HL Deb 26 June 1806 vol 7 c833

The judges attended in pursuance of the order of the house, to deliver their opinions on questions put to them, relative to the appeal, Lucina v. Crawford. This case arose out of a policy of assurance, effected by the commissioners for the management of Dutch property, detained under certain circumstances in the year 1795, on certain detained Dutch vessels and cargoes, on their voyage from st. Helena to this country, some of which vessels were afterwards lost, and an action brought by the commissioners on the policy to recover an average loss. The cause, after being litigated in the courts below, was brought up by appeal to the house of lords, where, after counsel had been heard on both sides, 8 questions were propounded to the judges for their opinion on points of law arising out of the case. The main question, to which the others were in some measure subordinate, was, in substance, whether the commissioners had a legal interest in the property, on its voyage from st. Helena, so as to enable them to effect a legal and valid policy of insurance thereon. Upon these questions the judges commenced the delivery of their opinions seriatim. Mr. baron Graham first delivered his opinion, which was as to the question of interest, that the commissioners had a sufficient interest to the property to enable them to effect a legal and valid policy. Mr. justice [...] was decidedly of opinion, on the contrary that the commissioners had no such interest; that they had no interest in the property, either in possession, reversion, or expectancy, in the legal sense of those words; that the most it amounted to was a naked expectation that the property on its arrival in this country might come under their management, and that upon the same principle they might have insured every Dutch ship in the Dutch ports, in the expectation of their being detained by British vessels and brought into the ports of this country.

Lord Walsingham

then moved to postpone the further delivery of the opinions of the judges till Monday next, which was agreed to.