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§ 300.

550

In the special facts of this case and of the Continental Tyre Co Cases, a décision in accordance with Lord Justice Buckley's judgment might be easy; but it is fairly obvious that with even a slight variation of facts as to thé holding of the shares, the adoption of a definite general principle as a foundation for his judgment and its apphcation, would give riseto great

difficulties If the majority judgment of the Court of Appeal is

unsound, it must be so pronounced by the House of Lords on appeal from them ; or by the Privy Councü on appeal from this Court. If it is affirmed as good law, but is considered to require alteration as a matter of just policy, then the Legislature must act."

II faut, cependant, mentionner que la cour ajouta aux observations reproduites ci-dessus la remarque expresse :

I desire to add one word by way of reservation. The case of the ownership of vessels registered in this country is so special, having regard to om merchant shipping législation, that I venture to repeat what I said in The Tommi and The Rothersand (7), and to reserve expressly all questions which might arise ü it were contended that a British vessel was the property of a company constituted like that of Isaria, Lim. [Vob sur ce sujet § 212, (2)].

(2) Plus tard, cependant, lorsque la Ghambre des Lords, statuant en matière civüe, eut réformé la décision de la cour d'appel, la cour des prises a également modifié sa jurisprudence. Vob a ce sujet sa décision postérieure concernant le Michigan (424) :

The foundation of this claim (of the Crown for condemnation of a case of hardware) is that the goods belonged at the material time of seizure to Isaria, Ltd., a company formerly registered here in London, but whose shareholders were aü foreigners. There was not a single British shareholder in the company.

In the case of the Poona (97) (vob supra), I described exactly the constitution of the company. I need not repeat what I there said. The company have not put forward any claim to the goods in these proceedings; although they sent a letter to the Procurator-General, alleging

of public policy underlying the law which prevents aüen enemies from suing in Ihis country whilst our country is at war with theirs that I trust that the décision will be reconsidered by appeal to the House of Lords. If not reversed, I hope that a short Act of Parliament wül be passed to alter the Uw in this respect. The short grounds on which I think the décision wrong are that it sacnfices substance to form and justice to fiction. Corporations are regarded as P«sons, but this is only a convenient form of expression, and a ficüon wnicn, U treated as a fact and made a basis from which to infer consequences, may lead to grotesque and mischievous results. In fictione jurts semper aequttas existit is a well-known legal maxim which ought to be borne in mind. What sort of person ought such a corporale body as the Court had to deal with to be regarded? There is no law that I know of which excludes the answer that common sense suggests. The persons seeking to sue were in fact alien enemies under cover of a fictifious name."

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