RAID, in the language of international law, an invasion by armed forces, unauthorized and unrecognized by any state, of the territory of a state which is at peace. Piracy is the attack on the high sea of any vessel by an armed vessel, not authorized or recognized by any state, for the purpose of robbery. A raid for the purpose of carrying off movable property and converting it to the use of the captors would still be distinguishable from piracy, because it was committed on territory subject to an exclusive territorial jurisdiction. Where the attack or invasion by an armed ship not authorized or recognized by any state is not for the purpose of capturing property, it is properly speaking a raid and not piracy. An attack though in time of peace, by armed forces authorized or recognized by a regular government, is not a raid but an act of war, there being a government responsible for the act committed. The fact of any act being authorized, not by the supreme government, but by a chartered company, or by its governing officer, makes no difference in international law, the directorate of a chartered company exercising its powers by delegation of the state under which it holds its charter. The acts of its armed forces cannot in reason be distinguished from the acts of the armed forces of the state government. Thus compensation is just as much due for them as for the deliberate acts of the state itself, and any claim of an injured state can only be preferred against the state to which the company belongs. Invasion by the regular forces of a state, or by the regular forces of its delegated authority, being an act of war, the laws of war apply to it, and, on capture, such forces, or any members or part of such forces, are prisoners of war. On the other hand, the state whose subordinate authorities commit acts of war against a friendly state has the option of following them up as a commencement of hostilities, or of giving satisfactory compensation to the invaded state. Where the invasion isnot by forces subject to the orders of a state, the invaded state has the right to apply its own laws for the repression of disturbances in its territory. Thus, in the so-called Jameson Raid, the Transvaal government had no right to treat Dr Jameson, an officer holding his powers under the British government, and his subordinates, as outlaws, and it was probably so advised, and the British government owed proper compensation for an act for the consequences of which, under international law, it was responsible.
British domestic law punishes raiding under the Foreign Enlistment Act 1870 (33 & 34 Vict. c. 90). Section 11 of this act provides as follows.—“If any person within the limits of His Majesty’s dominions, and without the licence of His Majesty, prepares or fits out any naval or military expedition to proceed against the dominions of any friendly state, the following consequences shall ensue: (1) Every person engaged in such preparation or fitting out, or assisting therein, or employed in any capacity in such expedition, shall be guilty of an offence against this act, and shall be punishable by fine and imprisonment or either of such punishments, at the discretion of the Court before which the offender is convicted; and imprisonment, if awarded, may be either with or without hard labour. (2) All ships and their equipments, and all arms and munitions of war, used in or forming part of such expedition, shall be forfeited by His Majesty.” Section 12 provides for the punishment of accessories as principal offenders, and section 13 limits the term of imprisonment for any offence under the act to two years. In the Sandoval case (1886), in which Colonel Sandoval, who was not a British subject, bought guns and ammunition and shipped them to Antwerp, where they were put on board a vessel, which afterwards made an attack on Venezuela, it was held that the offence of fitting out and preparing an expedition within British territory against a friendly state, under this section, is sufficiently constituted by the purchase of guns and ammunition in the British Empire, and their shipment for the purpose of being put on board a ship in a foreign port, with knowledge of the purchaser and shipper that they are to be used in a hostile demonstration against such state, though the shipper takes no part in any overt act of war, and the ship is not fully equipped for the expedition within any British port. Under the same section, Dr Jameson, administrator of the British South Africa Company, and his confederates were tried before the Central Criminal Court and sentenced to different terms of imprisonment. The offence committed under a British act is, of course, that of preparing and fitting out an expedition on British territory. Any acts subsequently committed by any British expedition on foreign soil are beyond the operation of domestic legislation, and fall to be dealt with by the domestic legislation of the state within which they occur, or by diplomacy, as the case may be. (T. Ba.)
- The preamble to the Foreign Enlistment Act 1870 stated that its object was “to make provision for the regulation of the conduct of Her Majesty’s subjects during the existence of hostilities between foreign states with which Her Majesty is at peace.” This preamble was repealed by the Statutes Law Revision (No. 2) Act 1893.
- R. v. Sandoval, 1886, 56 Law Times, 526.
- R. v. Jameson, 1896, 2 Q.B., 425.