(Declaration concerning the Laws of Naval War, nr.208,Consol. T.S. 338 (1909)
a) de Duitse marinewetten
De Duitse marinewetten omvatte vier afzonderlĳke wetten die door de Rĳksdag werden aangenomen in respectievelĳk 1898,1900, 1908 en in 1912. Deze wetten, ingediend door de keizer en zĳn minister van marine, Groot-Admiraal Alfred von Tirpitz verplichtte Duitsland tot het bouwen van een marine die in staat moest zĳn te concurreren met de Britse oorlogsvloot.
De keizer wenste een sterke marine teneinde, zoals hĳ dat noemde, ‘Duitsland van een plaats in de zon’ te verzekeren. Een sterke marine, zo dacht hĳ, zou een krachtig hulpmiddel zĳn bĳ zĳn pogingen tot het verkrĳgen van koloniën en voorts bĳdragen aan zĳn ‘wereldpolitiek’, de wereldwĳde economische en commerciële ontwikkeling van Duitsland. In dit streven werd hĳ gesteund door Von Tirpitz die een warm voorstander was van een krachtige marine.
De eerste Duitse vlootwet werd in 1898 aangenomen door de rĳksdag. Ze was gericht op de bouw van een op defensie gerichte marine. De tweede Vlootwet echter, die in 1900 werd ingediend maakte duidelĳk dat Duitsland zich nu richtte op de bouw van een vloot die sterk genoeg moest zĳn om met de Britse Grand Fleet te kunnen De wet voorzag in een programma van 17 jaar voor de bouw van slagschepen, onderzeeboten, kruisers en andere scheepstypen. In 1914 bezat Duitsland de tweede grootste vloot ter wereld.
De uitbreiding van de Duitse vloot alarmeerde Gr.Brittannië. Het land was afhankelĳk van overzeese voedselimport en van haar koloniën. Gr.Brittannië reageerde dan ook op de Duitse dreiging door een begin te maken met de uitbreiding van haar eigen vloot. De Britse uitbreiding stond onder leiding van admiraal John Fisher. (First Sea Lord van 1905 – 1910). In 1906 introduceerde hĳ het moderne scheepstype de ‘Dreadnought’ dat meteen alle bestaande scheepstypen verouderde. De Duitse marine-uitbreidingen waren een duidelĳke bĳdrage aan het ontstaan van de Eerste Wereldoorlog.
b) De Internationale Marinewetten van 1909
Declaration concerning the Laws of Naval War, (1909).
(List of Contracting Parties)
Having regard to the terms in which the British Government invited various Powers to meet in conference in order to arrive at an agreement as to what are the generally recognized rules of international law within the meaning of Article 7 of the Convention of 18 October 1907, relative to the establishment of an International Prize Court;
Recognizing all the advantages which an agreement as to the said rules would, in the unfortunate event of a naval war, present, both as regards peaceful commerce, and as regards the belligerents and their diplomatic relations with neutral Governments;
Having regard to the divergence often found in the methods by which it is sought to apply in practice the general principles of international law;
Animated by the desire to ensure henceforward a greater measure of uniformity in this respect; Hoping that a work so important to the common welfare will meet with general approval;
Have appointed as their Plenipotentiaries, that is to say:
(Here follow the names of Plenipotentiaries)
Who, after having communicated their full powers, found to be in good and due form, have agreed to make the present Declaration:
The Signatory Powers are agreed that the rules contained in the following Chapters correspond in substance with the generally recognized principles of international law.
BLOCKADE IN TIME OF WAR
Article 1. A blockade must not extend beyond the ports and coasts belonging to or occupied by the enemy.
Art. 2. In accordance with the Declaration of Paris of 1856, a blockade, in order to be binding, must be effective – that is to say, it must be maintained by a force sufficient really to prevent access to the enemy coastline.
Art. 3. The question whether a blockade is effective is a question of fact.
Art. 4. A blockade is not regarded as raised if the blockading force is temporarily withdrawn on account of stress of weather.
Art. 5. A blockade must be applied impartially to the ships of all nations.
Art. 6. The commander of a blockading force may give permission to a warship to enter, and subsequently to leave, a blockaded port.
Art. 7. In circumstances of distress, acknowledged by an officer of the blockading force, a neutral vessel may enter a place under blockade and subsequently leave it, provided that she has neither discharged nor shipped any cargo there.
Art. 8. A blockade, in order to be binding, must be declared in accordance with Article 9, and notified in accordance with Articles 11 and 16.
Art. 9. A declaration of blockade is made either by the blockading Power or by the naval authorities acting in its name.
(1) The date when the blockade begins;
(2) The geographical limits of the coastline under blockade;
(3) The period within which neutral vessels may come out.
Art. 10. If the operations of the blockading Power, or of the naval authorities acting in its name, do not tally with the particulars, which, in accordance with Article 9 (1) and (2), must be inserted in the declaration of blockade, the declaration is void, and a new declaration is necessary in order to make the blockade operative.
Art. 11. A declaration of blockade is notified
(1) To neutral Powers, by the blockading Power, by means of a communication addressed to the Governments direct, or to their representatives accredited to it:
(2) To the local authorities, by the officer commanding the blockading force. The local authorities will, in turn, inform the foreign consular officers at the port or on the coastline under blockade as soon as possible.
Art. 12. The rules as to declaration and notification of blockade apply to cases where the limits of a blockade are extended, or where a blockade is re-established after having been raised.
Art. 13. The voluntary raising of a blockade, as also any restriction in the limits of a blockade, must be notified in the manner prescribed by Article 11.
Art. 14. The liability of a neutral vessel to capture for breach of blockade is contingent on her knowledge, actual or presumptive, of the blockade.
Art. 15. Failing proof to the contrary, knowledge of the blockade is presumed if the vessel left a neutral port subsequently to the notification of the blockade to the Power to which such port belongs, provided that such notification was made in sufficient time.
Art. 16. If a vessel approaching a blockaded port has no knowledge, actual or presumptive, of the blockade, the notification must be made to the vessel itself by an officer of one of the ships of the blockading force. This notification should be entered in the vessel’s logbook, and must state the day and hour, and the geographical position of the vessel at the time.
If through the negligence of the officer commanding the blockading force no declaration of blockade has been notified to the local authorities, or, if in the declaration, as notified, no period has been mentioned within which neutral vessels may come out, a neutral vessel coming out of the blockaded port must be allowed to pass free.
Art. 17. Neutral vessels may not be captured for breach of blockade except within the area of operations of the warships detailed to render the blockade effective.
Art. 18. The blockading forces must not bar access to neutral ports or coasts.
Art. 19. Whatever may be the ulterior destination of a vessel or of her cargo, she cannot be captured for breach of blockade, if, at the moment, she is on her way to a non-blockaded port.
Art. 20. A vessel which has broken blockade outwards, or which has attempted to break blockade inwards, is liable to capture so long as she is pursued by a ship of the blockading force. If the pursuit is abandoned, or if the blockade is raised, her capture can no longer be effected.
Art. 21. A vessel found guilty of breach of blockade is liable to condemnation. The cargo is also condemned, unless it is proved that at the time of the shipment of the goods the shipper neither knew nor could have known of the intention to break the blockade.