About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

22 Brit. Y.B. Int'l L. 122 (1945)
Who are British Protected Persons

handle is hein.journals/byrint22 and id is 126 raw text is: WHO ARE BRITISH PROTECTED PERSONS?
By J. MERVYN        JONES, M.A.
Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
THE position of British Protected Persons has hitherto received little
attention from writers on constitutional and international law. The practical
importance of the question is obvious from the fact that the number of such
persons runs to many millions. Yet of their position there is little or nothing
to be found in the text-books. This may partly be accounted for by the
fact that questions regarding their status rarely arise in the experience of
English practitioners and do not come before the courts. The position of
British Protected Persons is largely governed by the practice and prerogative
of the Crown, but this practice is now so settled that the main principles
can be stated with considerable certainty and detail.' First it will be well
to clear up a confusion which may exist in the minds of some English lawyers
regarding the conception of nationality. The British Nationality and Status
of Aliens Act, 1914, does not, in spite of its title, define nationality; it deals
with the status of a British subject which is a type of British nationality.
Nationality is not in fact a technical term of English law at all; the literature
of the common law speaks of subjects, denizens, and naturalized
persons, but the use of the word nationality is comparatively recent and
has been borrowed from international usage.2 Nationality is a conception
which belongs to international law. It only arises because of the existence
of separate states, without which it would have no meaning. Similarly, the
term nationals is derived from international law and practice, and its
meaning is to be found there and not in any system of municipal law. This
is not to say that international law defines the conditions in which the status
of nationality arises in any particular state. If, however, we are to know
what is the legal conception of nationality and nationals in general, it
is to international, not municipal, law that we must turn. The word
nationals means all those persons who are connected with a State by a
special legal tie and whom a State is entitled to protect in its relations with
other states. It is equivalent to the French word ressortissants, and it
will be found that in treaties which are in English and in French, such as
the peace treaties after the war of 1914-18, the two terms are used one as
equivalent of the other.3 A state's nationals include (a) individuals and
(b) juridical persons. It is sufficient for the present purpose to say that those
juridical persons which are created under the law of the State are its
nationals. As regards individuals (the subject of this article), the legal tie
1 1 am greatly indebted to Mr. W. E. Beckett, C.M.G., for valuable advice and assistance
in writing this article, and for making it possible to obtain the information on which it is
based. The responsibility for any statements made in it, or for any opinions expressed in it,
is, however, entirely mine.
2 The word itself is said to originate in English not earlier than 1828: Shorter Oxford
Dictionary (1936).
3 See Kahane (Successor) v. Parisi and the Austrian State decided by the Austro-Roumanian
Mixed Arbitral Tribunal: Annual Digest of Public International Law Cases (1929-30), Case
No. 131. This case involved the interpretation of the word nationals (ressortissants) used
in the text of Article 249 (e) of the Treaty of St. Germain, 1919.

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most