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often as the vessel shall return into port, and shall be exhibited whensoever required, as well in the open sea as in port. But if the vessel be under convoy of one or more vessels of war, belonging to the neutral party, the simple declaration of the officer commanding the convoy, that the said vessel belongs to the party of which he is, shall be considered as establishing the fact, and shall relieve both parties from the trouble of further examination.

2. A charter-party, that is to say, the contract passed for the freight of the whole vessel, or the bills of lading given for the cargo in detail.

3. The list of the ship's company, containing an indication by name and in detail of the persons composing the crew of the vessel. These documents shall always be authenticated according to the forms established at the place from which the vessel shall have sailed.

As their production ought to be exacted only when one of the contracting parties shall be at war, and as their exhibition ought to have no other object than to prove the neutrality of the vessel, its cargo, and company, they shall not be deemed absolutely necessary on board such vessels belonging to the neutral party as shall have sailed from its ports before or within three months after the Government shall have been informed of the state of war in which the belligerent party shall be engaged. In the interval, in default of these specific documents, the neutrality of the vessel may be established by such other evidence as the tribunals authorised to judge of the case may deem sufficient.

Treaty of Amity and Commerce concluded between the United States and

Prussia, July 11, 1799, Article XIV. To avoid all kind of vexation and abuse in the examination of the papers relating to the ownership of the vessels belonging to the citizens of the two contracting parties, they have agreed, and do hereby agree, that in case one of them should be engaged in war, the ships and vessels belonging to the citizens of the other must be furnished with sea-letters or passports, expressing the name, property and bulk of the ship, as also the name and place of habitation of the master and commander of the said vessel, in order that it may thereby appear that the ship really and truly belongs to the citizens of one of the parties; they have likewise agreed that when such ships have a cargo, they shall also be provided, besides the said sea-letters or passports, the place whence the ship sailed, so that it may be known whether any forbidden or contraband goods are on board the same; which certificates shall be made out by the officers of the place whence the ship sailed in the accustomed form; without which requisites said vessel may be detained, to be adjudged by the competent tribunal, and may be declared lawful prize, unless the said defect shall be proved to be owing to accident and shall be satisfied or supplied by testimony entirely equivalent.

Treaty of Peace, Amity, Navigation, and Commerce concluded between the

United States and New Granada (Colombia), December 12, 1846, Ar

ticle XXII. To avoid all kind of vexation and abuse in the examination of the papers relating to the ownership of the vessels belonging to the citizens of the two contracting parties, they agree that, in case one of them should be engaged in war, the ships and vessels belonging

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to the citizens of the other must be furnished with sea-letters or passports, expressing the name, property and bulk of the ships, as also the name and place of habitation of the master and commander of said vessel, in order that it may thereby appear that said ship truly belongs to the citizens of one of the parties; they likewise agree that such ships being laden, besides the said sea-letters or passports, shall also be provided with certificates, containing the several particulars of the cargo, and the place whence the ship sailed, so that it may be known whether any forbidden or contraband goods be on board the same; which certificates shall be made out by the officers of the place whence the ship sailed in the accustomed form; without such requisites said vessels may be detained, to be adjudged by the competent tribunal, and may be declared legal prize, unless the said defect shall prove to be owing to accident, and supplied by testimony entirely equivalent.

Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Commerce and Navigation concluded between

the United States and Bolivia, May 13, 187 Article XXII. Seizure of a vessel or cargo, enemy or neutral, can occur only in the following cases:

1. When the result of the visit shows that the papers are not in proper form.

Institute, 1882, p. 50. The nationality of the vessel, its cargo and crew, should be shown in the ship's papers found upon the vessel which has been seized, provided however that there may always be a subsequent production before the prize courts.

The question as to whether the conditions as to nationality are fulfilled is decided in accordance with the law of the State to which the vessel belongs.

The legal document showing the sale of an enemy vessel made during the war must be perfect, and the vessel should be registered before it leaves the port of departure, and in accordance with the law of the country whose nationality it acquires. The new nationality can not be acquired by a vessel which is sold during a voyage.

The ship’s papers required by international law are the following: 1. Documents relating to the ownership of the vessel ; 2. Bill of lading;

3. List of the crew, with an indication of the nationality of the master and the crew;

4. Certificate of nationality, if the documents mentioned under 3 do not cover it;

5. Log-book.

The Documents listed in the preceding article should be drawn up clearly and without ambiguity in order to be adequate proof.

If, in ascertaining whether it is a case for seizure, there is evidence as to the nationality or destination of the vessel, or as to the nature of the cargo, or as to the nationality of the master and crew, depending upon which point is at issue, and one of the ship's papers ordinarily relating to this question is lacking, the mere absence of this paper is not a ground for seizure, provided however that the ship's other papers are in perfect agreement on the point in question.

Institute. 1882, pp. 50 K]

A neutral is bound not only to submit to search, but to have his vessel duly furnished with the genuine documents requisite to support her neutral character. The most material of these documents are, the register, passport, or sea-letter, muster-roll, log-book, charter party, invoice, and bill of lading. The want of some of these papers is strong presumptive evidence against the ship's neutrality; yet the want of any one of them is not absolutely conclusive. Si aliquid ex solemnibus deficiat, cum aequitas poscit subveniendum est. The concealment of papers material for the preservation of the neutral character justifies a capture, and carrying into port for adjudication, though it does not absolutely require a condemnation. It is good ground to refuse costs and damages on restitution, or to refuse further proof to relieve the obscurity of the case, where the cause labored under heavy doubts, and there was prima facie ground for condemnation independent of the concealment. The spoliation of papers is a still more aggravated and inflamed circumstance of suspicion. That fact may exclude further proof, and be sufficient to infer guilt; but it does not, in England, as it does by the maritime law of other countries, create an absolute presumption juris et de jure; and yet a case that escapes with such a brand upon it is saved so as by fire. The Supreme Court of the United States has followed the less rigorous English rule, and held that the spoliation of papers was not, of itself, sufficient ground for condemnation, and that it was a circumstance open for explanation; for it may have arisen from accident, necessity, or superior force. If the explanation be not prompt and frank, or be weak and futile; if the cause labors under heavy suspicions, or there be a vehement presumption of bad faith, or gross prevarication, it is good cause for the denial of further proof; and the condemnation ensues from defects in the evidence, which the party is not permitted to supply. The observation of Lord Mansfield, in Bernardi v. Motteur*, was to the same effect. By the maritime law of all countries, he said, throwing papers overboard was considered as a strong presumption of enemy's property; but, in all his experience, he had never known a condemnation on that circumstance only.

Kent, vol. 1, pp. 166, 167 ; * Doug., 581. The acknowledged belligerent right of visitation and search draws after it a right to the production and examination of the ship's papers. With respect, however, to the nature and character of the papers which the neutral is bound to have on board, there is some difference of opinion. Some continental writers contend that the ordinary sea letter or passport, is all that is required, as that must establish the nationality of the vessel. If, however, it has been agreed between the belligerent and neutral, that certain papers executed in a particular form shall be carried, the absence of such papers, so executed, may be good ground of seizure. But English and American writers, as well as the decisions of the prize courts of the two countries, have held, that the neutral vessel may be required to have on board, and to produce when visited, such other documentary evidence as is usually carried, and deemed necessary to establish the character of the ship and its cargo; and that the absence or non-production of such papers, may, or may not, be good cause for

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capture, and condemnation, according to the particular circumstances of the case. The rule is very clearly stated by Chancellor Kent. "A neutral is bound," he says, "not only to submit to search, but to have his vessel duly furnished with the genuine documents requisite to support her neutral character. The most material of these documents are, the register, passport or sea-letter, muster-roll, log-book, charter-party, invoice, and bill of lading. The want of some of these papers is strong presumptive evidence against the ship's neutrality, yet the want of any one of them is not absolutely conclusive. Si aliquid ex solemnibus deficiat, cum equitas pascit subveniendum est."

Sometimes the neutral vessel produces the principal papers necessary to show her neutrality and the innocent character of her cargo, but conceals others which might have a contrary effect, as, for example, secret instructions relating to her destination and the landing of goods, etc. Those who deny the right of search beyond the verification of her sea-letter, or manifest, justify such concealment. But English and American writers are of opinion, that concealment is in itself a serious offense against the belligerent right of visit and search. The rule of international law on this question is thus stated by Chancellor Kent: “The concealment of papers," he says, “material for the preservation of the neutral character, justifies a capture, and carrying into a port for adjudication, though it does not absolutely require a condemnation. It is good ground to refuse costs and damages on restitution, or to refuse further proof to relieve the obscurity of the case, where the cause labored under heavy doubts, and there was prima facie ground for condemnation independent of the concealment."

The spoliation of the papers of a ship, subjected to the visitation and search of a belligerent cruiser, is a still more aggravated circumstance of suspicion than that of their denial or concealment, and, in most countries, would be sufficient to infer guilt and exclude further proof. “But it does not in England," says Kent, “ as it does by the maritime law of other countries, create an absolute presumption juris et de jure; and yet, a case that escapes with such a brand upon it, is saved so as by fire. The supreme court of the United States has followed the less rigorous English rule, and held that the spoliation of papers was not, of itself, suflicient ground for condemnation, and that it was a circumstance open for explanation, for it may have arisen from accident, necessity, or superior force. If the explanation

, be not prompt and frank, or be weak and futile; if the cause labors under heavy suspicions, or there be a vehement presumption of bad faith, or gross prevarication, it is good cause for the denial of further proof; and the condemnation ensues from defects in the evidence, which the party is not permitted to supply. The observation of Lord Mansfield, in Bernardi v. Motteaux, was to the same effect. By the maritime law of all countries, he said, throwing papers overboard was considered as a strong presumption of enemy's property; but, in all his experience, he had never known a condemnation on that circumstance only."

Halleck, pp. 621–624. It is incumbent on all such vessels to be provided with certain documents for the proof of their neutral character, and of the inno

cency of the adventure in which they are engaged, and it is agreed that they are obliged as a general rule to produce these proofs on the summons of a duly authorised person.

Hall, p. 747. The occasions on which a neutral vessel may be seized for illicit acts affecting itself, or because its cargo is liable to confiscation, have for the most part been already specified. But there still remains to be noticed, as affecting it with penalties, a class of fraudulent or ambiguous acts of the owner or master, consisting in

1. The possession of false documents.
2. The destruction or concealment of papers.

That a vessel is furnished with double or false documents is invariably held to be a suflicient reason for bringing her in for adjudication; and according to Russian practice, at any rate, a false passport, and in Spanish practice double papers of any kind, entail confiscation of both ship and cargo; but generally falsity of papers is regarded with leniency, and is only considered to be noxious when there is reason to believe that the fictitious documents were framed in order to deceive the capturing belligerent, and that they would therefore fradulently oust the rights of the captors, if admitted as genuine. The ground of this leniency is that, apart from indications that they are directed against the interests of a particular belligerent, they are as likely to have been provided as a safeguard against the enemy of the captor as against the captor himself.

The destruction or spoliation’ of papers, and even though to a less degree, their concealment, is theoretically an offence of the most serious nature, the presumption being that it is effected for the purpose of fraudulently suppressing evidence which if produced would cause condemnation. The French Regulations of 1704, repeated in 1744 and 1778, declared to be good prize all vessels, with their cargoes, on simple proof of the fact that papers had been destroyed, irrespective of what the papers were; but the severity of the rule has been tempered in practice, it being commonly required that the destroyed papers should be proved to be such as in themselves to entail confiscation. In England and America a milder practice is in use. Spoliation or concealment of papers, 'if all the other circumstances are clear,' only affects the neutral with loss of freight; but it is a cause of grave suspicion, and may shut out the guilty person from any indulgence of the court, as for example, from permission to bring further proof if further proof be necessary. If the circumstances are not clear, if, for example, spoliation takes place when the capturing vessel is in sight, or at the time of capture, or subsequently to it without the destroyed papers having been seen by the captor, further proof would probably be shut out as, of

course, the natural inference from the circumstances being that they have been destroyed because their contents were compromising.

Hall, pp. 760, 761. Since the purpose of visit is to ascertain the nationality of a vessel, the character of her cargo and passengers, and the ports from and to which she is sailing, it is obvious that this purpose can not be realised in case the visited vessel is deficient in her papers.

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