- Project Runeberg -  A practical guide for Russian consular officers and all persons having relations with Russia /
299

(1916) Author: Alfons Heyking - Tema: Russia
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P. vii., Сн. xiii. PRIZES AND PRIZE COURTS.

299

In the absence of naval authorities, the rights and duties of such
authorities belong :—

1. In Russian ports to the local port, customs, or police authorities ;
and

2. In all ports of allied powers, with the consent of the Ministry
of Marine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in agreement with the
authorities of the country effecting the capture, to the Russian Naval
Agency or the Russian Consulate, or to some other similar
institution.

Prize courts are competent to give decisions in the following
cases :

1. Cases of confiscation or liberation of captured merchant vessels
and their cargoes, and of sums of money realised by the sale of such
vessels or deposited as security for them or for their cargoes to free
them from detention.

2. Claims for remuneration for losses sustained through detention,
destruction, loss or damage to such ships or cargoes.

3. Restitution of ships or cargoes that have been recaptured from
the enemy to their original owners, and the allotment of prize money
and expenses payable by the said owners.

4. Allotment and distribution of prize money for the capture
and detention, by Russian merchant vessels, of ships and cargoes
belonging to the enemy (Art. 58).

Having received formal information of the arrival of captured
property, the court must, at the very first possible sitting, proceed to
take the depositions of such of the members of the crews of both the
captured vessel and the captor, and of voluntary witnesses, as may
be necessary to a proper consideration of the case (Art. 64).

In case of need, and independently of the enquiry described above,
the court may, on its own initiative, or at the request of persons whose
interests are involved, and either by all or by one or more of its members,
inspect the captured property or arrange for its inspection and
valuation by competent persons (Art. 65).

The prize court is at liberty to release any property from arrest
before the trial, if a deposit is paid into court equivalent to the value
of the property so released. This is determined by sworn valuers
or, in their absence, by other competent persons, who must be not
fewer than two in number. The valuation must be made in the
presence of at least one member of the court (Art. 66).

On the application of the parties and with the consent of the
court, the property may be disposed of by public auction before the
trial, if such property, from its nature or condition, is not fit for
preservation, or if, in the opinion of competent persons, its value is
insufficient to cover the cost of storage (Art. 67).

When captured property is brought to a port of an allied power,
where there is no prize court, the duties described above are performed

§361.

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