Page images

pp. 508, 509) apprehends to be the true basis of a foreign curator's right to sue here for the lunatic's property. It is to be observed that Lindley, L.J., In ve Brown, 1895 (2 Ch.) 671, had already pointed out the special grounds upon which In re Barlow was decided.

Foreign Land and the Statute of Frauds. An interesting question arose in the case of Rochefoucauld v. Boustead, 66 L.J. N.S. Ch. 74. The action was for a declaration that the defendant held certain land in Ceylon as trustee for the plaintiffs. Amongst other defences, it was pleaded that the trusts alleged could not be proved by any writing signed by the defendant, and therefore that the action was barred by sect. 7 of the Statute of Frauds. The Court of Appeal upheld this particular plea. Lindley, L.J., said: “Having regard to Leroux v. Brown, and to the

language of sect. 7 of the Statute of Frauds, we are unable “to see why the defendant should not be able to rely on " that Statute as a defence to any proceedings in this “country, having for their object the proof and enforcing “of a trust, even of lands abroad. The Statute relates to " the kind of proof required in this country to enable a • plaintiff suing here to establish his title here. It does “not relate to lands abroad in any other way than this; it

regulates procedure here, not titles to land in other "countries."

The decision seems in every way consistent with the principle of Leroux v. Brown, 12 C.B. 801. (See Dicey, p. 518, note 4, and Westlake, § 208.)

Foreign Judgments in rem. The judgment of Henn Collins, J., in the case of “Minna Craig" Steamship Co. dealt with in our last issue has since been affirmed by the Court of Appeal. See L.R. 1897

(1 Q.B.) 460. All the judgments go upon the ground, that the judgment of the German Court was in rem and therefore conclusive in our own Courts. “It is a declaration as to “the status of the ship, binding upon everybody, and no “English Court can impeach it.” (Lopes, L.J., at p. 468.) It is to be observed that no fraud or actual want of jurisdiction was alleged, and although “it was suggested that "the German Statute did not authorize the Court to do “what they did : it was clearly for that Court to construe “the Statute of their own country and decide accordingly." (Esher, M.R., at p. 464.)

John M. GOVER.



The Concert of Europe. THE THE events which are taking place in the Levant bring

into prominence the entity known as the “Concert of Europe." The five older Powers forming that Concert and the latest addition to them, viz., Italy, have been endeavouring by the application of the principle introduced into International Law at a comparatively recent period, and which is known as “pacific blockade,” to prevent the wide reaching effects upon the Eastern question of the outbreak of war between Turkey and Greece.

Historical Examples. The situation raises several interesting questions as well with regard to the agency by which compulsion was being attempted to be put upon the two would-be belligerents, as with respect to the means which were being employed; the latter being regarded not only from the point of view of

their validity as an accepted principle of International Law, but also as to their effect with regard to American, and possibly Asiatic, States. To deal, in the first place, with points arising with regard to the power which applying force to one end of the International lever was to result in peace between Turkey and Greece at the other. After the débâele of the first Napoleon, three of the great nations of Europe (Austria, Prussia, and Russia) who had suffered from the scourge of the wars caused by his ambition, formed a Concert, which appears very nearly to be a prototype of that at present existing. This was known as the “Holy Alliance,” and its principles, as enunciated by its founders in the Declaration made after the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1818, did not aim at forcing internal, organic, or legislative changes upon European States, the potentates composing it binding themselves never to depart, as regards each other and each other's subjects, from the strictest observance of the Law of Nations, and the balance of power according to the status quo then existing. Its declared object was the maintenance of peace.

The Holy Alliance. Soon after this Declaration, Lord Castlereagh said, in his note upon the affairs of Spain, that the right of intervention consists in a state of things in a foreign country which threatens other States with that direct and immediate danger which has always been, at least by Great Britain, regarded as constituting the only case which justifies foreign intervention. The Holy Alliance after deciding upon

intervention in the affairs of Naples, and in the Spanish revolution after the Congresses of Troppau, and Laybach, and Verona, proposed to intervene between Spain and her revolted colonists in Cuba, this led, in part, in 1823, to the

declaration of President Monroe, known as the Monroe doctrine. Mr. Canning had proposed to the President a combined Declaration against such intervention, and the message to Congress contained a declaration that intervention between the Colonies and Spain would be regarded as manifesting an unfriendly disposition to the United States. But although the Holy Alliance may be thus said to have propagated its principles for but a short period, the five Great Powers which formed themselves into the “Concert of Europe” have since exercised a superintending control over European, and especially Turkish affairs. Thus, in 1831 Belgium was under their ægis and constituted an independent and perpetually neutral State, the Black Sea was neutralised, a sixth Power [Italy), admitted to the ranks of the Great Powers, while Turkey was given participation in the Public Law and System of Europe. To sum up this part of the subject: So far as the superintending authority of the six Great Powers is recognised by the smaller States of Europe-and it would appear to have been acquiesced in by thein in many instances-to that extent the fundamental principle of International Law, embodying the independence of sovereign states, appears to have been trenched upon, and the theory dear to the older publicists, of the equality of sovereign states to have been infringed.

Pacific Blockade. With regard to the means this “cabinet of nations" has employed in cases in which it has become necessary to actively enforce its decisions. These have been that innovation of the present century, “pacific blockade." Of the numerous instances in which it has been put into operation, the two Powers most interested in the present measures afford several examples. In 1827, at the time

when Great Britain, France, and Russia intervened in the Greek revolution, there was a blockade by the fleets of those three Powers of Turkey, i.e., of the coasts of Greece occupied by the Turkish arıny. In 1850 the Greek ports were blockaded by Great Britain, and in the last instance in 1886 there was a blockade of Greek ports by the Great Powers, excluding France. With regard to the validity of “pacific blockade" from the point of view of International Law, it is at once obvious that its name is, to say the least, unfortunate. Blockade, which is stated to have been introduced by the Dutch towards the close of the sixteenth century, is a maritime warlike operation. Inasmuch as it cuts off neutral trade it is an important concession on the part of neutrals to the rights of belligerent States. The Power enforcing a blockade is admittedly a Power at war with the State to whose ports or coasts the blockade is applied, while “ pacific blockade” is applied as a measure, in theory, falling short of war as regards the blockaded State; nevertheless, as Lord Palmerston asserted in the case of the “pacific blockade" of the La Plata in 1845-1848, practically amounting to war, but is war undeclared and which other States are not bound notice as such, nor in case of its infringement to submit to attempted confiscation of their ships, the usual penalty for breach of blockade, by the Powers who are putting it in force. In adding operations on land to those by sea, the late “pacific blockade" appears to introduce a novel method of coercion.

The Objections. Thus there are serious objections from the standpoint of International Law, both to the agency which was attempting so lately to coerce Greece as well as to the means by which the coercion was being effected. While praising the six Powers for their “mission of peace” this

« PreviousContinue »