ACIL Luncheon

30May2017 13:00 - 14:00


In this ACIL Luncheon, Heather L. Bray will present her paper on the Betsey case – a case before the Maritime Claims Commission established under Article VII of the Jay Treaty.

Heather L. Bray: Recapturing the Betsey Treasure: A Remarkable Case under the Jay Treaty

The Betsey case is notably absent from the narrative on the history of international arbitration. It is a case of great significance and yet it rarely receives the attention it deserves in international arbitration, tossed aside in favor of arguably more recognizable historical landmarks. However, the Betsey case was the first case selected to come before the Maritime Claims Commission, which is heralded as the most successful of the Jay Treaty Commissions, and deserves renewed attention.

In her paper, Heather L. Bray provides an analysis of the Betsey case and explains arbitration’s instrumental role in peacefully resolving the dispute between the US and Britain. The paper begins by setting out the historical background on the maritime controversy that led to the establishment of the Maritime Claims Commission, while the second part looks at the Commission, including its organization and function. Next, the paper examines the reasoning offered by the British Prize Courts to condemn the Betsey as good prize, followed by an analysis of the decision by the Maritime Claims Commission. The paper concludes with a review of the many contributions made by the Betsey case to international arbitration.


Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam
Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, Room A101


The ACIL regularly organizes ACIL Luncheons at which ACIL researchers and visiting fellows present aspects of their work, discuss recent developments, cases, ideas, etc. ACIL Luncheons aim to advance interaction and exchange of research. They are open to all; registration is not required.


Published by  ACIL