Agema Publications

A forum for the disscussion of the Play by Mail games from Agema Publications


Draft Treaty on Slave Trafficking on the High Seas

Share
avatar
john_tindall@mlc.com.au
Squire
Squire

Number of posts : 26
Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2009-01-26

Draft Treaty on Slave Trafficking on the High Seas

Post by john_tindall@mlc.com.au on Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:02 am

(Richard has approved discussing the Treaty on this forum. It applies only to Struggle For Empire Game 1

Historical precedent
Under the doctrine of state sovereignty, a Nation had the right to adhere to its own laws within its own borders and on ships flying its flag. Thus, Nations did not usually have the right to stop and search another Nation's vessels on the high seas. The one universally recognized exception was for acts committed on the high seas that were condemned as acts of piracy and thus outlawed by the law of Nations. In those cases, every Nation had the right to punish certain offences committed onboard ships, regardless of the flag under which the offending ship sailed. By declaring that slavery was a crime against the law of Nations, the offence met the criteria.

In 1841 Austria, Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, and France signed the Treaty for the Suppression of the African Slave Trade, commonly known as the Treaty of London . This was the first multilateral treaty to proclaim the trade in slaves an act of piracy. It provided that each party had the power to stop and search merchant ships in specified zones.

The act applied particularly to the Atlantic Ocean and the Arabian Sea, where most of the slave trading was taking place. If the investigating commander believed that the ship was engaged in the slave trade, he had the right to escort it to the nearest port.

The proposed Treaty builds on this historical precedent with its key principles being:
- right of inspection where a vessel is suspected of being engaged in slave-trade, and
- where evidence is present, vessels can be detained and brought to trial in the nearest port, and
- that said right of search and detention is to be exercised only within stipulated areas ,and
- that if condemned, said vessel becomes the prize of the detaining Nation and any slaves liberated forthwith.

I believe an International Treaty on Slave Trafficking on the High Seas will result in increased prestige for all nations who actively participate in eradicating this foul trade. In addition to the moral benefit, Nations can also enlarge their navies by taking guilty vessels into their own service and by selling the non-human cargo.

The next post is the full draft of the Treaty. Parties are encouraged to discuss and debate the draft however I ask that if you don't like the exact wording, you must suggest your own alternative.

Let the congress begin!


Last edited by john_tindall@mlc.com.au on Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:52 am; edited 8 times in total
avatar
john_tindall@mlc.com.au
Squire
Squire

Number of posts : 26
Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2009-01-26

The first draft

Post by john_tindall@mlc.com.au on Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:04 am

TREATY TO STEM SLAVE TRAFFICKING ON THE HIGH SEAS
1850

The commerce, known by the name of Slave Trade has been considered, by just and enlightened men in all ages, as repugnant to the principles of humanity and universal morality; so that at length the public voice, in all civilized countries, calls aloud for its prompt suppression and enlightened governments have come to the resolution of putting a stop to it.
This treaty stipulates and agrees:
- that those ships of the respective navies of the signatories may inspect such vessels as being suspected of being engaged in slave-trade, and
- if such vessels are found to be suspect of such trade, they may be brought to trial in the nearest port, and
- that said right of search and detention to be exercised only within stipulated areas and
- that if condemned, said vessel becomes the prize of the detaining Nation and any slaves liberated forthwith.

ARTICLE 1.The signatory Nations mutually agree that ships of their respective navies may search such vessels that may, upon reasonable grounds, be suspected of being engaged in slave trade, or of having been fitted out for that purpose; and that such naval ships may detain, and send or carry away, such vessels, in order that they may be brought to trial in a court of law.
In the interests of clarity: the said right of search shall be understood in the manner and according to the rules following:
- It shall never be exercised except by naval vessels and according to the stipulations of this treaty.
- The right of search shall in no case be exercised with respect to a ship of the navy of the signatory Nations, but shall be exercised only as regards merchant-vessels in the stipulated sea areas, nor in ports of the signatory Nations.
- The right of search and detention shall be exercised only within the stipulated sea areas, currently being the North and South Atlantic Ocean, the Sea of Mexico, the Merina Channel, the Yellow Sea and the Arabian Sea.

ARTICLE 2.
The signatory Nations shall make good any losses which their respective subjects or citizens may incur by an arbitrary and illegal detention of their vessels; it being understood that this indemnity shall be borne by the Nation whose ship shall have been guilty of such arbitrary and illegal detention; and that the search and detention of vessels specified in the first article of this treaty shall be effected only by ships which may form part of the signatory Nations navies. The indemnification for the damages of which this article treats shall be paid within the term of one year, reckoning from the day in which the court pronounces its sentence.

ARTICLE 3.
In order to bring to adjudication with as little delay and inconvenience as possible, the vessels which may be detained according to the tenor of the first article of this treaty, adjudication shall occur at a court of law in the port at which the vessel is conveyed. These courts shall judge the causes submitted to them according to the provisions of the present treaty, and there shall be no appeal from their decision.

ARTICLE 4.
It is hereby further mutually agreed, that the crew of each vessel may lawfully be detained, and sent or brought before a court if, in her equipment, there shall be found any of the slave trading implements hereinafter mentioned, namely:
- Hatches with open gratings, instead of the close hatches, which are usual in merchant vessels.
- Divisions or bulk-heads in the hold or on deck, in greater number than are necessary for vessels engaged in lawful trade.
- Spare plank fitted for laying down as a second or slave deck.
- Shackles, bolts, or handcuffs.
- A larger quantity of water in casks or in tanks than is requisite for the consumption of the crew of the vessel as a merchant-vessel.
- An extraordinary number of water casks, or of other vessels for holding liquid; unless the master shall produce a certificate from the custom-house at the place from which he cleared outwards, stating that a sufficient security had been given by the owners of such vessel that such extra quantity of casks, or of other vessels should be used only to hold palm oil, or for other purposes of lawful commerce.
- A greater number of mess-tubs or kids than requisite for the use of the crew of the vessel as a merchant-vessel.
- A boiler, or other cooking apparatus, of an unusual size, and larger, or capable of being made larger, than requisite for the use of the crew of the vessel as a merchant-vessel; or more than one boiler, or other cooking apparatus, of the ordinary size.
- An extraordinary quantity of rice, such as the flour of Brazil, of maniac or cassada, commonly called farinha, of maize, or of Indian corn, or of any other article of food whatever, beyond the probable wants of the crew; unless such rice, flour, farinha, maize, Indian corn, or other article of food, be entered on the manifest as part of the cargo for trade.
- A quantity of mats greater than is necessary for the use of the crew of the vessel as a merchant-vessel, unless such mats be entered on the manifest as part of the cargo for trade.
If it be proved that any one or more of the articles above specified is or are on board, or have been on board during the voyage in which the vessel was captured, that fact shall be considered as prima facie evidence that the vessel was employed in the slave trade, and she shall in consequence be condemned and declared lawful prize; unless the master or owners shall furnish clear and incontrovertible evidence, proving to the satisfaction of the court, that at the time of her detention or capture the vessel was employed in a lawful undertaking, and that such of the different articles above specified were indispensable for the lawful object of her voyage.

ARTICLE 5.
If any one of the slave trading implements specified in the preceding should be proved to have been on board of her during the voyage on which she was captured, no compensation for losses, damages, or expenses consequent upon the detention of such vessel, shall in any case be granted either to the master, the owner, or any other person interested in the equipment or in the lading, even though she should not be condemned by the mixed court of justice.

ARTICLE 6.
If the detained vessel shall be condemned, she shall be declared lawful prize, together with her cargo, of whatever description it may be, with the exception of the slaves who shall have been brought on board for the purpose of trade; and the said vessel, shall, as well as her cargo, be sold by public sale for the profit of the detaining Nation, or otherwise utilised by her navy.

ARTICLE 7.
The captain, master, pilot, and crew of any vessel condemned by the court shall be punished according to the laws of the country to which such vessel belongs, as shall also the owner or owners and the persons interested in her equipment or cargo, unless they prove that they had no participation in the enterprise.
A captain, master, pilot and crew of any vessel flying the Flag of a Nation who is not a signatory to this Treaty may be tried by the detaining Commander subject to the applicable laws of his Nation.

ARTICLE 8.
The slaves who are found on board of a vessel condemned by the court, in conformity with the stipulations of this treaty, shall be placed at the disposal of the Government whose ship has made the capture; they shall be immediately set at liberty, and shall remain free, the Government to whom they have been delivered guarantying their liberty.

The above treaty to be ratified by the authorised representatives of the signatory Nations. It shall continue and remain in full force for the term of five years from the day of exchange of the ratifications. And it is hereby agreed between them, that, on the expiration of one year after such notice shall have been received by a signatory Nation, this treaty shall altogether cease to apply to them.
In witness whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the present treaty, and have hereunto affixed the seal of their-arms.
Done at [Vienna? tbc], in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and [fifty?]


Last edited by john_tindall@mlc.com.au on Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:09 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

jamesbond007
Duke
Duke

Number of posts : 392
Age : 47
Location : Norwich
Reputation : 14
Registration date : 2009-04-07

Re: Draft Treaty on Slave Trafficking on the High Seas

Post by jamesbond007 on Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:11 am

Hi John
An interesting piece on the abolition of slavery.However, to my shame, i find slaves very important when it comes to finding workers for my mines. So a big dilema arises. Would you like to implement this in certain games? which game are you involved in? I would have thought that most players would prefer to keep slavery.
avatar
revvaughan
King
King

Number of posts : 652
Reputation : 7
Registration date : 2008-07-15

Re: Draft Treaty on Slave Trafficking on the High Seas

Post by revvaughan on Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:05 pm

Struggle for Empire.... 1850!
avatar
john_tindall@mlc.com.au
Squire
Squire

Number of posts : 26
Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2009-01-26

Re: Draft Treaty on Slave Trafficking on the High Seas

Post by john_tindall@mlc.com.au on Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:43 pm

In the in-game magazine The Britannic Times for August 1850, the Roosian Prime Minister condemned "Austrian and British plans to intercept and seize ships in international waters", calling this "pure piracy".

He is partially correct - it is usually illegal to stop and search another Nation's vessels. However, piracy is an internationally recognised exception and various nations, including Russia, expanded the definition of piracy to include slavery in 1841. Perhaps this is a simple oversight on the part of the Prime Minister's aides and not an abrogation of Imperial Russia's 1841 commitment?

Some people have asked, "what are the benefits of becoming a signatory?" Putting the moral correctness and expected increase in prestige aside for the moment, becoming a signatory means that any detained vessels are formally judged in a court of law, using clear evidential guidelines (see Article 4 above).

It would be very easy for slavers to fly a flag of convenience and resist being searched - that's why the signatories are not exempting themselves from these searches. It's a personal choice, but consider this: signatory nation's vessels have their day in a court of law. Vessels from non-signatory nations may instead be judged on the spot by the Admiral of the detaining squadron. I believe the Treaty actually gives signatories greater protection.
avatar
Rowey
Freeman
Freeman

Number of posts : 12
Age : 44
Location : Yorkshire
Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2009-02-12

Re: Draft Treaty on Slave Trafficking on the High Seas

Post by Rowey on Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:57 pm

Unfortuneatly I have to disagree and can see as the months roll on the legislation it introduces being abused by certain parties as an excuse to board and confiscate ships the "suspect" of trafficing slaves.

Speaking as someone who doesn't currently use slaves or traffic them I feel I'd still be putting my own fleet at risk of the bigger bully boys.
avatar
revvaughan
King
King

Number of posts : 652
Reputation : 7
Registration date : 2008-07-15

Re: Draft Treaty on Slave Trafficking on the High Seas

Post by revvaughan on Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:50 pm

There was some trouble over the matter in historical times as well. However, I don't beleive that certain parties paid much attention to the complaints and dealt mereliy with the offenders as it was required. Those that are not trafficking in contraband are in no danger, and in many cases would have only slight contact with vessels engaged in this patrol. Seems as though this could be something of an issue here.
avatar
john_tindall@mlc.com.au
Squire
Squire

Number of posts : 26
Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2009-01-26

Example of a detention

Post by john_tindall@mlc.com.au on Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:07 am

The Britannic Times reported correctly that Osterreich had detained a suspected slaver and has escorted it back to the nearest port for trial.

When sighted, the vessel was built like a slaver, not a merchant. Downwind it reeked like a slaver. When called upon to stop, she tried to run. When searched, shackled slaves and other trappings were found below decks.

As Lord Derby said, "any officer worth his salt will know a slaver from miles away".

These searches are undertaken carefully and respectfully. Vessels without the above features will be released unharmed to go upon their way.

Several nation have indicated their support for the Treaty. Eradicating this miserable trade is only a matter of time, but the more nations that join us, the shorter that misery will be.

Sponsored content

Re: Draft Treaty on Slave Trafficking on the High Seas

Post by Sponsored content


    Current date/time is Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:14 am