- Project Runeberg -  A practical guide for Russian consular officers and all persons having relations with Russia /

(1916) Author: Alfons Heyking - Tema: Russia
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that the man had not been certified as insane by the Russian authorities,
and that he was not at liberty to incur any expenses on the man’s
account without instructions from the Imperial Government. On
the other hand, it was for the local authorities to take the necessary
measures which the mental state of the person in question demanded
—the more so as he had been a member of the crew of a British vessel.

The action of the Consul was confined to controlling the measures
adopted in the interest of the sufferer. This view of the matter was
ultimately, though very unwillingly, accepted by the local authorities,
since the cost of maintenance and repatriation of the individual were
very considerable. Although anxious to avoid unnecessary expense
to public funds, the authorities could not ignore the fact that every
alien, whether sane or insane, while residing in the territory of a State,
is, in the eyes of the law, a temporary subject of that State, and must
be treated as such. It follows, that the local authorities are bound to
take charge of any lunatic, especially as the public security requires
that a person who is mentally deranged shall not enjoy his personal

Lastly, it is the business of the State itself to disembarrass itself
of aliens, and, in so doing, it is acting in its own interests and should
therefore pay the expenses, if the lunatic is without means.

The repatriation of aliens is arranged through diplomatic channels ;
the local authorities apply to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of their
own State, which, in its turn, opens negotiations with the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of the country to which the lunatic belongs.

In Great Britain, the Lunacy Act of 1880 (section 71) provides that
the repatriation of an insane alien must take place on a warrant of
the Home Secretary, issued by him after he has acquainted himself
with all the circumstances of the case, and has given his consent to
the measures proposed for the return of the alien to his own country.

Cases may occur in which it is necessary to institute an immediate
inquiry into the mental condition of the sufferer, and to formally certify
the fact of his insanity when established.

Russian law establishes three cases in which a formal examination
and declaration as to the mental condition of a Russian lunatic abroad
are necessary :—

1. If the Consul, after having reported the case to the Russian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, receives a special order from his
Government to do so.

2. If the relatives of the lunatic apply to the Consul asking him
to do so, and undertake to pay the expenses incurred, if the lunatic
has no means of his own.

3. If the local authorities for some reason, as, for instance, on
account of the lunatic being owner of real estate in the district, require
that he be formally recognised by the law as insane.

If the Consul be requested by the local authorities to take part
in the inquiry, he cannot do so without having previously obtained

Lunacy Act
of Great


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