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(f) Continuous Voyages.

186. Colonial Trade, and Coasting Trade-Extension in 1793.

(1. The William, Cases and Op., 505; Hall, 672 ; Woolsey, 355 ; Phillimore, III., 388.)

187. Applied to the Carriage of Contraband, and the breach of

blockade by American Courts. (The Stephen Hart, Cases and Op., 509. See also : Hall, 673; Walker, 514, 515, 525 ; Phillimore, III., 391-403. Extract from the Bermuda, pp. 391–395, from the Peterhoff, pp. 395-396, from Hobbs v. Hemning, pp. 397-403 ; Bluntschli, Art. 835, r. 5 ; Calvo, SS 2762–2766.)

(g) The Right of Search and Capture. 188. The Right of Visit and Search is a belligerent right, to

which Neutrals are subject-And resistance in any manner to this right entails condemnation. (The Maria, Cases and Op., 515. And see : Hall, 725-731 ; Halleck, II., 267, 268, 283–296 ; Phillimore, III., 522, 544, 550 ; Woolsey, 358, 361 ; Calvo, SS 2939-3003, as to whole subject of Visit and Search ; Wheaton (D), SS 525–528; Heffter, SS 167–170.)

189. Formalities of the Exercise of the Right of Search

Grounds of Capture-False Documents-Spoliation of Papers. (Hall, 732–741 ; Halleck, II., 297–299 ; Phillimore, III., 536.)

190. The Right of Visit and Search in time of peace-Impress

ment of Seamen-Slave Trade-Protection of Seals—Piracy. (Halleck, II., 268-282; Phillimore, III., 525-529. And see the case of Le Louis, Cases and Op., $ 21 c, and p. 518, note ; Woolsey, 365–386 ; The Behring Sea Arbitration, Cases and Op., 521.)

191. The Right to capture Enemy's goods in Neutral vessels,

and Neutral goods in Enemy's vessels—“Free ships, free goods ”—Declaration of Paris. (Hall, 687-695, 717–723.)

(h) Prize Courts. 192. The Constitution of Prize Courts in different countries.

(Phillimore, III., 658–665; Lawrence's Wheaton, 960976.)


193. The Principles and Practice of Prize Courts.

III., 666–679.)

194. Decisions of Prize Courts—They are courts of the captors'

country. (Decisions of Prize Courts, Cases and Op., 518.)

195. Prize Courts on board ships-Practice of Captain Semmes, of

the Alabama. (Cases and Op., 519.)








(Blackstone's Commentaries, Book, IV. Chap. IV.)

The law of nations is a system of rules, deducible by natural reason, and established by universal consent among the civilized inhabitants of the world ; in order to decide all disputes, to regulate all ceremonies and civilities, and to insure the observance of justice and good faith, in that intercourse which must frequently occur between two or more independent states, and the individuals belonging to each.

This general law is founded upon this principle, that different nations ought in time of peace to do one another all the good they can, and in time of war as little harm as possible, without prej. udice to their own real interests. And, as none of these states will allow a superiority in the other, therefore neither can dictate or prescribe the rules of this law to the rest; but such rules must necessarily result from those principles of natural justice, in which all the learned of every nation agree; or they depend upon mutual compacts or treaties between the respective communities ; in the construction of which there is also no judge to resort to, but the law of nature and reason, being the only one in which all the con

tracting parties are equally conversant, and to which they are equally subject.

In arbitrary states this law, wherever it contradicts or is not provided for by the municipal law of the country, is enforced by the royal power; but since in England no royal power can introduce a new law, ar suspend the execution of the old, therefore the law of nations (wherever any question arises which is properly the object of its jurisdiction) is here adopted in its full extent by the common law, and is held to be a part of the law of the land. And those acts of parliament, which have from time to time been made to enforce this universal law, or to facilitate the execution of its decisions, are not to be considered as introductive of any new rule, but merely as declaratory of the old fundamental constitutions of the kingdom; without which it must cease to be a part of the civilized world. Thus in mercantile questions, such as bills of exchange and the like; in all marine causes, relating to freight, average, demurrage, insurances, bottomry, and others of a similar nature; the law merchant, which is a branch of the law of nations, is regularly and constantly adhered to. So too in all disputes relating to prizes, to shipwrecks, to hostages, and ransom bills, there is no other rule of decision but this great universal law, collected from history and usage, and such writers of all nations and languages as are generally approved and allowed of.

But, though in civil transactions and questions of property between the subjects of different states, the law of nations has much scope and extent, as adopted by the law of England ; yet the present branch of our inquiries will fall within a narrow compass, as offenses against the law of nations can rarely be the object of the criminal law of any particular state. For offenses against this law are principally incident to whole states or nations; in which case recourse can only be had to war; which is an appeal to the God of hosts, to punish such infractions of public faith as are committed by one independent people against another: neither state having any superior jurisdiction to resort to upon earth for justice. But where the individuals of any state violate this general law, it is then the interest as well as duty of the government, under which they live, to animadvert upon them with a becoming severity, that the peace of the world may be maintained.

For in vain would nations in their collective capacity observe these universal rules, if private subjects were at liberty to break them at their own discretion, and involve the two states in a war. It is therefore incumbent upon the nation injured, first to demand satisfaction and justice to be done on the offender, by the state to

which he belongs; and, if that be refused or neglected, the sovereign then avows himself an accomplice or abettor of his subject's crime, and draws upon his community the calamities of foreign war.



(14 Wallace, 170.)

Discussion of General Principles.

Judgment by STRONG, J.:

* * * “ Undoubtedly, no single nation can change the law of the sea. That law is of universal obligation, and no statute of one or two nations can create obligations for the world. Like all the laws of nations, it rests upon the common consent of civilized communities. It is of force, not because it was prescribed by any superior power, but because it has been generally accepted as a rule of conduct. Whatever may have been its origin, whether in the usages of navigation or in the ordinances of maritime states, or in both, it has become the law of the sea only by the concurrent sanction of those nations who may be said to constitute the commercial world. Many of the usages which prevail, and which have the force of law, cloubtless originated in the positive prescriptions of some single state, which were at first of limited effect, but which when generally accepted became of universal obligation. The Rhodian law is supposed to have been the first system of marine rules. It was a code for Rhodians only, but it soon became of general authority because accepted and assented to as a wise and desirable system by other maritime nations. The same may be said of the Amalphitan Table, of the ordinances of the Hanseatic League, and of parts of the marine ordinances of Louis XIV. They all became the law of the sea, not on account of their origin, but by reason of their acceptance as such. And it is evident that unless general assent is efficacious to give sanction to international law, there never can be that growth and development of maritime rules which the constant changes in the instruments and necessities of navigation require. Changes in nautical rules have taken place. How have they been accomplished, if not by the concurrent assent, expressed or understood, of maritime nations?

When, therefore, we find such rules of navigation as are mentioned in the British orders in council of January 9th, 1863, and in

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