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ART. XX. Belligerent warships which have shipped fuel in a port belonging to a neutral power may not within the succeeding three months replenish their supply in a port of the same power.
Discussion of passage through neutral waters.-Great Britain, in presenting a somewhat elaborate scheme in regard to the regulation of rights and duties of neutrals in maritime war, proposed
ART. 32. Aucune des dispositions contenues aux articles précédents ne sera interprétée de façon à prohiber le passage simple des eaux neutres en temps de guerre par un navire de guerre ou navire auxiliaire d'un belligérant. (Deux, Conf. Int. de la Paix, Tome III, p. 699.)
Of the general scheme Sir Ernest Satow said:
Mon Gouvernement a cru de son devoir de proproser à la Conférence le règlement dont le projet a été déposé en son nom, parce qu'il considère qu'il est de la plus haute importance de définir d'une façon précise le traitement qu'un Etat neutre pourra accorder à des vaisseaux de guerre belligérants dans ses ports et eaux territoriales. On doit aux neutres de leur indiquer les limites dans lesquelles il leur sera permis en temps de guerre d'arbiter et d'approvisionner des navires d'un des belligérants, sans qu'ils s'exposent par là à des plaintes justifiées de la part de l'autre belligérant. De même, il n'est que juste de préciser le traitement auquel les belligérants auront le droit de s'attendre de la part des neutres. Toute incertitude à cet égard ne peut donner lieu qu'à des malentendus et à des disputes. Or il est incontestable que l'incertitude règne en cette matière. Nous n'avons qu'à consulter les textes pour nous en convaincre. Ainsi, pour prendre un exemple, il est déclaré dans plusieurs ouvrages de droit international que la règle dite des 24 heures est universellement reconnue, tandis que nous savons que plusieurs États ne reconnaissent pas cette règle et ne se croient pas tenus de l'observer. (Ibid., p. 571.)
After discussion of article 32 of the British proposition, the form changed to:
Un État neutre ne peut interdire le simple passage dans ses eaux territoriales aux vaisseaux de guerre des belligérants. (Ibid., p. 718.)
Later the form was made:
La neutralité d'un Etat n'est pas compromise par le simple passage dans ses eaux territoriales des navires de guerre et des prises des belligérants. (Ibid., p. 725.)
Military Forces and Foreign Jurisdiction.
In its final form as Article X of the Convention concerning the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in case of Maritime War the same form was followed, except that the word "6 puissance was substituted for the word "État."
M. Hagerup, a member of the permanent court at The Hague, in 1910, said of the work of the Hague Conference as regards neutral and belligerent rights and duties in maritime war:
La convention de La Haye constitue un grand progrès pour les petits États neutres et cela à un triple point de vue:
1o. Elle a mis en evant, non pas les devoirs des neutres, mais les devoirs des belligérants.
2o. Elle a mis les devoirs des neutres en rapport avec leurs moyens.
3o. Elle a établi la distinction entre les eaux territoriales et les ports. (23 Annuaire de l'Institut de Droit International, 1910, p. 402.)
Military forces and foreign jurisdiction.-As a general principle the exercise of military force is confined to the area within which the State to which the force belongs has authority and to the territory of its enemies. The entrance of a foreign armed force upon the land of a foreign State is usually prohibited even in the time of peace, and the rule is that if such force of a belligerent enters neutral territory it shall be interned. The Hague Convention respecting the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land provided:
ART. XI. A neutral power which receives on its territory troops belonging to the belligerent armies shall intern them, as far as possible, at a distance from the theater of war.
Naval forces are, however, received within the territorial waters of a State freely in time of peace and under certain restrictions in time of war. In time of war a neutral State must preserve its neutrality, though war vessels of one or of both the belligerents may come into its ports or waters. The war vessel naturally desires freedom of action and the neutral must be able to justify its action in granting a degree of freedom. The amount of freedom and extent of privileges which the neutral
might grant to one belligerent without risk of claims for indemnity by the other belligerent is not always easy to determine. Proclamations of neutrality have often set forth the limitations which the neutral State would impose upon the action of belligerents. While these limitations might be impartially applied to both of the belligerents, one belligerent might in fact profit much more than the other in the enforcement of the limitations. If the spirit of the proclamation of neutrality is such as to embody the general principles commonly recognized as just, no objection may be raised on the ground that one State may by the accident of proximity, nature of its resources, or from other such cause be relatively more benefited than the other State. It is not always possible to determine how far a given proclamation may work favorably as regards one belligerent and unfavorably as regards another. The Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907 and other gatherings of those interested in international questions have tried to mark the line of proper conduct of belligerents within neutral jurisdiction and obligations of neutrals as regards those who come within their jurisdiction.
In time of war the relations of belligerents and neutrals are changed and some acts which might be freely permitted by a neutral in time of peace must be prevented or regulated.
In considering the reconciliation of the rights of neutrals and belligerents at the Second Hague Conference in 1907 Count Tornielli, President of the Third Commission, said:
Ces préceptes peuvent être ainsi formulés :
1o. Reconnaissance réciproque entre les puissances contractantes de leur indépendance législative en matière de respect de la neutralité;
2o. Application impartiale à toutes les parties belligérantes de la législation que chaque État se sera donnée;
3°. Renonciation réciproque par les neutres d'introduire dans leurs législations nationales concernant cette matière des variations pendant que l'état de guerre existe entre deux ou plusieurs puissances contractantes;
4°. Devoir absolu des belligérants de respecter les lois des neutres. (Deux. Conf. Int. de la Paix, Tome III, p. 570.)
Hague Rule on Internment.
The Hague rule as to internment. The rule adopted at The Hague in 1907 was as follows:
ART. 24. If, notwithstanding the notification of the neutral power, a belligerent ship of war does not leave a port where it is not entitled to remain, the neutral power is entitled to take such measures as it considers necessary to render the ship incapable of taking the sea during the war, and the commanding officer of the ship must facilitate the execution of such measures.
When a belligerent ship is detained by a neutral power, the officers and crew are likewise detained.
The officers and crew thus detained may be left in the ship or kept either on another vessel or on land, and may be subjected to the measures of restriction which it may appear necessary to impose upon them. A sufficient number of men for looking after the vessel must, however, be always left on board.
The officers may be left at liberty on giving their word not to quit the neutral territory without permission. (Convention concerning rights and duties of neutral powers in case of maritime war.)
This rule is not aimed at a vessel which voluntarily. leaves the neutral port without notification and before the time limit allowed for departure has expired.
The Hague Convention XIII binds United States.The United States has adhered to and proclaimed the Hague Convention XIII concerning the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Maritime War. Its provisions would therefore be binding upon the United States in time of a war in which the States concerned were also parties to the Convention.
ART. 28. The provisions of the present convention do not apply except between the contracting powers, and only if all the belligerents are parties to the convention.
Prof. Westlake's opinion.-Prof. Westlake speaking of the rule permitting to a belligerent vessel of a sojourn of 24 hours in a neutral port says:
The first remark on this is that no distinction is made in it between the cases of a belligerent ship of war entering neutral waters in flight from an enemy to escape from peril of the sea or for any reason lying within her free choice. Yet these cases may be distinguished in principle. When refuge is given even for a limited time to a ship of war flying from an enemy, in which must be included the case of escape after defeat although no pursuer may be following close, we have not to do with that aid
of a merely general nature which can not fail to be received from any use of a neutral port, but with the interruption of a specific operation of war to the advantage of the belligerent who is received but not interned. Accordingly the Institute of International Law has justly laid down that "a belligerent ship taking refuge in a neutral port from pursuit, or after being defeated by the enemy, or for want of a sufficient crew to keep the sea, must remain there till the end of the war." The same applies if she conveys there any sick or wounded, and is in a condition for fighting when she has landed them. The sick or wounded, . although received and succored, must equally be interned after being healed unless judged to be unfit for military service. The want of a sufficient crew to keep the sea is here put on a level with flight from the enemy, because to permit the recruitment of men would be a more obvious and flagrant breach of neutrality than to permit the receipt of supplies and repairs. In comparing the rule of the Institute with the British rule it must be borne in mind that the latter only limits the stay of a belligerent ship of war, not recognizing or conferring on her a right even to the hospitality so limited, and that an intention can not be presumed to surrender or fetter the power of the Crown to deal with any case as the principles of neutral duty may require. The British rule is not, therefore, to be read as insuring a 24-hour stay, free from internment, to a ship of war flying from her enemy or wanting a sufficient crew to keep the sea, and we can not believe that such would be granted to her. (Westlake, International Law, Part II, War, p. 209.)
Departure of belligerent vessels simultaneously in neutral port. The question of the order of departure of vessels of opposing belligerent parties when such vessels are at the same time in a neutral port has often given rise to difficulties. Some of these difficulties and the regulations of several States in regard to the sojourn and departure of belligerent vessels from neutral ports are set forth in the notes on Situation II of the Naval War College, International Law Situations of 1908 (pp. 37-52). The question under consideration in 1908 is, however, different from the present situation which relates to permitted departure while the situation of 1908 related particularly to the case of a return to port to escape the enemy. The rules in regard to the departure from neutral ports of the war ships of opposing belligerents have been of slow growth.