Слике страница
PDF
ePub

ENGLISH AUTHORITIES

English and American courts have often been called upon, however, to consider the limits of the jurisdiction of prize and admiralty courts. While such cases are not decisive of the question at issue, since admiralty and prize courts may also have jurisdiction over booty taken on land,14 they may afford some guide to be followed in distinguishing between land and naval capture.

Questions arising out of the division of prize money among captors are municipal matters, not depending upon international law. The municipal law concerning land warfare may provide for a distribution of booty similar to that of prize money. The jurisdiction of English prize courts clearly extends to captures made by naval expeditions on enemy territory." An early Order in Council u provided for the disposition of enemy ships taken in ports, creeks, or roads within English territory. The English Prize Act of 1864 17 expressly provides for land expeditions of naval or naval and military forces;18 but English courts have seldom been called upon to apply it to such expeditions.

In the recent war the general question was raised in the case of The Roumanian, 19 in which oil from British vessels was seized after having been unloaded on a wharf in England. In the course of his judgment in the Privy Council, Lord Parker of Waddington dealt with the limits of maritime prize and stated that "the test ashore or afloat is not an infallible test as to whether goods can or cannot be seized as maritime prize"; and although he thought that the local situation of the goods at the time might be of importance, he concluded that "it is the seizure as prize and not the local situation of the goods seized which confers jurisdiction" on a prize court.*0

14 Banda and Kirwee Booty (1866) L. R. 1 Adm. and Ecc. 109. The jurisdiction of prize courts in Germany seems more narrowly confined. Huberich & King, The Development of German Prize Law, 18 Columbia Law Review 503, 511.

16 Undo v. Rodney (1782) 2 Dougias 613. Cf. The Thorshaven (1809) Edwards Adm. Rep. 102. In The Rebeckah (1799) 1 Christopher Robinson 227, the capture was made by naval forces from a land garrison.

11 In 1665-6, reproduced in 1 Christopher Robinson 231.

"27 & 28 Vict. c. 25, § 34. Cited by counsel in The Anichab [1919] Probate 329, 331.

18 The FeldtnarschaU [1920] Probate 289, will doubtless be a leading case on the law of joint captures by land and sea forces. See also The Dordrecht (1799) 2 Christopher Robinson 55; The Stella del Norte (1805) 5 Christopher Robinson 349.

"[1915] Probate 26, [1916] 1 A. C. 124. Also reported in (1914) 1 British & Colonial Prize Cases, 75, 536. Cf. The Achate (No. 2) [1915], 1 British and Colonial Prize Cases, 635; The Bawean [1918] Probate 58; The Batavier II [1918] Probate 66.

*0 In The Geertruida (1917) Entscheidungen dee Oberprisengerichts in Berlin, p. 302, a claim presented by the owner of a Dutch vessel sunk by a submarine was dismissed by the German prize court because its jurisdiction was held to be limited to cases where there had been a seizure as prize. But on the necessity of possession as a condition of prize court jurisdiction, see The EVbing (1921) 2 British Year Book of International Law, p. 183, and the comment by A. Pearce Higgins in ibid., p. 182.

In the case of In re Craft Captured on Victoria Nyanza,21 Lord Sterndale upheld as "legal according to the law of prize" the captures of German vessels made by British naval forces on an inland lake, Victoria Nyanza, to which no access from the sea is available for any vessels, but which in size is second only to Lake Superior among the fresh-water lakes of the world. The Victoria Nyanza was partly in British and partly in German East Africa, and the report fails to state where on the lake the seizures were effected. The court found that "there is no general principle excluding all captures on inland waters from the operation of the law of prize."

In The Anichab,22 a number of lighters and other harbor craft which had been seized by the South African forces on taking German ports were condemned as prize. It was held to be immaterial that the seizure had been effected by land forces; but it is to be noted that naval forces had cooperated in the hostilities. Lord Sterndale thought it immaterial also that craft "used for navigation upon the seas, not the high seas necessarily, but upon the seas, either coastwise or on the high seas, were at the moment in the water or on the beach." He decided that craft did not cease to be subject to seizure by being beached. Some of the craft had been put on cars and transported inland, some as far as three hundred miles, by the retreating German forces, where they were seized by land forces six months later. These were treated as property on land, taken by land forces in land operations, not in "hot pursuit," and hence not "the subject of maritime prize." All of the craft in this case had been used in a sea-port. The case involves no question of capture on inland rivers, though the actual taking seems to have been effected in the vicinity of a river which was not "passable"; but it does evidence a limit on the application of maritime law to a capture effected on land by land forces.

COURT DECISIONS IN THE UNITED STATES

American courts have more frequently had occasion to deal with captures made on inland waters. The first case seems to have been W. B. v. Latimer,23 where a vessel apparently ocean-going was seized as prize in a navigable stream in Delaware and condemned by a court of admiralty. The Delaware Court of Errors and Appeals expressed the opinion that the question "prize, or no prize, belongs to the jurisdiction of the admiralty whether the capture be on the high seas, in ports, rivers or within the body of a country." The next case was Brown v. United States,2* in which an

* (1918) 3 B. & C. Prize Cases 295, [1919] Probate 83. The Lord President referred to the Kangani and the Hedwig von Weisaman (1917) Lloyd's List Weekly Summary, 23 March, 1917, p. 2.

» U919] Probate 329, [1922] 1 A. C. 235.

» (1788) 4 Dallas 1.

"(1814) 8 Cranch 110. Cf. Johnson v. 21 Boles (1814) Van Ness Prize Cases, p. 21. Many seizures must have occurred on the Great Lakes during the War of 1812. In The enemy cargo which had been unloaded from an ocean-going vessel was seized while afloat in a salt water creek, tidal but not navigable, by forces of the United States during the war with Great Britain. A majority of the Supreme Court thought it a question as to property seized on land at the outbreak of hostilities and therefore refused condemnation. But the case gave Justice Story an opportunity to conclude in his dissenting opinion that "the admiralty not only takes cognizance of captures made at sea, in creeks, havens and rivers but also of all captures made on land where the same have been made by a naval force, or by cooperation with a naval force." And this conclusion was maintained in his Notes on Prize Courts, where he stated that the prize jurisdiction of the admiralty extends to captures made in rivers and harbors.25

In the cases which arose out of the wars with England, the seizures were made on rivers within United States territory.** But several cases arose during the American Civil War in which the seizures were effected on rivers or within territory held by the Confederates. The Mississippi and its tributaries were the theatre of extensive operations during the Civil War.27 In 1253 Casks of Rice 28 a United States District Court condemned as good naval prize of war a cargo taken on lighters on a river in South Carolina by United States naval forces; and in 103 Casks of Rice29 the same court held that rice seized in a river warehouse on enemy territory by naval forces was confiscable as maritime prize, reliance being placed on the fact that the cap

Propeller Genesee Chief v. Fitzhugh (1851 )12 Howard 443, 453, Chief Justice Taney, speaking of the Great Lakes, said: "Hostile fleets have encountered on them, and prizes been made."

"Story, Prize Courts (Pratt's ed.) p. xxx. These notes, which were originally printed as appendices to the first and second volume of Wheaton's reports, were published in London in 1854, under the editorship of F. T. Pratt. Cf. 2 Parsons, Shipping, p. 173.

"In Slocum v. Wheeler (1816) 1 Conn. 429, the capture exceeded the privateer's authority. The opinions contain elaborate discussions of the prize jurisdiction of American courts.

*7 The naval war on the Mississippi led Mr. Justice Miller to the conclusion in United States v. 269\ Bales of Cotton (1868) 1 Woolworth 236, 249, that:

"The introduction of steam, as a motive power, into vessels of war, enabling them to penetrate on inland waters, far into the interior of the country, has revolutionized naval warfare in this respect, as in many others. The presence in the waters of this great stream of a hostile fleet of a foreign nation, is among the contingencies for which we must be prepared. Again, captures may be made on this river, and others similarly situated, of property belonging to neutrals, who have a right, before it is condemned to the captors, to the judgment of a competent court upon their claims. We have then a court which, by the constitution and laws, is authorized to determine this question of prize or no prize; and we see that the exigency may arise, in which the question between the captor and the claimant should, by the adjudication of this court, be answered. We certainly cannot decline the jurisdiction, and, in the face of the fact, hold, that on the Mississippi river no such case can arise."

» (1862) Blatchford Prize Cases 211.

M (1862) Blatchford Prize Cases 211. To the same effect is Six Hundred and Eighty Pieces Merchandise (1863) 2 Sprague 233, in which an able argument was made by R. H. Dana, Jr.

ture had been made by a naval and not by "an ordinary land force subject to military persons."

In Mrs. Alexander's Cotton*0 a joint expedition of federal forces consisting of gunboats and a body of troops had proceeded up the Red River to take a Confederate fort. A party from one of the gunboats landed on a plantation and took possession of cotton on land owned by Mrs. Alexander, carrying it to a place in Illinois where it was libelled as prize of war. The Red River was not navigable to sea-going vessels, but seems to have been used by smaller steamboats; nor does it empty directly into the sea, but flows into the Mississippi River three hundred and thirty-four miles above the mouth of the latter. Although the Supreme Court found the capture to have been justified by the Captured and Abandoned Property Act of March 3, 1862,31 it held that under the statute of July 17,1862,32 excluding property on land from the category of prize for the benefit of captors, the cotton in question, though subject to seizure, was not maritime prize.33

The fullest discussion in the American courts is that by Judge Miller in United States v. 269\ Bales of Cotton.u Cavalry forces of the United States had embarked at Helena, Arkansas, on boats and had gone into Mississippi and seized cotton on land as prize of war, and carried it back to Arkansas. A proceeding in prize was begun on behalf of the federal government. The court did not doubt that prize jurisdiction extends over the Mississippi River, but relied on the fact that this capture had been made on land by exclusively land forces, and it was not shown that the transporting vessels had been under the navy's control. As these vessels "were in no sense

10 (1864) 2 Wallace 404. It was in reliance on Mrs. Alexander's Cotton that the Court of Claims decided that cotton seized at Apalachicola, Florida, in a warehouse on the river bank, by naval forces, had been improperly condemned as prise. Cook v. V. S. (1873) 9 Ct. of Claims 288.

*l 12 Stat. at Large 820. The validity of this Act was later attacked on the ground that it was approved by the President after the adjournment of Congress. Hodges v. U. S. (1883) 18 Ct. of Claims 700; U. S. v. Weil (1894) 29 Ct. of Claims 523.

"12 Stat. at Large 606. The seizure in Mrs. Alexander's Cotton antedated the Act of July 2, 1864, 13 Stat, at Large 377, which enacted that "no property seized or taken upon any of the inland waters of the United States by the naval forces thereof, shall be regarded as maritime prize." This statute was applied in The Cotton Plant (1870), 10 Wallace 577, to a capture made by a naval force on the Roanoke River in North Carolina, at a point 130 miles from the mouth of the river. Mr. Justice Strong said that "Congress probably anticipated, especially in view of the state of war when the Act was passed, that most of the captures on the rivers would be made by the army, and thought it unwise to continue two modes for the disposition of the property taken."

» Cf. United States v. Winchester (1878), 99 U. S. 372, where it was held that the admiralty jurisdiction of the United States District Courts did not extend to a seizure on land by a naval force. Under the Act of 6 August, 1861, though the jurisdiction of United States District and Circuit Courts was extended to captures on land, such proceedings did not necessarily constitute causes in admiralty so as to authorize resort to admiralty procedure in all cases. Union Ins. Co. v. United States (1867) 6 Wallace 759.

"(1868) 1 Woolworth 236.

war vessels," it was thought that the admiralty courts of the United States had no prize jurisdiction, "unless the circumstances of the capture show some element of a force operating from, or on, the water," and the libel was therefore dismissed.

In line with this holding, condemnation by an admiralty court of a Confederate boat, seized on the Tennessee River by river gunboats under the control of the War Department but commanded by a naval officer and "a part of the naval forces on the western waters," was upheld in Oakes v. United States,*6 on the ground that it was a naval capture and not a land capture.

In White v. Red Chief,u a steamer was taken from the Confederates by military forces of the United States at Port Hudson on the Mississippi River, and when libelled by a former owner, it was held that no condemnation was necessary to pass the title to the United States government, but that it had passed by the seizure. The former owner seems to have lost the enemy character which he had at the time of the seizure and, unless an enemy owner after losing his enemy character cannot dispute the title to maritime prize where there has been no condemnation, the case must have involved an application of the law of land warfare.

In The Siren," the United States Supreme Court dealt with a statute authorizing the distribution of prize money, and it was held that no division of prize money was provided for where a vessel (apparently ocean-going) had been taken by joint action of land and sea forces in the Ashley River in South Carolina, although the vessel had properly been condemned as prize.

A somewhat similar case arose out of the Spanish-American war, United States v. Dewey,z* but in this case the only question was one of distribution of prize money among captors under the statutory provision. The seizure of naval stores and other property had been made on land at a naval station at Manila by United States naval forces, and in holding that the prize money should be distributed Chief Justice Fuller stated that "it would be spinning altogether too nicely to hold that because enemy property on land cannot be taken in prize by land operations, public property destined for hostile uses, and stored on seashore in an establishment for facilitating naval warfare, might not be made prize, under the statute, when captured by naval forces operating directly from the sea."

» (1898) 174 U. S. 778. A report of the case in the Court of Claims is to be found in 30 Ct. of Claims 378. "(1870) 1 Woods 40. "(1871) 13 Wallace 389.

"(1902) 188 U. S. 254 (The Manila Prise Cases).

The U. S. Judicial Code of 1911 (36 Stat. 1087) amended in 1917 (40 Stat. 395) confers upon the District Courts original jurisdiction "of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction . . . ;of all seizures on land or waters not within admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; of all prizes brought into the United States; and of all proceedings for the condemnation of property taken as prize."

But "maritime jurisdiction" may not be extended to all inland waters in the United States. Stapp v. Steamboat Clyde (1890), 43 Minn. 192.

« ПретходнаНастави »