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§ 3S1.

642

En Grande-Bretagne la question de savoir quelle était, a la ' lumière du droit des gens coutumier, et abstraction faite de la Convention VI de La Haye, la situation juridique des navires ennemis trouvés dans des ports nationaux au début des hostüités, n'a, d'ailleurs, été discutée et résolue par la Cour de Londres et le Comité Judiciabe du Conseü Privé qu'après la conclusion de la paix. Voir les paragrapties suivants. § 852. La controverse fut tranchée en première instance par Sb Henry Duke, président de la Cour de Londres, dans le „test case" du navire allemand Marie Leonhardt (1356) :

„Was there at the outbreak of the war a rule of international law whereby an enemy merchant ship then found in the port of a belligerent was entitled to depart freely from such port either immediately or after a reasonable number of days of grace ? . . . . [Les autres points discutables, savoir 1'applicabüité de la Convention VI en général et vis-a-vis de 1'Allemagne violatrice des prescriptions internationales sur la conduite de la guerre, pouvaient être éliminés paree que 1'avocat des armateurs allemands ne s'était point appuyé sur la Convention de la Haye, ni sur la correspondance diplomatique intervenue dès le début des hostüités et que, par conséquent, il n'excipa que du droit coutumier; comp. la citation du jugement Blonde, Hercules and Prosper (1366), insérée dans le § 373, (2)].... Counsel for the claimants contended that, at that date (c.a.d. le 4 aoüt 1914), a custom had arisen of allowing to the merchant ships of belhgerents found in enemy ports on the outbreak of war, a period of time in which they are free from capture and may withdraw from enemy waters. The allowance of such an interval he assert ed as a right the recognition of which is obügatory upon aü civüised States. The seizure made in port was, he said, a wrongful seizure, and he claimed that the Court ought to exercise its inherent authority to rescind the decree made on October 1, 1914, in the claimants' absence, whereby the seizure was declared to be valid de soi-disant „Chüe Order", comp. § 371], and to treat the ship as property wrongfuüy detained withui the jurisdiction of the Court and consequentiy free from any possibüity of British claims under the terms of the Treaty of Versaüles. . . [D'abord le Président examine le point de vue des principales puissances maritimes :] .ui- 4The facts mainly rehed upon in support of the case for the claimants were those inefüental to the war between Great Britain and her Alhes and Russia in 1854, the war between France and Germany in 1870, the war between Russia and Turkey in 1877, the war between the United States of America and Spain in 1898, and the war between Japan and Russia in 1904. The individual belhgerents in each of these wars aüowed to enemy merchantmen found in their ports when war broke out some opportunity for withdrawal. Russia in 1904 granted to Japanese vessels a period not exceeding forty-eight hours. whereas Japan granted to

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