The following rules are framed upon the theory:

1. That every ship ought to be subject to some one jurisdiction, and that therefore the responsibilities of national character ought to be im. pressed upon every ship, without reference to its satisfying the conditions of registry laws.

2. That every nation may accord such advantages as it chooses, and therefore the immunities and privileges of national character ought to be extended only to such ships as do satisfy the conditions of the local law.

ARTICLE 273. Every ship has one national character.

274. Origin of national character.
275. Change of national character.
276. Registry. .
277. Passport required.
278. Contents of passport.
279. Effect of ship's passport.

Every ship has one national character.

273. Every ship has a national character, and no ship has that of two nations at the same time. But any nation may allow to ships of other nations within its own territory any of the privileges of its domestic ships.

Origin of national character.

274. The national character of a ship is that of the nation within whose territory she was constructed, until changed as hereinafter provided. Change of national character.

275. The national character of a ship, however acquired, may be changed :

1. By its ownership, or a majority in interest thereof, becoming vested in owners of a different national character;

2. By being captured and adjudged lawful prize, as provided in Book Second of this Code, on WAR;

3. By judicial forfeiture, pursuant to the laws of another nation, for a breach of the laws thereof, or of the provisions of this Code.

In any such case the national character acquired is that of a majority in interest of the new owners.


276. Any nation may refuse the privileges of its own national character to any ship which has not a recorded title, according to its laws.

Passport required.

277. A nation may, in its discretion, give to any of its ships a passport, such as is mentioned in the next article.

Without such a passport, no private ship is entitled to receive from other nations, parties to this Code, or their members, the immunities and privileges of its national character.

Suggested by the treaty between the United States and The Two Sicilies, Oct. 1, 1855, Art. IX., 11 U. 8. Stat. at L., 639.

Contents of passport.
278. The passport of a ship must contain :

1. The name, vocation and residence of the owner, if but one, or of each of the several owners, if more than one, mentioning their number, and in what proportion they share in its ownership;

2. The name, dimensions and burden of the ship, and such other particulars as may be necessary to identify it; and,

3. A statement that the ship bears the national character of the nation issuing the passport, and is entitled to the immunities and privileges thereof.

The passport must be certified by the executive authority, competent, by the law of such nation, to give the passport.

“ To entitle the national character of a vessel to recognition, it must be furnished with a passport, spasse-port, congé ou régistré,) and which, cer. tified by the executive authority competent by the law of such nation to give it, shall state: First. The name, the vocation and the residence of the owner, stating that there is but one, or of the several owners, indicating their number, and in what proportion they share in its ownership. Second. The name, the dimensions, the burden, and all other peculiarities of the vessel which can serve to identify its nationality."

Treaty of friendship, commence and navigation between France and

Honduras, Feb. 22, 1856, Art. XIII., 7 De Clercq, 10.

Nicaragua, Apr. 11, 1859, “ XIII., 7 Id., 586.
To very similar effect are the following:
Treaty of navigation between France and

Sweden & Norway, Feb. 14, 1865, Art. III., 9 De Clercq, 172.
Treaty of commerce and navigation between France and
The Free Cities of

Lubeck, Bremen & Mar. 4, 1865, Art. V., 9 De Clercq, 187.

The Grand Duchy of)
Mecklenburg Schwe-
rin - (Extended to
the) Grand Duchy of

{ June 9, 1865. “ V., 9 Id., 295.
Mecklenburg Stre-

litz, Portugal,

July 11, 1866, “ XXI., 9 Id., 558. Treaty of commerce between France and

The Pontifical States, July 19, 1867, Art. X., 9 De Clercq, 739. Treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation between France and

The Hawaiian Islands, Oct. 29, 1857, Art. XIV., 7 De Clercq, 322. This treaty also provides that in case of doubt as to the nationality of a vessel, or of the ownership, or of the master or crew, the consuls of the country for which the vessel is destined shall have the right to demand authentie proof before visaing the papers of the vessel. This is to be done without charge to the ship.

Effect of ship's passport.

279. The passport of a ship, issued in conformity to the last article, shall be everywhere taken as conclusive evidence of its national character at the date of the passport, and as presumptive evidence of such character at any subsequent time; subject, however, to the local regulations for verification; and also subject, in the administration of justice in civil and criminal cases, to the rules of evidence applicable in courts of justice.'

"On an indictment under a law making criminal certain acts done on board a vessel owned in whole or in part by a citizen of the United States, ownership in fact must be proved. General reputation or an American registry is not even prima facie evidence of ownership. United States o. Brune, 2 Wallace Jr.'s U. 8. Circuit Court Rep., 264.

It is not necessary to produce documentary evidence in order to prove the national character of a vessel, on an indictment for piracy. The laws that prescribe what ships' papers shall be carried on board, have relation to financial, commercial or international objects, and are not decisive in a

prosecution for piracy. The character of the vessel is then a matter of fact to be established by general evidence. United States 0. Furlong, 5 Wheaton's U. 8. Supreme Court Rep., 184.

To show a vessel to be American, so as to give jurisdiction to punish offenses committed on board of her, it is enough to show, in the first instance, that she sailed from and to an American port, and was apparently owned and controlled by citizens of the United States. It is not ne. cessary to produce her register. United States 0. Peterson, 1 Woodbury & Minot's U. 8. Circuit Ct. Rep., 305.

But a ship engaged in a whaling voyage, without having surrendered her register or taken out an enrollment and license, pursuant to the act of July 18, 1793, was held not to be an American ship, within the purview of the act of March 3, 1835, ch. 40, punishing any of the crew of an American ship for an endeavor to make a revolt. United States o. Rogers, 3 Sumner's U. 8. Circuit Court Rep., 342.

Compare a somewhat different provision as to the effect of passports of persons, in Article 323.




CHAPTER XXI. Domicil, original and secondary.

XXII. Change of domicil.
XXIII. Effect of change of domicil.



ARTICLE 280.“ Domicil" defined.

281. Kinds of domicil.
282. Original and secondary.
283. Derivative and voluntary.
284. Every person has one domicil.
285. Original domicil of legitimates.
286. Original domicil of illegitimates.
287. Child of unknown parentage.
288. Continuance of domicil.
289. Wife's secondary domicil.
290. Child's secondary domicil.
291. Ward's secondary domicil.
292. Domicil of insane persons, &c.

Domicil" defined.

280. The term “domicil,” as used in this Code, means the seat' of permanent residence—the home.'

1 Ortolan, (Explication Historique do Inst. Justinien, t. I., p. 402, 5 ed.,) rejects the definition of domicil as "the place where a person has his principal establishment," for the reason that domicil is not a place at all, in the sense of being a portion of space. He substitutes the following : “ The seat, or home, (le siége, la demeure,) which a person is deemed in law to have always for the exercise of certain rights or the application of certain laws." Boileux, I., p. 212 ; Puchta, Vorlesungen, I., S. 99, $ 45, (5th ed.;) 2 Kent's Commentaries, 540 note, (8th ed.,) support the definition above given. See, also, Westlake's Private International Law, p. 31, note a,

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