NAVAL CONFERENCE OF LONDON
Signed at London, 26 February 1909
I. FINAL PROTOCOL
II. DECLARATION CONCERNING THE LAWS OF NAVAL WAR
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: The Hague Convention (XH) of 1907 relative to the creation of an International Prize Court (No. 81) provides in Article 7 that the Court shall apply the generally recognized rules of international law relative to prize. In view of the divergences which existed with regard to these rules, the British Government convened the main sea powers to a conference in order to lay down the rules mentioned above. Ten powers participated in the Conference. Most of the rules embodied in the present Declaration correspond to established practice and decisions of national prize courts. Due to its rejection by the British House of Lords, the Declaration was not ratified by any signatory. The rules laid down in the Protocol were, however, recognized by several belligerent states during World War I.
AUTHENTIC TEXT: French. The English translation below is reprinted from the British Blue Book, Misc. No. 4 (1909), Cd. 4554.
TEXT PUBLISHED IN: Proceedings of the International Naval Conference, held in London, December 1908-February 1909. Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of His Majesty, March 1909. Miscellaneous. No. 5 (1909). Cd. 4555, London, Printed for His Majesty's Stationery Office, by Harrison and Sons, St Martin's Lane; Conférence navale, Londres, 4 décembre 1908–26 février 1909. Actes et documents, pp. 378–393 (French); Great Britain, Parliamentary Papers, Misc. No. 4 (1909), Cd. 4554 (Engl., French); The Declaration of London February 26, 1909. A Collection of Official Papers and Documents Relating to the International Naval Conference held in London December, 1908 — February, 1909. Edited by James Brown Scott, New York, Oxford University Press, 1919, pp. 112–129, 187–189 (Engl.); Norman Bent witch. The Decoration of London, London 1911, pp. 131–157 (Engl., French); Deltenre, pp. 596–63 (German, Engl., French, Dutch); Fontes Historiae Juris Gentium, Vol. III/1, pp. 637–648 (German, Engl., French, extracts); BFSP, Vol. 104, 1911, pp. 242–255 (French); CTS, Vol. 208, 1908–1909, pp. 338–354 (French); Higgins, pp. 538–566 (Engl., French); Wilson-Tucker, pp. LXXXVI-C (Engl.); AJ1L, Vol. 3, 1909, pp. 179–220 (Engl., French); Friedman, pp. 398–416 (Engl.); Ronzitti, pp. 223–256 (Engl., French); Droit des conflits armés, pp. 1163–1177 (French); Genet, pp. 551–569 (French); Mezhdunarodnoe pravo, Vol. GII, pp. 151–161 (Russ.); Koro vin. pp. 393–395 (Russ.); Briceno, pp. 229–242 (Span.); Ceppi, pp. 383–399 (Span. extract); ICRC website: www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf (Engl., French, Span.).