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55

§ 30.

Rules", elle prétendait a prendre possession, antérieurement au jugement de la cour des prises, du cuivre saisi, dont les autorités militaires avaient besoin pour la défense nationale. La cour de première instance prononca la validité de la prescription des „Prize Court Rules" en question [voir § 65] et admit en outre „an inherent power of the Court" de prendre telles mesures que de besoin relativement aux objets saisis:

„At the outset, the capture or seizure as prize vests the possession of the property captured or seized in the Crown, and when the property comes into the custody of the Marshal of this Court it is subjected fully to the jurisdiction of this Court.

The Court has inherent powers to deal with the property brought within its jurisdiction as it may deern fit in the exercise of its discretion. It has, in my opinion, such a power, apart from any rules of practice made under the Prize Acts of 1864 or 1894. It could, without any such rules, order a sale of perishable goods before condemnation ; or order a sale of goods in order to avoid difficulties or expense of warehousing, or removing, or for any other reason which appeared sufficiënt to the Court.

In my view, persons who lay claim to property captured or seized, have no right by any rule of international law to demand that the property should be preserved in specie until the final decree determines whether it is to be released or to be condemned. .. . If the claimants have no such legal right to have the property delivered up in specie, it matters not whether the property is sold for good reasons, and so converted into money, or is requisitioned by the Crown (instead of going through the form of sale) upon an undertaking to pay into Court the appraised value .... But, apart from any inherent power of the Court, the Order referred to in the Prize Court Rules deals expressly with the matter, and prescribes the practice to be pursued. I will consider hereafter the larger question whether this Order violates an acknowledged and settled principle of the law of nations and whether, if it does, it nevertheless, as an Order made by His Majesty in Council, must be observed and obeyed by this Court [voir a ce sujet § 65].

Before approaching that wide and important subject, I must declare that, in my view, the Order deals only with a matter affecting the procedure and practice of the Court — a domestic af fair, in which no foreign neutral or enemy has any voice or right to interfere.... Matters of practice in proceedings such as sale of property, or delivery up on bail, or upon appraisement, are not of international concern, and are not and cannot be regulated by uniform international principles or procedure to be applied in the Courts of all countries.... [argumentation détaillée]...."

Dans une sentence motivée d'une facon tout aussi détaillée, la cour d'appel rejeta les théories développées par la cour de première instance. Après avoir tracé les limites dans lesquelles la Couronne anglaise, <fune part, est compétente pour modifier les

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