„the questions which (had) to be considered (were) whether the defendants (were) liable by reason of (a) the goods being discharged from the ship before handing over to the Marshal of the Prize Court or his substitutes; (b) faüure to insure after the goods had been landed; (c) failure to take sufficiënt care in unloading and storing the goods."
Dans le libellé de sa décision la Cour des prises pour 1'Egypte discute diverses questions concernant 1'imputabilité aux capteurs d'infractions a la loi et d'évènements de force majeure, et dont nous citons les suivantes :
„We have now to consider whether the captors improperly and without reasonable cause (although without any suggestion of misconduct, but through honest mistake), discharged this vessel contrary to law, and thereby rendered themselves liable to any damage which occurred after the illegal act. — In the case of Lilley v. Doubleday (1881, L.R. 7 Q.B.D. 510)
the defendant contracted to warehouse certain goods in a particular
warehouse; but he warehoused some of them elsewhere, and without any négligence on his part. . . , they were destroyed by f ire. It was held that the defendant was liable, as he had committed a breach of contract. It was also held that the damages were not too remote [voir a ce sujet § 669] — It has been urged that the detaining officer had no knowledge of the fact that by law he must get an order from a Court before he could interfere with the cargo ; and also that he had a bona fide belief that it was necessary for the safety of the ship and copra to unload. But neither ignorance of, nor mistake in law or fact can exonerate the captors if by that ignorance and mistake they have caused injury to innocent parties .... [Ici la cour cite le jugement Ostsee , les „Cape Nicola Mole Cases" oü U s'agissait de confiscations prononcées par la Cour d'amirauté de Saint-Domingue qui n'avait jamais été düment investie du pouvóir juridictionnel en matière de prises maritimes, et quelques autres décisions] .... Ignorance of the law wül not assist the captors, as Sir William Scott says in The John: „He cannot plead ignorance of the law in excuse of his act; every man is bound to know his own domestic law, wherever he applies it, and if he mistakes, he is answerable for the effects of his own misapprehension [d'autant plus qu'il s'agit d'un officier de la marine].... The only cases in Prize Courts where captors have been exonerated, in spite of ignorance of the law, are cases where the construction of the law was so unsettled and indeterminate that persons without legal training could not be expected to determine the course of law to be pursued, such as those involving the status of the Ionian Isles relative to Great Britain in 1855 or Orders in Council which requüed a legal training to interpret — see The Leucade , The Luna , and The Betsey, n°. 1 .
Even honest mistake (when the mistake is in no way the f ault of the captors, but the fault of the Government to which they belong) does not relieve the captors from liabüity occasioned by their conduct.... On these facts I feel bound to come to the conclusion that there was no