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Mare Liberum: Western philosophy: Political philosophy: and the resulting two treatises, The Freedom of the Seas () and On the Law of War and Peace. Mare Liberum vs. Mare. Clausum: Grotius, Freitas, and Selden’s Debate on. Dominion over the Seas. M6nica Brito Vieira. Why would you withhold water from my. In Dutch legal thinker Hugo Grotius (de Groot) wrote Mare liberum, about the idea of freedom of the seas. Later, this was pivotal to the.

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This is that which Cicero saith, that it is among the first or chief duties of justice to use common things for common things. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

How much more unjust is it therefore for any that are willing to be secluded from intercourse and interchange with people who are also willing, Edition: Which, when he had confirmed by many divine and human authorities, he added after: It hath been declared that neither the people nor any private man can have any property in the sea for we excepted a creekseeing neither the consideration of public use nor nature permitted occupation.

Grotius defended the Dutch seizure of the Sta. It is gotius for anyone to catch fish in the sea, therefore it is clear that the sea belongs to no one. For they who pursue the barbarians with war, as the Spaniards do the people of America, are wont to pretend two things: This illustration depicts a ship flying the flags of a number of sea-going nations. Trading is granted to the Portugals as to other nations; therefore, when they both pay tribute and obtain liberty of trade of the princes, they testify sufficiently that they are not lords but arrive there as foreigners, for they do not so much as dwell there but by entreaty.

Mare Liberum

And being about to examine these things, he rightly judgeth that the truth thereof dependeth as well upon the true knowledge of the law of nature as of the law of nations. For whereas aforetime the white fishes daily abounded even into all the shores on the eastern coast of Scotland, now forsooth by the near and daily approaching of the buss-fishers the shoals of fishes are broken and so far scattered away from our shores and coasts that no fish now can be found worthy of any pains and travails, to the grotis of all the sort of our home fishers and to the great damage of all the nation.

But it seemeth we are come to that distinction of dominions which is now not violent but by little and little, nature showing the beginning thereof. But who hath promised those gains shall remain yours? He affirmeth these things not to be proper by nature—as Ulpian saith, they lie open to all by nature 25 —both because they were first discovered by nature and never came as yet into the dominion of any as Neratius speaketh26 and also because as Cicero saith they seem to be brought forth of nature for the common use.


Written grotihs Lisbon, 28 of November, anno Atque ita esto mare vastum liberrimum.

For this purpose I had no idea that I would not have the leisure which is now wanting. Again, those things which are unprescribable by the disposition of the law should not be prescribed, though by a thousand years, which he maintaineth by innumerable testimonies of doctors. By this law, if food becomes scarce on board ship, what each one has is gathered together in a common store.

Mare Liberum | work by Grotius |

If that prevail not, and covetousness forbid them to desist whom some reason convinceth, we appeal, Edition: Yet if the Portuguese could claim no right of possession dominium over the sea, the question remained liherum they could still claim jurisdiction imperiumwhich would allow them to debar others from trade with the East Indies. Neither grotis it make the place proper to any but conferreth the right upon the persons of the contractors. His warrants for his conclusion also are the Roman lawyers whom I said to be wrested by Mare Liberum, and therefore must show the same, contrary to his purpose indeed.

All men therefore see that he who would forbid another to sail can defend himself by no law, seeing Ulpian saith he is guilty of wrong. Because brotius building is a kind of occupation, it is lawful to build upon the shore if it may be without the hurt of the rest, as Pomponius speaketh, which we will expound out of Scaevola, unless the public, that is to say, the common use should be hindered. Therefore, such a right ceaseth when the case is between princes or people not acknowledging a superior in temporal things.

But the French, the English and others resisted. The last defense of injustice is wont to be in prescription or custom.

It is true that there are not in every part of the sea isles sensible as Guernsey is to England in the narrow seas or sands as the Washes at the west seas of England nor rocks or other eminent and visible marks above water for the designation of the bounds or laying out the limits of the divisible parts thereof; but God, who is both the distributer and first author of the division and distinction of both land and sea, hath given an understanding heart to man for the same effect as well as for all other necessary actions wherein he hath to employ himself, so that to a very wonder God hath diversely informed men by the helps of the compass, counting of courses, sounding, and other ways to find forth and to design finitum in infinito so far as is expedient for the certain reach and bounds of seas properly pertaining to any prince or people.


And we must not omit here that passage of Celsus: For seeing there are many things the use whereof consisteth in abuse, or for that being converted into the substance of the user they admit no use after, or because by use they are made worse for use, in things of the former kind, as meat and drink, a certain propriety appeared not severed from use.

In fact, I was expecting that some Spaniard would write a reply to my little book, a thing which I hear was done at Salamanca, 1 but as yet I have not happened to see that book. For laws which are mere civil, of what country soever, as touching foreign people, nations, or particular men, are no more in consideration than if indeed there were no such law or never had been, and we must have recourse to the ancient common or secondary law of nations and are to use the same, by which law it is sufficiently known that such prescription and usurpation of the sea was not admitted.

Further, seeing it is before declared by the opinion of all men of sound judgment that the Pope is not a temporal lord of the whole world, it is sufficiently understood that he is not lord of the sea. Mare Liberum was published by Elzevier in the spring of But part of this natural law is the law of nations, which is said to be that of the first age, diverse from the secondary or positive law of nations, whereof the latter may be changed.

The Free Sea (Hakluyt trans.) – Online Library of Liberty

And thus far through occasion of answering to that alleged impossibility of acquiring the sea by occupation because as would appear of the unsolidity thereof for any foot treading. By this argument it is surely proved that nothing belongs to anyone by nature. Who will infer from this that that law sprang from the will of the emperor and will not see that the contrary rather is contained in those words?

And the Portugals therefore come thronging hither, but the most certain reason of the law debarreth them of either defense.

Views Read Edit View history. De Jure Belli ac Pacis, I. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. But the Pope, unless he be temporal lord of the whole world which wise men denycannot say that the universal right also of merchandising is in his authority.