Reprisals


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

REPRISALS, war. The forcibly taking a thing by one nation which belonged to another, in return or satisfaction for a injury committed by the latter on the former. Vatt. B., 2, ch. 18, s. 342; 1 Bl. Com. ch. 7.
     2. Reprisals are used between nation and nation to do themselves justice, when they cannot otherwise obtain it. Congress have the power to grant letters of marque (q.v.) and reprisal. Const. art. 1, s. 8 cl. 11.
     3. Reprisals are made in two ways either by embargo, in which case the act is that of the state; or, by letters of marque and reprisals, in which case the act is that of the citizen, authorized by the government. Vide 2 Bro. Civ. Law, 334.
     4. Reprisals are divided into negative, when a nation refuses to fulfill a perfect obligation, which it has contracted, or to permit another state to enjoy a right which it justly claims; or positive, when they consist in seizing the persons and effects belonging to the other nation, in order to obtain satisfaction.
     5. They are also general or special. They are general when a state which has received, or supposes it has received an injury from another nation delivers commissions to its officers and subjects to take the persons and property belonging to the other nation, in retaliation for such acts, wherever they may be found. It usually amounts to a declaration of war. Special reprisals are such as are granted in times of peace, to particular individuals who have suffered an injury from the citizens or subjects of the other nation. Bynker. Quaest. Jur. Pub. lib. 1, Duponce, au's Translation, p. 182, note; Dall. Diet. Prises maritimes, axt. 2, Sec. 5.
     6. The property seized in making reprisals is preserved, while there is any hope of obtaining satisfaction or justice, as soon as that hope disappears, it is confiscated, and then the reprisal is complete. Vattel, B. 2, c. 18, Sec. 342.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
By command of their father, the tents were thrown into the vehicles, as a sort of reprisal for the want of faith in their late ally, and then the train left the spot, in its usual listless and sluggish order.
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
Letters of reprisal were granted, and a war ensued, which in its consequences overthrew all the alliances that but twenty years before had been formed with sanguine expectations of the most beneficial fruits.
"No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make any thing but gold and silver a legal tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts; or grant any title of nobility."
This immediately put her on the defensive, and with one of those sudden impulses of reprisal to which she was liable she gave him a little push from her.
Such hideous misgovernment as generations of your countrymen had suffered was logically bound to bring its own reprisal."
REPRISAL ATTACKSBoth countries stepped up security on Wednesday after deadly attacks on foreign-owned stores in Johannesburg triggered reprisals against South African businesses in Nigerian cities.Diplomatic tensions have risen between the continent's superpowers, with Nigeria declaring it would boycott the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, which was to be attended by its vice president, Yemi Osinbajo.
Damian Flanagan claims the city's Tories cannot even make their meetings public through fear of reprisals.
Some local officials have been hiding from the Otso Diretso senatorial candidates out of fear of reprisals from President Rodrigo Duterte, Magdalo party-list Rep.
I am using this medium to appeal to those affected not to get involved in any reprisals. Taking lives has never done anyone any good.
Some threatened reprisals may be perceived as too disproportionately harsh to be credible.