Policy and Opinion

Judicial Foreign Policy
Institution Affiliation:
The Implementation of U.S. Neutrality Policy
The neutrality policy of the United States was implemented by the country’s federal
courts with the aim of resolving the nation's foreign affairs challenges. In this era, the judicial
system played a significant role in enforcing this policy. The enactment of this policy was mainly
aimed at addressing the caseload in the Supreme Court, most especially those cases arising from
French privateering activities, with the inclusion of fourteen published decisions, and ten
unpublished decisions. It should be noted that at this period, the foreign affairs ties between the
country and its members were in jeopardy. The French side held that the cases in the court
regarding independence or sovereignty concerns and the conduct of naval warfare would be
suitably be resolved by tactful and diplomatic conciliation between the United States and the
country itself.
First and foremost the implementation of this policy was of great significance to the U.S
society at large. As noted in the 1970s, the French employed privateering as the means of
engaging in his welfares. With privateering, the governments required both privately owned ship
members to fight in the honor and on behalf of their governments (Sloss, 2008). However, with
policies regarding neutrality policies, the government was able to limit cases of illegal gaining of
recognition associated with the capturing vessels for a prize court. Additionally, the
implementation of the neutrality policy aided France itself from being destroyed by its enemies
at the time; England, Netherlands, Spain, Austria, and Prussia who had more naval power
compared to its arsenal. So the use of privateers by France was appropriate as it was a means to
merge and supplement the country lethal forces. Thus, the implementation of the neutrality
policy was deemed appropriate considering the French had gone to the extent of seizing of a U.S
vessel a circumstance which was termed as a show hostility on the region controlled and
influenced by the American government, thereby solving the matter by judicial means, hence the
implementation of neutrality policy.
Secondly, the Executive Branch sought it appropriate for the courts to resolve the 14
unsolved cases since they considered that the cases relating to the French and its adversaries to
be a complicated matter that required the implementation of regulations to the detail. Thus, the
judiciary system had an obligation to decide whether the strength of the cases had what it takes
to be judged by the Court of the Appeal (Sloss, 2008). The policy of neutrality to a large extent
can be to be developed based on the treaties that binds the French and Americans; thus, affecting
the implementations of the policy. In contempt of the law of nations; civil and judiciary officers
of the United States permitted themselves to seize prizes captured by French privateers, all with
the aim of ensuring their territories are secure and that people are not manipulated by the French
Armies anymore. Also, the implementation of the neutrality policy, show the U.S, being able to
shield its citizens from being causalities of war, in case they were enticed to be privateers for
France. Regarding this, France’s perspective, tend to permit Americans to accept commissions
emanating from France to enable them to serve as privateers against France's adversaries.
Consequently, it can be noted that the implementation of the foreign neutrality policy,
was significant in the 1970s because it also led to its adoption by the French administrators. For
instance, France realized that the identification of the privateers located in the entire the Western
region was big tactical challenge. For instance, it was inappropriate for privateers functioning
outside their countries to carry their prizes back to France to be rewarded by prize courts in
France (Sloss, 2008). This is because; the journey back home was long, tiring and hazardous:
thus prompting that too many cases would be damaged in the way. Secondly, it was evident that
too many prizes would probably be lost while in transit. The specific illustration of how these
tragedies befall privateers holds to when British blockaded the key French colonies in the
Caribbean, making it hard for privateers to take back their s to France for reward.
Finally, it was essential for the U.S Supreme court to implement neutrality policy in order
to furnish no stipulations facilitated by any treaty, to one party, in this case, France and its war
enemies (England, Prussia, Spain among others). Thus, to implement its neutrality policy, the
U.S government had to evaluate all its treaty obligations with both France and its enemies like
Great Britain, for it to ensure it does not start or escalate the already enmity between the
countries. For some extent, implementation of neutrality policy was potentially risky, as one’s
obligations or a slight mistake could have led to start of a war between the United States, and the
misrepresented party. Based on this the Executive and other arms of the government left it out
for the judicially to make some the crucial policy that served to see America taking a middle
ground in the conflicting countries.
Sloss, D. (2008). Judicial Foreign Policy: Lessons from the 1790s. Louis ULJ, 53, 145.

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