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That The Sea Or The Right Of Navigation Thereon Does Not Belong To The Portuguese By Title Of Prescription Or Custom

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Chapter Summary

This chapter contains the English translation of chapter VII of Hugo Grotius' Mare Liberum, and screenshots of each page of the original text written in Latin. The Portuguese seek also to defend themselves upon these grounds; but irrefutable legal arguments prevent them from finding support in either concept. Custom is a form of positive law, and positive law cannot derogate from perpetual law. But that law is perpetual that the use of the sea should be common to all. Vasquius argues that the law of nature, since it proceeds from Divine Providence, is immutable; and that the primary law of nations constitutes a part of that natural law. The chapter concludes that the Portuguese do not possess any right in virtue whereof they may forbid any other nation whatsoever to navigate the oceanic tract extending to the East Indies.

Keywords: custom; East India; natural law; perpetual law; Portuguese; positive law; the sea; Vasquius



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