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Power to

S. 263.

exercise of the power becomes the more important, since it enables the Board of Trade to cancel the certificate of the superseded master, whereby he may be deprived of his livelihood. The President of the Court will, in these cases, in

dorse on the Certificate of Registry a memorandum of the S. S. 242, 46. change of Master, and subscribe the same, and will report

the change of master to the Commissioners of Customs in London. This report may be inclosed in the report to the Board of Trade hereinafter mentioned (paragraph 122).

115. The Court may, with or without the consent of the discharge

parties, discharge any seaman from his ship, and, if the case requires, may declare his wages or any part thereof to be forfeited ; and may, in cases where the owner is a sufferer by the man's conduct, direct them to be detained by him by way of compensation, or may direct them to be paid into the receipt of Her Majesty's Exchequer. In the last case, the order must be fully inserted in the report to the Board of Trade mentioned helow (paragraph 122), in order that the Shipping-Master at the port where the ship is paid off may claim the forfeiture. The power of discharging men extends to the mates and to all persons employed i. the ship. It is intended to meet those cases in which, either from the man's own misconduct, or from his maltreatment by others, or for any other reason, his remaining in the ship would involve danger to the discipline of the ship, or danger, or severe and unmerited hardship to himself. The power, however, should not be exercised except in extreme cases; and care should also be taken so to exercise it as not to throw unnecessary expense upon the funds expended for the relief of distressed


Power to decide questions as to wages. S. 263

116. The Court may decide any questions as to wages, fines, or forfeitures, arising between any of the parties to the proceedings. In so doing, it should be guided, as far as possible, by the rules of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, and of English law. If any seaman or apprentice is imprisoned in any foreign port by the local authorities at the instance of master or owner, or of the Court, or of the Consul, and the Court is of opinion that such imprisonment is just, it may make an order that all or any of the costs incurred in procuring the imprisonment, or of the maintenance of the offender while imprisoned, shall be paid out of and deducted from the wages of the offender.

117. In cases brought where it appears that grave crimes

Power to send crimi

award costs.

have been committed, a Naval Court may send home the nals for trial. offenders for trial, with the witnesses. In these cases it will

S. 263. be governed by the same rules as are hereafter laid down for the guidance of Consuls in like cases (paragraphs 124 to 136).

118. As regards costs, the Naval Court may, at its discre- Power to tion direct them to be paid by any of the parties in the pro- s. 263. ceeding. These costs may include any expenses actually, properly, and nece

cessarily incurred, either by the officers summoning the Court, or by any of the parties ; but it must not include any remuneration to the members of the Court; and care must be taken, in all cases, to keep these costs as low as possible. If the Court are of opinion that the complaint is frivolous or vexatious, they may order the person who has made it to pay such sum as they consider to be a reasonable compensation for any loss or delay caused thereby. The Court may also order any costs or compensation to be deducted from the wages of the person whom it sentences to pay such costs.

119. If any costs actually and properly incurred by the Costs may be Naval Court cannot and ought not to be paid by any parties some cases. to the proceedings, they may be charged in the Consul's Account Current with the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, under the head of “ Consular Contingencies;" but no such charges will be allowed unless they are reasonable, and proved by proper vouchers, and are shown to be such as cannot or ought not to be paid by any of the parties to the proceedings. The Consul will, therefore, in no case insert such charges in his Account with the Treasury, until he has referred the matter to the Board of Trade, and has received a specific authority to do so from the Secretary of State.

120. Especial care must be taken to frame the orders of the Mode of Court in the most full and distinct terms, and to follow in orders. every particular the directions contained in the Act, as these orders will, if strictly made in accordance with the Act, but not otherwise, be capable of being received and used in any legal proceedings which may be instituted in Courts of Justice in the British dominions.

121. As soon as an order is made, it must be entered in Orders to be the Official Log Book of the Ship to which the proceedings official log.: relate; and the entry must be signed by the President of the S. 264. Court.

entered in

Report to be 122. When the proceedings are concluded, a Report must made to Board of

be made to the Board of Trade, containing the following parTrade.

ticulars, that is to say, . 265.

(a). A statement or copy of the complaint or other matter, which

may have caused the summoning of the Court: (b). The steps taken thereupon by the Consul :

(c). A copy of the notice given to any person against whom any charge is made :

(d). The names and descriptions of the persons composing the Court:

(e). The depositions and other evidence taken before the Court, signed when practicable by the witnesses :

(f). The Order made by the Court :

(g). If any seaman or apprentice is discharged, an account of his wages should be added :

(h). When a ship has been wrecked, lost, or abandoned, there should be added a statement in full of the opinion of the Court as to the cause of the wreck, loss, or abandonment, with any

remarks on the conduct of the master or crew, with any other circumstances connected with the loss which the Court think fit to make.

The report must be signed by the President of the Court, with his official title, and if he be a Consul, his Consular seal should be attached. The depositions and all the documents contained or referred to in it must be originals, and not copies, unless they are documents which it is absolutely necessary to keep for some other purpose; in which case the copies must be certified by the President to be correct. The report must be then sent home by the first opportunity to the Board of Trade, with a covering letter from the Consul.. The utmost attention should be paid in observing these formalities, as, without them, the proceedings of the Court will probably be rendered nugatory.

123. Should any person, without cause, obstruct the sumsbstracting. moning or the proceedings of any Naval Court, the Consul

will point out to him that he thereby incurs a penalty of 501., or imprisonment with hard labour for twelve weeks. And if he perseveres, he will report the case, with the names and addresses of the necessary witnesses, to the Board of Trade ; but the Consul will at the same time remember, that this penalty is not to prejudice any steps which, by courtesy of the local authorities or otherwise, he may be able to take on

Penalties for

the spot.

which such


a British

S. 260.

Crimes committed on the High Seas and Abroad. 124. Crimes committed on the high seas on board any Mode in British ship, and offences against property or person com

offences may mitted at any place in foreign countries by any person who be tried, if at the time of the commission of the offence belongs to any oy persons

belonging to British ship, or by any British subject who has within the previous three months belonged to any British ship, are sub-ship ject to the same punishments, and may be tried, in the same manner as if they had been committed within the jurisdiction of the Admiralty in England, that is to say, according to the common criminal law of England. 125. The Consul will, however, remember that, subject to Jurisdiction

of foreign any special provision made by Treaty, offences against the courts. municipal law of any country, committed within the limits of that country, although committed on board a British ship, • and by British subjects, whether they may be tried according to British law or not, are certainly liable to be tried by the courts and according to the law of that country. The Consul will also remember that persons committing offences on board a foreign ship, though British subjects, are liable to be tried by the law of the country to which the ship belongs. (See paragraphs 103 to 108.) 126. Upon a complaint being made to the Consul of

any Proceedings offence against British law having been committed on the by Consul. high seas, or if without complaint he becomes aware of any serious offence having been committed on board a British ship, he may inquire into the case upon oath, and may summon witnesses before him for that purpose; and if there is evidence which in the opinion of the Consul is sufficient to substantiate the charge, he may send the offender to some place in the British dominions at which he can be tried. As prosecutions in such cases have often failed for want of observance of the requisite formalities, or for want of evidence, or for the want of a prosecutor, or of witnesses, and as sending home prisoners involves very serious expense, the Consul will be careful to observe the following rules.

127. The Consul will not send home the offender at the offenders to public expense, unless the crime is murder, attempt to in aggramurder, piracy, slave trading, manslaughter, aggravated

only; assault, wilful destruction of the ship, deliberate and concerted mutiny, or some other offence of a very serious ature involving risk to the life or welfare of others. In cases of petty theft, and also in cases of insubordi-or where an


to be taken

S. 268.

be sent home

vated cases

is given
for the ex-

must be sent.

To what

offender is to be sent. S. 268.

nation and of other crimes of that description, the Consul will in no case send the offender for trial, unless the master or agent of the ship, or some other person against whom the offence has been committed, undertakes to prosecute and to pay the expenses of sending home the offender and witnesses. This undertaking must be such as to be satisfactory to the Consul, and must be forwarded by him to the Board

of Trade. Witnesses 128. The Consul must in no case send an offender for trial,

unless he at the same time sends the necessary witnesses to give viva voce evidence at the trial, or is satisfied that they are about to proceed to the place where the trial will be held. Sending the witnesses, however, must not interfere with his sending the depositions, as hereafter mentioned. (Paragraph 136.)

129. In deciding to what place the offenders shall be sent place the

for trial, the Consul will be guided by circumstances. In general cases he will send them to Great Britain; but if there is

any British court of justice capable of trying the offerkce to which the offender and witnesses can be sent more cheaply, speedily, and conveniently, he will send them to the British possession in which such Court is situate.

130. If there is any Queen's ship, the officer in command ships they

of which is willing to receive the persons to be sent for trial, the Consul will avail himself of the opportunity. If not, he will send them in the first British merchant ship which can take them, but he must not send more than one prisoner for every 100 tons, or more than one witness for every 50 tons of the ship's burthen.

He will point out to the master of the ship in which they are sent that he is bound, under a penalty of 501., to afford a passage and subsistence to every offender and witness so sent; and upon the ship's arrival at the place to which they are sent, to give the offenders in charge into the custody of some police officer or constable, so that they may be taken before a magistrate, to be dealt with according to the Act. He will also point out to the Master how he is to be reimbursed. (See paragraph 131.)

131. The Consul will take such means as may be in his nesses to be power for detaining the offender until he can be so sent as kept in the aforesaid, and will, if necessary, maintain the witnesses until

they can be sent; and he will also in matters of account, and in every other respect relating to offenders and witnesses

In what

are to be
S. 268.


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