The Permanent Court of International Justice, 1920-1942

By Manley O. Hudson; Bureau of International Research of Harvard University and Radcliffe College | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4 THE PROPOSED INTERNATIONAL PRIZE COURT

§63. Proposals for the Creation of an International Prize Court. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, numerous proposals were advanced for the creation of an international prize court in which neutral States might be represented.1 In 1875, the Institut de Droit International began a study of the question, and in its règlement international des prises maritimes of 1887, it envisaged the creation by each belligerent at the beginning of each war of an international tribunal for prize appeals, the belligerent to name the president and one member of the tribunal as well as the three neutral States which should each choose a member;2 the proposal of the Institute was never acted upon by any belligerent.3 At the Second Peace Conference at The Hague, proposals for the creation of an international prize court were offered by both the British and the German delegations.4 The German proposal envisaged the creation after the beginning of hostilities of an appellate tribunal composed of five members; each belligerent would choose an admiral as a member, and three members would be chosen from the members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration by three neutral States of which one State should be named by each belligerent and a third by the two first-named; appeals would be lodged with this tribunal either by a belligerent State or by an individual person; the International Bureau of the Permanent Court of

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1
See 2 Oppenheim, International Law ( 2 ed.), p. 559.
2
Annuaire de l'Institul de Droit International, 1887-88, pp. 212, 239.
3
In a few cases international tribunals have passed upon claims based upon the action taken by national prize courts. See, e.g., The Napier, 3 Moore Digest of International Arbitrations, p. 3152; The Circassian, 4 id., p. 3911. In a circular note of November 3, 1909, the Secretary of State of the United States referred to the following additional cases as having been before an international tribunal after they had been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States: The Hiawatha, 2 Black 635, 4 Moore Digest of International Arbitrations, 3902; The Springbok, 5 Wallace 1, 4 Moore 3928; The Sir William Peel, 5 Wallace 517, 4 Moore 3935; The Volant, 5 Wallace 179, 4 Moore 3950; The Science, 5 Wallace 178, 4 Moore 3950; The Peterhoff, 5 Wallace 28, 4 Moore 3838; The Dashing Wave, 5 Wallace 170, 4 Moore 3948; The Georgia, 7 Wallace 32, 4 Moore 3957; The Isabella Thompson, 3 Wallace 155, 3 Moore 3159; The Pearl, 5 Wallace 574, 3 Moore 3159; The Adela, 6 Wallace 266, 3 Moore 3159. See U. S. Foreign Relations, 1910, p. 600.
4
2 Actes et Documents, pp. 1071, 1076. The subject was not on the agenda of the 1907 Conference.

-71-

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