The Speech of Lord Erskine in the House of Lords (the 8th of March, 1808) on Moving Resolutions Against the Legality of the Orders in Council

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James Ridgway, 1808 - 91 ページ

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52 ページ - The seat of judicial authority is, indeed, locally here, in the belligerent country, according to the known law and practice of nations; but the law itself has no locality. It is the duty of the person who sits here to determine this question exactly as he would determine the same question if sitting at Stockholm...
16 ページ - But, without reference to accidents of the one kind or other, the general rule is, that the neutral has a right to carry on, in time of war, his accustomed trade to the utmost extent of which that accustomed trade is capable. Very different is the case of a trade which the neutral has never possessed, which he holds by no title of use and habit in times of peace, and which, in fact...
16 ページ - Upon the breaking out of a war, it is the right of neutrals to carry on their accustomed trade, with an exception of the particular cases of a trade to blockaded places, or in contraband articles (in both which cases their property is liable to be condemned), and of their ships being liable to visitation and search in which case however they are entitled to freight and expenses.
80 ページ - We ought to cherish them as the immortal monuments of our public justice and wisdom; as the heirs of our better days, of our old arts and manners, and of our expiring national virtues.
21 ページ - I cannot, my lords, conceive anything more preposterous and senseless, than the idea of retaliation upon a neutral on whom the decree has never been executed, because it is only by its execution on him, that we can be injured : what possible right then can we have to complain of, or to take any step against a neutral, who, in no shape whatever, has been made an instrument of injustice by the enemy? What right can we possibly have, to interdict his legal trade with the enemy, when, notwithstanding...
16 ページ - Subject, then, to these exceptions, the commerce of neutral nations stands upon this high and most modern authority in our own country, in the midst of the war with revolutionary France, untouched by the contentions, or particular interests, or conveniences of belligerent powers. — I am ready, however, to admit that this is only the ordinary condition of neutrals, whilst belligerents observe the law of nations towards one another. I admit that a different state of things may arise, concerning which,...
22 ページ - Certainly not, my lords; no, nor an hour after France had acted upon the decree by condemnations in her prize courts, if America, cognisant of such condemnations, had submitted to the decisions, and, with the consent of her government, continued her commerce with France, as with a friendly nation. I should have considered that as full evidence of acquiescence; but, my lords, the term acquiescence, as applied to America, like that of retaliation, appears to me to be wholly unintelligible, until some...
78 ページ - ... earth. We have seen the liberties of Poland and Sweden swept away, in the course of one year, by treachery and usurpation. The free towns in Germany are like so many dying sparks, that go out one after another; and which must all be soon extinguished under the destructive greatness of their neighbours.
85 ページ - Origin," being certificates obtained at the ports of shipment, declaring that the articles of the cargo are not of the produce or manufacture of his Majesty's dominions, or to that effect: And whereas this expedient has been directed by France, and submitted to by such...
18 ページ - ... right of retaliation; and, indeed, as between the belligerents only, I am not at all anxious to dispute whether the very publication of such an unjust ordinance would not authorize the belligerent, so offended, to disregard the law of nations towards the adversary as far as it touched him only; but it would be an utter perversion of the very term retaliation, to carry it a hair's breadth further, until some act was done under the decree, as against a neutral, by which the wrong done to, and suffered...

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