Postliminium


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POSTLIMINIUM. That right in virtue of which persons and things taken by the enemy are restored to their former state, when coming again under the power of the nation to which they belong. Vat. Liv. 3, c. 14, s. 204; Chit. Law of Nat. 93 to, 104; Lee on Captures, ch. 5; Mart. Law of Nat. 305; 2 Woodes. p. 441, s. 34; 1 Rob. Rep. 134; 3 Rob. Rep. 236; Id. 97 2 Burr. 683; 10 Mod. 79; 6 Rob. R. 45; 2 Rob. Rep. 77; 1 Rob. Rep. 49; 1 Kent, Com. 108.
     2. The jus posiliminii was a fiction of the Roman law. Inst. 1, 12, 5.
     3. It is a right recognized by the law of nations, and contributes essentially to mitigate the, calamities of war. When, therefore, property taken by the enemy is either recaptured or rescued from him, by the fellow subjects or allies of the original owner, it does not become the property of the recaptor or rescuer, as if it had been a new prize, but it is restored to the original owner by right of postliminy, upon certain terms.

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According to Hugo Grotius, the doctrine oF postliminium is not applicable to cases of debellatio.
No case of postliminium arises when a territory, ceded to the enemy by the treaty of peace, or conquered and annexed without cession at the end of a war terminated through simple cessation of hostilities, later on reverts to its former owner State; or when the whole of the territory of a State which was conquered and subjugated regains its liberty, and becomes again the territory of all independent State.
Accordingly, the validity of the measures taken by the victorious State could not be questioned under the doctrine of postliminium because of the interim disappearance of the vanquished State.
Hence, the doctrine of postliminium remains applicable in cases of debellatio.