[The Human Rights Library wishes to express its gratitude to the Institute Henry Dunant for its contribution of this document.]
The London Naval Conference, called together by His Britannic Majesty's Government, assembled at the Foreign Office 4 December 1908, with the object of laying down the generally recognized principles of international law in accordance with Article 7 of the Convention signed at The Hague, 18 October 1907, for the establishment of an International Prize Court.
The Powers enumerated below took part in this Conference, at which they appointed as their
representatives the following Delegates.
(Here follow the names of Plenipotentiaries)
In a series of meetings held from 4 December 1908 to 26 February 1909, the Conference has drawn up for signature by the Plenipotentiaries the Declaration concerning the laws of naval war, the text of which is annexed to the present Protocol.
Furthermore, the following wish has been recorded by the Delegates of those Powers which have signed or expressed the intention of signing the Convention of The Hague, 18 October 1907, for the establishment of an International Prize Court:
"The Delegates of the Powers represented at the Naval Conference which have signed or expressed the intention of signing the Convention of The Hague 18 October 1907, for the establishment of an International Prize Court, having regard to the difficulties of a constitutional nature which, in some States, stand in the way of the ratification of that Convention in its present form, agree to call the attention of their respective Governments to the advantage of concluding an arrangement under which such States would have the power, at the time of depositing their ratifications, to add thereto a reservation to the effect that resort to the International Prize Court in respect of decisions of their National Tribunals shall take the form of a direct claim for compensation, provided always that the effect of this reservation shall not be such as to impair the rights secured under the said Convention either to individuals or to their Governments, and that the terms of the reservation shall form the subject of a subsequent understanding between the Powers signatory of that Convention."
In faith whereof the Plenipotentiaries and the Delegates representing those Plenipotentiaries who have already left London have signed the present Protocol.
Done at London the twenty-sixth day of February, one thousand nine hundred and nine, in a single original, which shall be deposited in the archives of the British Government and of which duly certified copies shall be sent through the diplomatic channel to the Powers represented at the Naval Conference.
(Here follow signatures)