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mend payment of a reasonable indemnity; but it will be necessary to have submitted to it the proofs showing the nature and extent of the damages suffered by the seizure, in order that the Department may consider the amount of the liability to make a definite recommendation." There is no evidence that the British Government ever complied with the request.
Before this Tribunal the United States Government denies all liability in this case.
It contends that the construction put upon the language of the statutes by the Circuit Court of Appeals is a very technical construction, while the construction upon which the officer acted in making the seizure had abundant support in decisions of the United States courts prior to this case, that it is clear, when this circumstance is taken in conjunction with the facts as disclosed, that the officer acted in the bona fide belief that the revenue laws of the United States had been infringed, and that for this belief there was probable cause.
The good faith and fair conduct of the officers of the Corwin are unquestionable, but though this may be taken into account as an explanation given by the same officers to their Government, it cannot operate to prevent their action being an error in judgment for which the Government of the United States is liable to a foreign Government.
Further, even supposing that the interpretation of the United States customs statutes may have given rise to some doubt, such a doubt cannot constitute a probable cause of seizure. Probable cause of seizure, as defined by Chief Justice Marshall, “imports a seizure made under circumstances which warrant suspicion” (Locke v. United States, 1813, VII Cranch 339, at p. 348). It implies the existence of certain facts which prima facie create a liability to seizure, facts which there is good reason to believe will be established though they are not yet actually proved. The doubt must be as to the existence of the fact, not as to its wrongful character.
Since in this case there was no doubt as to the circumstances of fact under which the seizure took place, but, according to the United States contention, some possible doubt as to the application of the statutes, their application was made by the United States naval authorities at the risk of their Government, and since it has been decided by the United States judicial authorities that this application was wrong, liability clearly arises. II. As to the consequences of the liability and amount of damages:
The result of inquiry made by the Tribunal of the agents of both Governments has been to show that a sum of $48,000 represents a proper amount to be paid by the Government of the United States as compensation for the seizure and its consequences. III. As to interest:
It would not be equitable that interest should be allowed for the period prior to six months after the decision of the Circuit Court of Appeals on November 16, 1896, i.e., prior to May 16, 1897. On the other hand, it has been shown that, on December 21, 1904, the United States Government declared that it was disposed to recommend payment on condition that the British Government should submit proof of the nature and extent of the damages. As has been said, there is no evidence that the British Government ever complied with that request.
Taking these circumstances into consideration, this Tribunal is of opinion that interest at 4% should be allowed from May 16, 1897, to December 21, 1904.
For These Reasons: This Tribunal decides that the Government of the United States must pay to the Government of His Britannic Majesty the sum of $48,000 on behalf of the British subjects injured by the seizure of the S. S. Coquitlam in June, 1892, with interest at 4% from May 16, 1897, to December 21, 1904.
For the Tribunal:
BOOK REVIEWS *
La Chine et la Grande Guerre Européenne. By Dr. Nagao Ariga, with a
preface by M. Paul Fauchille. Paris: A. Pedone, 1920. pp. 342.
This small but highly valuable and interesting volume is written for a very definite purpose: that of proving to the world at large that China stands, once for all, back of accepted principles of international law, in the capacity of a world Power which has much of value to offer in the matter of interpreting and applying these principles,—this as the result of five years' experience of difficulties which had to be met, and had to be overcome merely because China is China. Many were the varied and perplexing problems confronting the nation during the war period; and, whether judged by the standard of the theorist or by those of the practical diplomat, the Chinese officials proved themselves not only students (in the highest sense of the term) of the principles of international relationship, but teachers and authoritative exponents thereof. In the words of the author : “In the future it must no longer be the foreigner who forces her to recognize and observe the principles of the law of nations; it must be China herself who must be inspired by the desire to govern her conduct by these principles. ... The Republic proved to a demonstration that she was both able and willing to abide by the rules of international law."
The author has enjoyed exceptional opportunities for observing at first hand, and hence fully appreciating from every standpoint, the exact situation of China during the war, having occupied the position of legal adviser to the Republic for the seven and one-half years preceding the publication of the work. But aside from the above, he has had access to archives and documents which clothe his book with a peculiar authority, many of which are presented by him to the public in its pages for the first time. He has also drawn on the White Book issued by the Chinese Government in 1919, a publication modeled on the British Blue Books. This work contains, he tells us, 191 separate episodes set out in chronological order, the most important of which he has reproduced, with comments. But over and above these sources, thanks to the permission of the Chinese Government, the author has been permitted, during the preparation of this book, to examine, and use as texts, documents preserved in the Cabinet Files, and in the files of the Bureau of Affairs dealing with Neutrality, established by that government during those troublous times.
*The JOURNAL assumes no responsibility for the views expressed in signed book reviews.-ED.
As to the book itself: it is, one might say, in a sense a diminutive case book of international law, limited to the classification and, to a certain extent, the analysis of a generous number of episodes involving problems which the Chinese Government was called upon to solve, first as a neutral Power, next as a nation which has broken off friendly relations with a sister nation, and finally in the capacity of a state at war. The situation which, in general, confronts any member of the family of nations during these changing phases of polity and fact is briefly commented upon by the writer, who then follows up his remarks by a careful presentation of what we may describe as the local political landscape of China at the time, and the methods pursued by her in adapting her own peculiar conditions to an observance of the legal principles involved. In so doing the writer adopts the method, excellent as it is simple, of presenting the facts attendant on each case as it came up, in many cases the exchanges of the representatives of the nations interested, and the final action taken. These incidents are, naturally, related in condensed form, but not to an extent to interfere with the lucidity of presentation which characterizes the entire work. It is the ordered and useful product of an ordered and comprehensive mind.
C. L. Bouvé.
The British Year Book of International Law, 1920-21. London: Oxford
University Press. 1920, pp. viii, 292.
This first volume of the British Year Book of International Law appears under the auspices of a committee composed of Sir Erle Richards, Professor Higgins, Sir John MacDonnell, Sir Cecil Hurst, and Mr. Whittuck, with Mr. Picciotto as the editor. This list of distinguished scholars is of itself an invitation to serious consideration. The series of essays, so appetizingly printed, well justifies the attention which its sponsors invite. Their purpose is to provide an annual volume wherein may be found “well-informed and careful contributions to the science of international law,” the fruits of research as applied to the problems of today. In this initial work are ten essays as follows: The British Prize Courts and the War, by Sir Erle Richards; Sovereignty and the League of Nations, by Sir Geoffrey Butler ; The Legal Position of Merchantmen in Foreign Ports and National Waters, by A. N. Charteris, Esq.; The Legal Administration of Palestine under the British Military Occupation, by Lt. Col. Norman Bentwich; Submarine Warfare, by Professor Higgins; The Peace Treaty in its Effects on Private Property, by E. J. Schuster, Esq.; and International Labor Conventions, by Sir John MacDonnell; together with three anonymous contributions upon Changes in the Organization of the Foreign and Diplomatic Service, the League of Nations and the Laws of War, and the Neutrality of Brazil. In addition there are appreciative memorial notices of Professors Oppenheim and Lawrence, of Heinrich Lammasch, and Dr. Pitt Cobbett. Lastly there have been in. cluded a tentative list of international agreements, 1919-20, and a fairly complete bibliography of recent literature in the general field.
With the limits of this notice it is impossible to give to each essay the attention it deserves. In discussing the work of British prize courts, Sir Erle Richards, faced by the question of the legality of retaliation as presented by the case of the Leonora, concludes that though the law must be reluctant to admit that illegality may be answered by illegality at the expense of third parties, yet in practice it is impossible to deny that some right of retaliation exists. Even if this “right” exists as against the enemy (about which there can be little doubt), there does not seem as yet to be a basis for it as against neutrals, except the very practical one of preponderant belligerent power over neutral complaisance or weakness. The right is only likely to be claimed in exceptional circumstances, “only in super-wars such as the last, in which neutral influence ceases to be a real power.” Or to put it in another way, if the preponderance of sea-power is neutral, there is likely to be no attempt to make use of retaliatory methods. If sea-power is preponderantly belligerent, there may be. This is all doubtless true, but it is the denial rather than the affirmation of a legal principle. That way madness lies.
Discussing merchantmen in national waters, Mr. Charteris examines the conflicting British and French systems and argues for an international agreement upon the extent and nature of jurisdiction over foreign merchant vessels based upon the resolutions of the Institute of International Law, but giving definite content to the phrase "crimes and offenses disturbing the peace of the port."
Mr. Schuster considers, without attempting to decide, the question as to whether the treatment of personal property after the conclusion of peace as provided for in the treaty of peace with Germany has set a precedent to be followed in the future. On the one hand, the risk of confiscation may impede desirable freedom of commerce; on the other hand a risk might have some deterrent effect “upon a number of powerful and influential persons who might otherwise be favourable to ambitious military projects." There is thus raised the kind of query always to be met with in reference to the instrumentalities of warfare, on the one hand the affront to sensibility, upon the other the deterrent effect of severity.
The aim of the editors that the volume contain worthy contributions to the science of international law has been accomplished, and it is to be hoped that the continuance of the series may be assisted by the support given it by American readers.
J. S. REEVES.