Requisitioned and the Government-Owned Ship
Jurisdiction over requisitioned and government-owned merchantmen and their liabilities under maritime laws are questions which present no real novelty. They were regarded by the ancient sea-law and were as familiar to it as they have recently become,-on account of the exigencies of the late war, to the admiralty systems of to-day. The maritime law of Rome supplies modem cases with the most cogent parallels and is reflected today in the jurisprudence of France and other continental and Latin countries. The jurisdictional question which figures most prominently in these cases relates to the authority to arrest or libel the property of a foreign sovereign. It is still in the controversial state in the United States. In France, administrative law has dealt with the question in a manner both practical and consistent with the best principles of jurisprudence. In British law, public use, as distinguished from the possession of the government, affords immunity from arrest to the requisitioned or publicly owned merchant vessel of a foreign sovereign.