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be impeached by evidence of fraud or collusion. And such evidence was adjudged to be admissible, on the part of the prosecution, in the case of the Duchess of Kingston, who w as tried for polygamy. A distinction, in this respect, has been made between the case of a stranger, (who cannot come in and reverse the judgment, and therefore of necessity be must be permitted to aver, that it was fraudulent,) and the case of a party to the proceedings, (who cannot give evidence of fraud, but must apply to the Court, which pronounced the judgment, to vacate it;) and therefore, in the case Prudham v. Phillips (1), where the defendant proved her marriage with one M., in answer to which a sentence of an ecclesiastical court was produced, shewing that she was. at the time married to another person, Chief Justice Willes after much debate refused to allow the defendant to prove that the sentence had been obtained by fraud.
Of Sentences in Courts of Admiralty and Foreign Courts.
The Judge of the Admiralty has the sole and exclusive cognizance in questions of prize or not prize at sea (2). The true reason of this rule is, that prizes are acquisitions jure belli, and thejus belli is to be determined by the law of nations, and not by the particular municipal law of any country. A sentence therefore in the prize court, deciding the question of prize, is conclusive, in all it professes to decide, on the same point incidentally arising in courts of common law. "It has been clearly settled, (said the Master of the Rolls in the case of Kindersley against Chase (3),) from the time of Lord Hale down to the present period, that a sentence of condemnation in a court of admiralty is conclusive, when
(1) Ambler, 763. cited l..y the L. Ch. Caux v. Eden, a Doug. 600. Undo T. from a MS. note of Serjt. Parker. Rodney, n. (1), ib.
(1) Tompson v. Smith, 1 Sid. 310. (3) Cockpit, July igoi, Park Jnsur. Brown v. Franklyn, Ccrth. 476. Le last edit. 490.
it proceeds on the ground of enemy's property, that the property belongs to enemies, and not only for the immediate purpose of such a sentence, but it is binding on all courts and against all persons. The sentence of a court of admiralty proceeding in rem, must bind all parties, must bind all the world."
The sentence of a foreign court of admiralty, also, which is acknowledged by the law of nations and of competent jurisdiction, deciding the question of property, is conclusive, if the same question arise in this country (i). And though in the case of Hughes and Cornelius, the leading case on this subject, the question upon the foreign sentence arose in an action of trover, and not in an action on a policy of assurance, (where the non-compliance with a warranty of neutrality is in dispute,) yet, from that period down to the present, the doctrine there laid down has been considered equally applicable to questions of warranty in actions on policies, as to questions of property in actions of trover (2). And it may now be assumed as the settled doctrine of courts of English law, that all sentences of foreign courts, of competent jurisdiction to decide questions of prize, are to be received here as conclusive evidence in actions upon policies of assurance, on every subject immediately and properly within the jurisdiction of such foreign courts, and upon which they have professed to decide judicially (3). It is now too late, said -Mr. Just. Lawrence (4), to examine the practice of admitting these sentences to the extent to which they have been received, supposing that practice might at first have appeared doubtful. On the authority of those decisions men have acted for a long series of years, and entered into contracts of assurance in this country, with a knowledge of such decisions, and in expectation that the
fi) Hughes v. . Cornelius, a Show. Christie v. Secretin, 8 T. R. 196. KinRep. 2}%. Sir T. Ray. 473. S. C. Ber- dersley v. Chase, Park Ins 486. nardi 1. Motteux, l Doug. Rep. 575. (4) Lothian v. Henderson, 3 Bos. &
(a) Per Chambre J., Lothian v. Pull.524. See also Baring v. Clagett,
Henderson, 3 Bos. fc Pull. 513. 3 Bos. ie Pull. 114.
(3.) Bolton v. Gladstone, 5 Kast, 160.
questions, questions, arising out of such contracts, to which the decisions are applicable, will be ruled by them. Such a sentence of condemnation will be binding on the rights of third persons, as well as 011 the parties to the original suit; it is conclusive between the assured and the underwriter, with respect to every fact, which it professes to decide. Thus, when it proceeds on the ground of enemy's property, it is conclusive, that the property belongs to enemies, not only for the immediate purpose of such a sentence, but it is binding on all courts and as against all persons (1). And the sentence is binding, whether it proceed to condemn the ship expressly as being enemy's property, or whether such a ground of decision can only be collected from other parts of the proceedings; and this, although it appear on the face of the sentence, that the prize-court arrived at the conclusion through the medium of rules of evidence and rules of presumption, established only by the particular ordinances of their own country, and not admissible on general principles. (2)
The sentence is conclusive evidence of the points, upon which it professes to decide (3). Thus, for example, if it proceeded upon the ground of the property not being neutral, it is conclusive against the insured, that he has not complied with his warranty (4). If no special ground is stated, and the ship is condemned generally as lawful prize, it is to be presumed from the condemnation, as no other cause appears, that the sentence proceeded on the ground of the property belonging to an enemy; and the sentence, in such a case, has been held to be conclusive evidence, that the property was not neutral (5). In the case of Bernardi v. Motteux(6), where there was some ambiguity
(1) Kindersley v. Chase, Park Int. (4) Barzillay v. Lewis, Park Insur.
1490. last edit. 46;;. Baring v. Clagett, 3 Bos.
(a) Bolton v.Gladstone,5Eatt, 155. & Pull.201.
% T1um. 85. Baring v. Roy. Ex. Ass. (5) Saloucci v. Woodmass, P1rk Ins.
Comp.5East,99. 471. (1784.) 8T. R.444.
(A) Christie v. Secretan, 8T.R. (6) % Doug.,$74. (1781.) 3 Bos.*:
196. Sec also (3;, ante,p.149. Pull. 115.
in the sentence, so that the precise ground of the determination could not be collected, the Court of King's Bench considered themselves at liberty to examine, whether the ground, on which the sentence proceeded, but which was not stated, actually falsified the warranty contained in the policy. Hence it follows, that it does not lie on the party, who produces the sentence, to shew that it has proceeded on the ground of enemy's property; but it is incumbent on the other party, who objects to the sentence, to shew that it proceeded on some other ground. (i)
Where the sentence professes to be made on particular grounds, which are set forth in the sentence, but which appear not to warrant the condemnation, the sentence will not be conclusive as to such facts (2). Or if the sentence has not decided the question of property, nor declared whether it be neutral, but condemned the property as prize solely on the ground, that the ship had violated an ex parte ordinance, to which the neutral country had not assented, or on the ground of a foreign ordinance against the law of nations, such a sentence, though conclusive of the question of prize or no prize, would not be conclusive of the fact, whether or not the ship were neutral (3). Lastly, sentences of condemnation in foreign courts of prize are admissible only, where such courts are constituted according to the law of nations, and exercise their functions either in the belligerent country, or in the country of a co-belligerent or ally in the war (4). It has, therefore, been determined, that a sentence pronounced by the authority of the capturing power, within the dominions of a neutral country, to which the prize may have been taken, is illegal (5), and consequently would not be admissible evidence to falsify the warranty of neutrality.
(1) Kindessley v. Chase, Park Ins. v. Clagett, 3 Bos. Sc Pull. Bolton
490. x v. Gladstone, 2 Taunt. 8;. 95.
(a) Calvert v. Bovil, 7 T. R. 5a5. (4) Oddy v.Bovil, 1 East, 473. 8T.R.444. (5) Havelock v. Rockwood, 8T. R.
(3) PoUnrd v. Bell, 8 T. R. 444- 168. Case of the FLd Oven, 8 T. R.
Bird r. Appleton, 8 T. R. J 62. Baling 17C n. (a); 1 Rob. Adm. Rep. 135.
The Judgments The sentence of any other foreign court of competent of other fo- jurisdiction, directly deciding a question which was pro
reiim courts. . . , . , , . *" _ , .
pcrly cognizable by the law ol the country, seems to be conclusive here, if the same question arise incidentally between the 6amc parties in this country. Thus the sentence of a foreign court of competent jurisdiction, directly establishing a marriage in that country, would be conclusive, in any of our courts, on the validity of the marriage (1). So, where a party, having accepted a bill of exchange drawn upon him at Leghorn, instituted a suit there, in which suit his acceptance was vacated, and, upon his return to this country, being sued again on his acceptance, applied to the court of Chancery for an injunction and relief against the second action, Lord Chancellor King decided that the cause was to be determined by the law of the country, where the bill was negotiated, and, as the acceptance had been there declared void by a competent jurisdiction, he thought the sentence must here also be conclusive (2). So on a criminal charge, as for murder committed in a foreign country, an acquittal in that country might be pleaded here in bar to an indictment for the same offence (3); because, says Mr. Justice Buller, a final determination in a court having competent jurisdiction is conclusive in all courts of concurrent.jurisdiction (4). From the two last cases, the following principle seems to be properly deducible, namely, that a party, who has been once discharged from a criminal charge or a legal demand by the sentence of a foreign court of competent jurisdiction, may protect himself by that sentence against any fresh suit or prosecution instituted here for the same cause.
If an action is brought in this country, as an action of debt or assumpsit, directly upon a foreign judgment, the sentence has been considered prima facie evidence of the
(1) Per Lord Hardwicke, in Roach (3) Hutchinson's case, cited I Show. r.Garvan, 1 Ves. 159. Rep. 6.; also in 1 Sir. 733.
(a) Burrows v. Jeroino, a Stra. 733. (4) Bull. N. P. 145. Roche's cast,
I Leach. Cr. C. 160. acc.