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§ 228Ms.


That a vessel, which is, or has been, a portion of the armed forces of a belligerent, cannot by a mere private transaction be placed beyond the reach of capture on the high seas is well settled — The Mtnerva, United States v. Etta, and The Georgia — and there is authority for the protiosition that, while a vessel formaUy incorporated in the enemy forces is and continues to be, for this and cognate purposes, a public ship of war her mere actual employment in that capacity without formal incorporation or corrunission will also bring upon her the like disabüity — The Ceylon, and cf. H. M. Submarine E. 14 (1298). Vanous reasons have been given for this rule, such as that transferabihty is an exception granted to enemy property in favour of commerce, and that ships of war are not articles of commerce, or that such transfers would enable a belligerent to rescue himself from the disadvantage into which he has fallen and so to shift the disadvantage to his opponent, or that the ship sold might afterwards find its way back into the service of the flag to which she had belonged If a public man-of-war remarns m a neutral port for more than the limited time permitted to her by recogmsed rules, she has to be interned, for otherwise the neutral State would be rendermg , an indirect service to a belligerent as such.

If it were open to a subject of that State to buy her under such circumstances, the payment of the price would be a direct service to the belligerent of a very real character, for instead of a ship which he could not use he would get cash, which he could. The precise foundation of the rule, however, need not now be determined.

In the case of a ship which is not, and never has been, a part of the armed forces of a belligerent, other tests may be applicable....

Their Lordships are not prepared to entertain a proposition so wide as that any help whatever, rendered to a German man-of-war by a German merchantman, would disable her owners from validly transferring ownership to a neutral under all circumstances for the remamder of the war."

§ 224. La plupart des décisions touchent directement le fond de la contestation, a savoir la question de la bonne foi, se réduisant au point de savoir si, pour renverser la présomption de nullité du transfert, il suffit d'établir que 1'on avait un intérêt sérieux a la transmission compléte et sans condition de la propriété du navire, ou bien s'ü est nécessaire d'établir précisément que le transfert se serait effectué alors même que la guerre ne serait pas survenue.

Des différentes décisions ü résulte que les tribunaux des pnses, a 1'exception de la cour anglaise, inclinent a donner une interprétation tres rigoureuse aux régies de droit en question.

Ci-après nous rapportons les décisions dans 1'ordre alphabéüque des puissances belbgérantes dont les cours ont eu a statuer sur les questions auxqueües le transfert de pavülon donne beu.