Deutsche Prisengerichtsbarkeit

Deutsche Prisengerichtsbarkeit

Bibliographic Details

Tuibingen: J. C. B. Moohr. 1911

Book Review

These two books consider the recent attempts to make prize law truly international law. The work of Dr. Pohl is a work on prize jurisdiction particularly as relates to German law and practice. The fundamental conceptions of prize jurisdiction are discussed and the changes consequent upon the abolition of privateering are shown to be in the direction of respect for law. In 1907, out of various propositions came at length the plan for the international prize court. The German laws and regulations of 1884 and 1889 had brought the practice in regard to prize into fairly definite form. These were, however, national laws and while the prize courts might in theory administer international law, they must in fact in many respects give careful heed to national laws. The idea of making the prize court international is not new in Germany.BBBAAAXXX

Introduction to Deutsche Prisengerichtsbarkeit

The ideas of Frederick the Great show the reasonableness of an international prize court. Other German writers and publicists developed the idea during the eighteenth century. The proposition of Hulbner advocating the placing of neutrals upon the court which is to decide cases where the neutral national's property is concerned is particularly explained. The influence of writers of the eighteenth century shows a tendency toward a court that should be international in its attitude. Gessner's plan is discussed as one of the most completely developed of the ideas of “internationalizing” of the prize court in the nineteenth century.

Context of Deutsche Prisengerichtsbarkeit

The position of other writers is briefly set forth. The well known German-English-American cooperation for the prize court convention at the Second Hague Conference, together with the general course of discussion, is related, and the general effect of the proposed convention is explained. The difficulties of deciding what principles the court should follow in cases of conflict of laws and precedents and other difficulties which the court would face are not over-looked. Some of these are in part solved by the Declaration of London.

Thesis Statement

The judicial character of the prize court, if established, must be recognized. The advantages of such a court seem too great to permit of long delay in the realization of the hopes of the early German writers. The book contains in appendices the German and English propositions which were brought before the Second Hague Conference and the convention which was finally drafted, but remains unratified. There is also a good index. The work of Dr. Hirschmann, Das Internationale Prisenrecht, views the subject of prize law in a broad manner. He emphasizes the distinction between the capture of enemy property at sea and the capture of neutral property at sea.

More about Deutsche Prisengerichtsbarkeit

The course of discussion upon the exemption from capture of private property at sea in time of war is presented at length. This is familiar to American readers from the work of the American delegations at the First and at the Second Hague Conferences. The American position on this question, the British proposition in regard to the abolition of contraband, and the' effects of these upon the ideas of blockade are shown. The definition of many ideas by the Declaration of London of 1909 and the significance of these definitions is discussed in a clear fashion. The tendency to guard the rights of neutrals more carefully and to put the burden of war upon the belligerents is everywhere evident.

Analysis of the Text

The development of prize law seems to show a growing recognition that property even in time of war should not be taken without due process of law. A closing chapter presents the relation of the recent propositions in regard to capture on the sea to political questions. The controversy that has been waged in England over the Prize Court Convention and the Declaration of London, described in considerable detail, proves that there are many difficulties besides those of a legal nature which must be met. These books of Dr. Pohl and of Dr. Hirschmann in many respects are supplementary. The latter affords a convenient review of recent opinion on prize law in a comparatively few pages and shows wide study.

Book Review Details

This legal book review was published in:

The American Journal of International Law,Vol. 8, No. 2 (Apr., 1914), pp. 404-406

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