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rule was ever recognized in the English Courts, either of Admiralty or Common law, until the Act of 1813, which adopted the rule by statute; and it is now well settled that no such rule was ever in force in this country until the Act of 1851.” In The Belgenland, 1885] 114 U. S. 355), a modification was made in the doctrine of The Scotland. If the ships concerned had the same rule, that, and not the American, would he applied ; and this was approved in La Bourgogne (210 s. S. 95). Nevertheless, in The State of Virginia (60 Fed. 1018), the American limitation was allowed to a British ship, wrecked in Canada, in spite of the qualification stated by the Supreme Court in The Scotland Case. In these circumstances the Court in the case of the Titanic rejected the American rule, and held the British limitation to be the correct one. 'I’l” effect of the American statute was not, though it might have been, to displace the British rule in a case affecting solely a British ship. - TH. B.
Early in 1912 the Italians, during their war with Turkey, seized the C. G. T. Carthage on the ground that an aeroplane on board was destined for the Turkish forces in Tripoli. The ship's destination was Tunis; and the case shews the utter disorganization into which the trade of a neutral port may be thrown by the Declaration of London. By that instrument (on whose terms the Italians were acting) warlike matériel may be captured without any need to shew that the ship which is carrying them is actually bound for an enemy's port (Art. 30). Here we have the trade of Tunis threatened with complete interruption, in order that Italians might satisfy themselves that it was doing them no harm. It does not matter that aeroplanes are not within the Declaration's definition of warlike matériel; there are plenty of other objects which are. Had it not been for M. Poincaré's vigorous protests, this capture would have been the first of a long series. No one can suppose that the very moderate damages awarded a year subsequently would operate as a deterrent against such a COurSe. o
For the five days’ detention of the Carthage (6,400 was found to be due (£1,000 of which was for the aviator, and the remainder nearly in equal proportions for the owners on the one hand, and the cargo-owners and passengers on the other). In the Manouba case, 4,000 francs only were awarded. That vessel, er Marseilles for Tunis, was seized on 19th Januaryy, 1912, and taken to Cagliari, in Sardinia, where 29 Turks, alleged to be carrying arms and cash to Tripoli, were taken out of her. They were really members of a Red Crescent mission; and here again the Declaration of London, allowing combatants to be seized on board any ship wherever destined (a provision (Art. 47) which it is amazing that a British Minister should ever have signed), gives occasion for serious interference with the communications of neutral ports. Even after the non-combatant character of these Turks was established, the Italians detained them. Not until 27th January, when the agreement of arbitration was concluded, were they released.
Now £160 is a ludicrous amount of damages in a case like the Manouba. The violation of French hospitality was serious. What future commander will hesitate to take drastic measures with neutral commerce if he is only involving his Government in the possible payment in the far distant future of £160? The real ground for satisfaction in these unpleasant cases is not the whitewashing judgment rendered on 6th May at the Hague, in which the Italians, like the Russian heroes of the Doggerbank, were exonerated from all culpability. It is the spirit which was evoked in France by the Italian action, and which prevented the recurrence of such autocratic acts of interference.
A betrothal in Germany is a very important matter. When a couple become betrothed it is customary for the parties to exchange rings, and during the time of betrothal for the woman to wear the ring on the third finger of the left hand and the man to do likewise. After marriage the woman places the same ring on the third finger of the right hand, and the man does the same, as in Germany all married men wear wedding rings.
Whether a betrothal is in the nature of a contract or simply a promise by one party to marry the other is not at all clear, and the most eminent legal writers differ upon this point. The better opinion seems, however, to be that a betrothal is a contract by which two persons of opposite sexes promise to marry each other.
In Germany there is no breach of promise of marriage action as in England, as it is distinctly provided by the German Civil Code that no action can be brought to enforce specific performance of the marriage, and a promise by either party to the other to pay a certain sum as damages in case he or she does not enter into the marriage is a nullity.
In case, however, either party refuses to enter into the marriage, then he or she has to pay the other and to their respective parents, or to such persons as have stood in the place of parents, such damages as they have sustained by reason of having, in expectation of the marriage, incurred expense or entered into engagements in anticipation thereof. Further, the party in default has to compensate the other for any loss he or she has sustained in his or her property, or in his or her position, by anything he or she has done in anticipation of the marriage. The damage to be paid is only to be such as is reasonable under the circumstances of the case. Compensation need not however be paid if there was a good reason for either party refusing to marry the other. Should, for example, the intended bride give up a situation or refuse to accept one, then she is entitled to claim compensation for the loss she has sustained. Further, should one of the betrothed parties, through a wrongful act committed by him or her be the cause of the other withdrawing from the betrothal, then the party who is in fault must compensate the other in manner as hereinbefore mentioned. A woman who is of blameless character and has permitted the man to whom she is betrothed to have carnal knowledge of her can, if the man withdraws from the betrothal or causes her withdrawal as hereinbefore mentioned, claim from him monetary dam
ages. The claim to damages cannot be assigned and does not
pass to the heirs unless the same is admitted by agreement, or an action has been commenced in respect thereof. It is not necessary that the woman should be ence inte in order that she may substantiate her claim, neither does it make any difference to her claim, should she have been the means of causing the man to seduce her,
In case no marriage takes place between the betrothed parties, each has the right to demand from the other, according to the provisions relating to the return of things or benefits acquired by a person who thereby unjustifiably enriches himself, the return of the presents given to him or her, or as a pledge of the betrothal. In cases of doubt, it is to be considered that the return of presents cannot be required if the betrothal has been put an end to by the death of one of the parties. Presents made before the betrothal need not be returned, neither need letters sent by the parties to each other, as they are not considered as presents. The claim, as hereinbefore mentioned, which either party to the betrothal has against each other is barred within two years after the determination of the betrothal.
As to marriages, it may be observed that a man cannot marry until he has attained full age, i.e., the age of twentyone years, and a woman the age of sixteen years; but a man can be declared by the Guardianship Court of full age when he is eighteen years old, and a woman can obtain a dispensation permitting her to marry before she has attained the age of sixteen years.
If a person is limited in disposing capacity, it is essential for him before he can contract a marriage to obtain the consent of his legal representative. Should the legal representative of such a person be his or her guardian, and refuse to give his consent, then the necessary consent may, on application by the person refused, be supplied or given by the Guardianship Court. The Guardianship , ourt must give its consent to the marriage if the same is for the applicant's benefit, and it is in the Court's discretion whether it will grant the application or not. A legitimate child until he or she has attained the age of twenty-one years requires the consent of the father, an illegitimate child until it has attained a similar age, requires the consent of its mother to marry. In case the father is dead, or in case he loses his parental right according to paragraph 1701 of the German Civil Code, then the consent of the mother suffices. Paragraph 1701 provides that in case the father knew that the marriage was void at the time it was entered into, then he forfeits his parental rights and the paternal authority or power is vested in the mother. A child who has been declared legitimate does not in case of the father's death require the consent of the mother to marry. In cases where the father or mother are permanently unable to give the necessary declaration, or where it is absolutely impossible to obtain their addresses, then it is to be considered that they are dead. A marriage entered into without the necessary consent being first had and obtained is neither void nor voidable. With respect to a child who has been adopted, the right to consent to the marriage of such a child is given to those who have adopted the child. Should a married couple jointly have adopted the child, or should one of the married persons have adopted the child of the other, then the law applicable as hereinbefore mentioned with respect to a legitimate child, with the exception of that portion which refers to a child declared to be legitimate, is applicable. Should the legal relationship which has arisen by adoption be determined, the natural parents do not again acquire their right of consent. The consent required to be given by the parent cannot be given by his representative or agent. In case the father or mother is limited in disposing capacity, the consent of the legal representative or agent is not necessary. Thus, in case the person whose consent is required is only temporarily limited in disposing capacity, then the marriage of the infant could not take place until he attained the age of twenty-one, as the person who could give his consent is incapable of so doing, and his legal representative is likewise in a similar position. Should the parent of a child of full age refuse his consent to the latter's marriage, then the Guardianship Court may on application by the infant supply such consent, and must do so if the consent has been refused without good cause or reason. The Court should, before it gives its decision, and provided there will be no great delay and no heavy costs will he incurred, hear the relations both by blood and marriage.