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ticity; and, if copies or extracts, they should be collated and certified by public notaries. The affidavits are sworn before the magistrates or others competent to administer oaths in the country where they are made, and authenticated by a certificate from the British consul.
“ The degree of proof to be required depends upon the degree of suspicion and doubt that belongs to the
In cases of heavy suspicion and great importance, the court may order what is called 'plea and proof,' that is, instead of admitting affidavits and documents introduced by the claimants only, each party is at liberty to allege in regular pleadings such circumstances as may tend to acquit or to condemn the capture, and to examine witnesses in support of the allegations, to whom the adverse party may administer interrogatories. The depositions of the witnesses are taken in writing; if the witnesses are to be examined abroad, a commission issues for that purpose; but in no case is it necessary for them to come to England. These solemn proceedings are not often resorted to. Standing commissions may be sent to America for the general purpose of receiving examinations of witnesses in all cases where the court may find it necessary for the purposes of justice to decree an inquiry to be conducted in that manner.
“ With respect to captures and condemnations at Martinico, which are the subjects of another inquiry contained in your note, we can only answer in general, that we are not informed of the particulars of such captures and condemnations; but as we know of no legal Court of Admiralty established at Martinico, we are clearly of opinion that the legality of any prizes taken there must be tried in the High Court of Admiralty of England, upon claims given, in the manner above described, by such persons as may think themselves aggrieved by the said captures. “ (Signed) WILLIAM Scott. ·
John NICHOLL." From prize causes, whether in the Vice-Admiralty Courts, or in the Court of Admiralty in England, the appeal lies directly to certain commissioners of appeal in prize causes, who are appointed by the crown under the great seal, and are usually members of the Privy Council, and whose appointment is generally regulated or recognized by treaties with foreign nations.
In the United States of America, the original jurisdiction in prize cases is in the district or circuit courts, the appeal being from the district to the circuit court, and from the circuit court to the supreme court of the United States. In France the jurisdiction in these cases belonged from the earliest times to the admiral, with an appeal to the Supreme Council; but in 1659, a standing commission of councillors of state and maîtres des requêtes was established to assist the admiral, under the title of Conseil des Prises, with a further appeal to the Council of State, and thence to the Royal Council of Finance. (Valin, Com., b. 3, c. 9, s. 21.)
Condemnation is a function which must be exercised by the tribunals of the law of nations within the belligerent country. (The Flad Oyen, 1 Rob. 134.) " It cannot be presumed," said his lordship, “that
a ne utral government would so far depart from the duties of neutrality as to permit the exercise of that last and crowning act of hostility—if I may so express myself—the condemnation of the property of one belligerent to the other; thereby confirming and securing him in the acquisition of his enemy's property by hostile means.” But this will not hold good with respect to condemnations passed on ships brought into the ports of an ally in the war. (The Christopher, 2 Rob. 210; The Henrick and Maria, 4 Rob. 53.)
“ Head-money," said Lord Stowell, in La Gloire (Edw. 280), “is, according to the principle which is recognized in this and the Superior Court, the peculiar and appropriate reward of immediate personal exertion, and consequently wherever any claim to participate in a bounty so appropriated has been advanced, it has always been considered in a more rigid manner by the courts than those which arise out of the general interests of prize. There are some very ancient cases in which the question has been decided, in the case of The Superb, in the case of The Duchess Anne, and also in the case of The Toulouse, it which it appears by a note of that judgment communicated to me by a very eminent person of great experience and of the longest practice in these courts, that the prize was condemned to one man-of-war as actual captor, and to two others as assisting at the capture, but the bounty money was ordered to be paid only to the actual captor, the others not being actually engaged with the prize. This is the invariable rule which for more than a century has been applied to cases of this description, and therefore the circumstances must be of a very peculiar nature to induce the court to recede from a practice so long and so universally established.”
“ The Court,” said Lord Stowell in Le Francha (1 Rob. 157), “in no case whatever directly pronounces head-money to be due; it goes no further than to intimate its opinion, by declaring the number of persons who were on board at the time of the engagement. But the commissioners, who are to pay the head-money where due, are not, that I know of, bound to pay at all on the opinions so intimated ; though if they do pay, they are bound by the declaration of numbers made by the court.”
Head-money is not due, under the 45 Geo. 3, c. 72, to conjunct forces of the army and navy, in ships captured by such forces, unless the army acted on the occasion in a naval capacity, soldiers not being recognized in that statute as grantees, except when clothed with a naval character, by serving on board ship. (La Bellone, 2 Dod. 349; see also Two Piratical Gun-Boats, 2 Hagg. 408; Several Dutch Schuyts, 6 Rob. 48; The San Joseph, ib. 331; L'Hercule, 1 Hagg. 211-which was an application for headmoney by five Capuchin friars; The Santa Brigata, 3 Rob. 56; The Matilda, 1 Dod. 367; L’Alerte, 6 Rob. 242; The Clorinde, 1 Dod. 439; The Babillon, Edw. 39; L'Elise, 1 Dod. 442; The Uranie, 2 Dod. 172; La Lune, 1 Hagg. 210; The Ville de Varsovie, 2 Dod. 303; The El Rayo, 1 Dod. 45.)
In all cases of prize, as Lord Stowell expressed it, “the words of the royal proclamation are the title