. 381; The Leucade, Spinks, 221, Bentwich 157, Moore's Digest, 7:522. Release of neutral prizes in certain cases was prescribed in the Japanese prize law of 1894, (art. 20, 22), but destruction was permitted in similar cases by the law of 1904, art. 91. See S. Takahashi, International Law applied to the Russo-Japanese War, New York, 1908, pp. 333-788, Moore's Digest, 7;525.

88 Adjudication of prizes has been required in twenty treaties with fourteen countries, of which those with Bolivia (1858, art. 24, Malloy, p. 121) and Colombia (1846, art. 24, p. 309) are in force.

and to furnish a written statement of the reason for condemnation, on request. Statutes,84 instructions to naval forces85 and numerous decisions of prize courts88 have also insisted on the necessity of a legal adjudication of prizes before passage of title or complete ousting of the right of the original neutral owner.

The United States has also recognized the duty of observing certain limitations in the establishment of its prize courts. Although France established prize courts in territory of the United States in the wars following the French revolution, the United States87 never acknowledged its right to do so, and in the Hague conventions of 190788 it was provided that prize courts should not be set up on neutral territory or on a vessel in neutral waters. The courts have held that prize courts may be established in the country's jurisdiction or in occupied enemy territory.89

(2) The power to establish a prize court of appeal was given to congress in the Articles of Confederation and also the power to establish rules for deciding in all cases what captures on land or water shall be legal, and in what manner prizes taken by land or naval forces in the service of the United States shall be divided or appropriated." The court, consisting of a committee of congress established under this authority by the continental congress, 90 had simply appellate jurisdiction over state courts of admiralty, the establishment of which with a prize jurisdiction was recommended to the colonial legislatures by a resolution of

84 Rev. Stat. sec. 4615-4617.

85Instructions, June 20, 1898, art. 20-23, For. Rel. 1898, p. 781; Moore's Digest, 7;514; Stockton's Naval War Code, 1900-1904, art. 46-50.

86 The Dos Hermanos, 2 Wheat. 76; The Pizarro, 2 Wheat, 227; The Adventure, 8 Cranch 221, (1814); Grundy Att. Gen., 3 op. 377, (1838), The Nassau, 4 Wall, 634; Moore's Digest, 7;623-631.

87 See Fenwick, The Neutrality Laws of the United States, p. 18. At the time of the Revolutionary war it was common to take prizes into neutral ports where they were adjudicated by the local courts of admiralty, although it was even then regarded as an act approaching a breach of neutral duty. The United States on several occasions took prizes into French and Spanish ports. See G. W. Allen, A Naval History of the American Revolution, N. Y., 1913, 1;255,274: 2;537,538.

88 Hague Conventions, 1907, xiii, art. 4, Malloy, p. 2359.

89The Grapeshot, 9 Wall. 129. The authority of the president as commander in chief to establish prize courts in conquered territory was upheld in the Grapeshot but denied in Jecker vs. Montgomery, 13 How. 498, which held that Congress alone could create courts with a prize jurisdiction. See Moore's Digest, 7;585.

90 Articles of Confederation, art.. 9; Resolution of Nov. 25, 1775, sec. 6, Jour. Cong. 1:242, Ford. ed. 3;373. See note on these courts with references, Scott 10..

congress. 91


By the constitution the judicial power of the United States is declared to extend over “all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction." By the judiciary act of 1789 the jurisdiction of the federal courts over prizes has been made exclusive, thereby barring any possible jurisdiction in state courts, and original jurisdiction in prize causes has been given exclusively to federal district courts, 93 thus limiting higher federal courts including the supreme court to appellate jurisdiction in such cases. The prize jurisdiction of district courts is complete, including all matters relating to the disposition of vessels seized jure belli, or by authority of statutes such as embargo, non-intercourse and revenue acts. The admiralty jurisdiction, both instance and prize, exists constantly, and no specific commission on the outbreak of war is necessary for the exercise of prize jurisdiction ;94 thus when the country is neutral the jurisdiction may be exercised over vessels violating neutrality, and in times of peace over vessels of pirates and unrecognized insurgents committing depradations against commerce.95

91 Resolution of Nov. 25, 1775, sec. 4-6, Jour. Cong. 1;242, Ford. ed. 3;373. See Moore's Digest, 7;585. Before the passage of this resolution, on Nov. I, 1775, the general court of Massachusetts had established prize courts, the first ever erected by an independent state in the western hemisphere. See Acts and Resolutions of Province of Massachusetts Bay, 1886, 5:436.

92 Act. Sept. 24, 1789, i stat. 76,, sec. 9; rev. stat., sec. 711, cl. 3, 4; Judicial code, 1911, act March 3, 1911, 36 stat. 1087, sec. 256, cl. 4. The admiralty jurisdiction of which prize jurisdiction is a part was held to be exclusive in federal courts in The Hine vs. Trevor, 4 Wall. 555; The Belfast, 7 Wall. 625.

93 Act Sept. 24, 1789, I stat. 76, sec. 9; rev, stat., sec. 563, cl. 8; Judicial code of 1911, 36 stat. 1087, sec. 24, cl. 3. See Ketland vs. The Cassius, 2 Dall. 365, (1796).

94 Prize jurisdiction may have been originally inherent in courts of admiralty in England, but it was quite early recognized as distinct from the instance jurisdiction and as exercisable only under special commission, see Lindo vs. Rodney, 2 Doug. 614, (1781) W. S. Holdsworth, A History of English Law, 3 Vol., London, 1907, 1;330. By the naval prize act of 1864, (27-28 Vict. c 25, sec. 4) a permanent prize jurisdiction was given to the High Court of admiralty, which was vested in the High Court by the Judicature act of 1873, (36-37 Vict. c. 66, sec. 4-18). By the Prize courts act of 1894, (57-58 Vict. c. 39), commissions giving a prize jurisdiction to vice-admiralty courts might be issued in time of peace to become effective by the outbreak of war. See, The Earl of Halsbury, ed., The Laws of England, 27 vol., London, 1912, 23;285, Pitt Cobbett, Cases and Opinions on International Law, 3rd. ed., 2 vols., London, 1909, 2;190.

(3) By the international prize court convention of the second Hague conference, ratification of which with an amending protocol was recommended by the senate on February 15, 1911,96 the United States has consented to submit to the decision of the international prize court in certain prize cases arising in wars in which all of the belligerents are parties to the convention. By the protocoloproposed by the United States in 1910 on account of the constitutional impossibility of an appellate authority above the supreme court, it is provided that an original action for damages against the captors may be brought in the international prize court. Technically therefore in the case of the United States the international prize court would not have jurisdiction to determine the validity of the title to prizes, but the effect of the decision would be the same. The international prize court has not been established up to date.

The convention provides that in deciding cases the court is to be governed by treaties if any bear on the controversy, by international law if settled or in the absence of either by "general principles of justice and equity." On account of this somewhat vague description of the law to be applied the London Naval Conference of 1909 was called to draw up a code of prize law. Owing to the failure of the Declaration of London, proposed by this conference to secure general ratification, no immediate prospect of the establishment of the court is in view.98 The firm establishment of such an international court would undoubtedly be a most potent agency for preventing injury to neutral persons by belligerent naval forces.

(4) Prize jurisdiction is ordinarily exclusive in the courts of the country of the capturing belligerent power. It is essen


95Glass vs. The Betsey, 3 Dall. 6, (1794). Supra p. 33 et seq., 131

et seq.

96 Hague Conventions, 1907, xii, Charles, Treaties, 1913, p. 248. 97Charles, Treaties, 1913, p. 262.

98 On the status of the Declaration of London in 1914 see Editorial comment, Am. Jour. Int. Law, 9;199, Jan. 1915.

99 L'Invincible, 1 Wheat. 238, 261; The Estrella, 4 Wheat. 298; U. S. vs. Peters, 3 Dall. 121, (1795). In a number of treaties to which the United States is a party, it is provided that prizes of either party when belligerent shall be exempt from the jurisdiction of the other when tem

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