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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.

References in classic literature ?
Such hideous misgovernment as generations of your countrymen had suffered was logically bound to bring its own reprisal.
With that they parted; Mr Swiveller to make the best of his way home and sleep himself sober; and Quilp to cogitate upon the discovery he had made, and exult in the prospect of the rich field of enjoyment and reprisal it opened to him.
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.
The head of the Reserve Bank of Australia said reprisals from other countries would be damaging to the US economy.
There cannot be development when innocent lives are being lost in a seemingly endless cycle of attacks and reprisals.
It is also feared he will be singled out for reprisals during his six-year jail term for sexual activity with a girl fan, 15 - and be forced to use some of his fortune to buy protection.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's World at One, Mike warned against any reprisals against Muslims, saying it was what extremists wanted.
He said the reprisals left several people dead and forced at least 6,000 to flee, most of them to a cathedral in the region.
He said: "Although the horse owners may not want to declare themselves, those involved in removing horses fear reprisals by them.
Frequently, subcontractor employees are in a position to report wrongdoing and they should have the same protection against reprisals that prime contractors do," said Michael Shanker, director of whistleblower reprisal investigations at the IG office.
President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the church attack and vowed a strengthened fight against what he called "acts of terror" in a statement that made no specific mention of reprisals.
In fact, Irish police were implicated in many illegal actions and reprisals, though some of these offenders were protected from punishment while the newcomers took the rap.