What happened on board the zong

The Zong was a ship which was transporting slaves from Guinea to Jamaica. However, the captain of the ship made a error and he mistook Hispaniola for Jamaica. As a consequence, the ocean trip lasted longer than foremost expected. Therefore, the good H2O on board would non be plenty for both the slaves, the captain and seamans. As a sufficient sum of H2O had been already exhausted and as the ocean trip lasted much longer, many slaves died for privation of nutriment and others were thrown overboard for the saving of the remainder. In fact, during the ocean trip and before the reaching of the ship at Jamaica sixty slaves died for privation of H2O for nutriment. Besides, 40 others due to the utmost conditions of thirst and while craze occurred, the slaves threw themselves into the sea, and as a consequence they drowned. Furthermore, the maestro and crew of the Zong decided to throw overboard another 150 slaves, in order to continue their ain lives and the lives of the remainder of slaves every bit good.

The facts of the test were that the initial ocean trip of the ship was for Guinea to Jamaica, in order to transport the slaves to Jamaica, but by mistake the ship got to leeward to Hispaniola, while the captain mistook it for Jamaica. Before, the error was discovered and the incorrect finish of the ship, there was non adequate H2O left, but merely for one twenty-four hours, while the ocean trip would at least last one month until the ranges the island. In effect of that fact the people from Guinea were thrown overboard. Although, the result of the first test was that a new test would take topographic point, based on the fact that the jury did non happen any sufficient necessity for the throwing of slaves overboard and besides it has to be considered that such a loss is non within the footings of the policy.

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What was the claimant seeking in this proceeding?

From this continuing the claimant wanted compensation. Besides, he wanted to demo them the adversities that the slaves are traveling through, and to derive their apprehension. In add-on, the claimant tried to demo to the people that slaves are human existences excessively and they should hold rights. Furthermore, he pointed out the fact that the ship was leaky and disgusting ; he exposed the conditions under which the slaves live. Peoples did non see them as human existences and they though that they did non merit to be manipulated like the remainder of the universe. Due to the fact that they did non really care for their lives, they irresponsibly put more people than the 1s the boat could safely transport. Finally, he tried to do people understand that those taken from their native states have the same demand for H2O as those whom they have been captured by.

What statements were presented in support of the claimant ‘s instance?

First, in support of the claimant ‘s instance were Davenport, Pigott and Heywood. They support that there was no sufficient grounds that there was a important necessity to throw the slaves overboard. In fact, there is grounds turn outing that by the clip the slaves were thrown overboard, there were three butts of good H2O and two and a half of rancid H2O, on the board. In add-on, shortly afterwards, the rain came on, which gave them H2O for eleven more yearss. This proves once more that there was no necessity for the slaves to be thrown overboard. All these events show that the fact that there was non a sufficient sum of H2O left was clearly upon the carelessness and ignorance of the captain of the ship. Furthermore, it is stated that when the ship sailed signifier Africa, already there was non sufficient H2O, as there were less casks than supposed. Furthermore, it is supported that by throwing the slaves overboard the loss would be transferred from the proprietors to the investment bankers, since there was a bad market for their slaves. Besides, the vas passed for Tobago island where it could halt, so it can take H2O supplies, or in any other island they passed by but they captain did non halt at any. The declaration states that “ by the hazards of the seas, and contrary currents and other bad lucks, the ship was rendered foul and leaky, and was retarded to her ocean trip ” . However, in this instance there was no grounds that by throwing the slaves overboard would cut down the hazards of the sea. As a consequence, there was no demand for the people from Guinea to decease, since it was non a instance of the hazards of the sea or of enemies.

What statements were presented for denying the claimant ‘s instance?

To get down with, Lee, S. G. , and Chambre were against. This side supported that while the ocean trip was aimed to last six hebdomads, it eventually lasted 18 hebdomads due to harsh conditions conditions. They besides claim that it was impossible to make the island of Jamaica in less than three hebdomads ; the fact that there was a possibility to halt at another island was merely based on the maps and it was contradicted by the grounds. Another statement against the claimant ‘s is that they could obtain H2O supplies form Tobago, but that would be true under the status that the subsequent error had non occurred. To go on with, because of that error -of misidentifying Hispaniola for Jamaica- the conditions conditions were rough, as the currents were much stronger that they were used to be. Additionally, Lee, S. G. and Chambre support that the fact that some “ Blacks ” were thrown overboard was justified by the facts following: After the ship arrived at Jamaica, seven out of the 17 members of the crew died, as they had suffered badly. Besides, they claim that there is no grounds that any slave was thrown overboard after the rains, contradictory to what the other side supports. Similarly, they province that there is no grounds which supports the thought that the slaves were thrown overboard, in order to throw the loss on the investment bankers. They say that in the declaration is stated that the ship was retarded by hazards of the seas, and contrary air currents and currents, and other bad lucks, and besides that the “ Blacks ” died for privation of nutriment. Finally, the side against the claimant support and believe that the every loss caused by the hazards of the sea.

What was the result of the proceedings?

Harmonizing to Lord Mansfield and to Willes, Justice a new test had to take topographic point due to the fact that this was a really particular instance and for this ground it deserved a reconsideration. Lord Mansfield supported that they have to concentrate on the expostulation that there is no grounds turn outing the statement of the loss made in the declaration. Besides, he stated that there was no grounds that the ship was disgusting and leaky and furthermore, he excluded this ground from the causes of the hold. Furthermore, he considers the fact that the slaves were thrown overboard after the rain, under the premise that this happened, without any necessity forced the captain to make so. Finally, the issue of the payment of the costs followed the Lord to propose a new test. Buller, Justice presented different statements. First, he agreed that there were other factors that the 1s mentioned in the declaration that lead to the hold of the ship. In add-on, he pointed out that the indictment for slaying did non use. Finally, he supported the position that the investment bankers are non discharged, because the loss happened due to the carelessness of the captain. Although, based on the declaration the suspect could non utilize it in order to support himself.

Do you believe the instance was justly decided?

The instance was justly decided on the footing that the relevant Torahs were applied in order for the Judgess to make to the decision. It would be just for both the complainants and the suspects a new test to take topographic point, since the investment bankers refused to pay for the loss of human lives. However, there was no consideration for the human lives that were lost. None of the Judgess pointed out the many lives were lost in order for nutriment or because they did non hold H2O. They did non that a slaying was a relevant accusal. In the tribunal they did non see “ Blacks ” as worlds. As a consequence, even though signifier the legal point of position it was just the determination of a new test, from morality positions the process was unjust for those who died in order for the captain and the crew to last.

Part B- analysis of secondary beginnings


This article focuses on the villainage and bondage in England and the British settlements. Besides, it refers to the determination of the instance of Somerset v. Stewart[ 1 ], every bit good as other instances that were heard in the tribunals of English common jurisprudence. In add-on, it is traveling to analyze the application of English common jurisprudence in the British settlements, more specifically in the British settlements of Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice ( once British Guiana, now Guyana ) , back in the eighteenth and 19th centuries. The article, besides, considers the Magna Carta 1215 to the Slavery Abolition Act 1833. Furthermore, it explains how the Human Rights Act, 1998, was established in English jurisprudence ; it refers to the determination of the House of Lords in A & A ; Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department in 2005, in relation with anguish.

The thesis of the article was that it was necessary to use the cardinal rules of human rights in the United Kingdom and the British settlements, in English common jurisprudence. The Judgess who heard the instance of Somerset, such as Lord Mansfield, had the chance to use the fundametal rules of autonomy and personal security which apply to every person and stated that bondage and the slave trade does non follow the rules of common jurisprudence ; the Judgess tried to declare the autonomy of each slave who arrived on the English shores. However, no regulation was established that supported the rights of the slaves, until 228 old ages after that cardinal rules of human rights became portion and package of English domestic jurisprudence, get downing with the debut of the Human Rights Act, 1998, on 2 October 2000.


After the Norman Conquest in 1066, a new system was established in England, which was the villainage, since most of the land was under villein term of office. Under this system, the serfs had no powers and they were functioning the manor, in his estate and they did non hold any control over the goods and the belongings. They could make many different things, such as ditching, and convulsing. In this system there were besides the renters of the Godheads. They did non hold rights, they were of unfree position and they were populating through their unfree term of office. In other words, until the fourteenth and 15th centuries they were unfree and their position was similar to that of the slaves. Villeinage was abolished in the fourteenth and 15th centuries, as a new system of disposal was entered, which introduced a new manner of rendering the Godheads. The new system nominated that there would be no labour service any more, but a system of money payment, while the renter alternatively of offering his personal services for free to the Godhead, he will pay him the rent for the villainage.


During a talk in 1988 by Shridath S. Ramphal, the Commonwealth Secretary- General, he posed a inquiry as to where the common jurisprudence stood in relation to the atrocity of bondage.

The Slave Trade

Dr. Walter Rodney explained how the trade of slaves form Africa begun. He emphasized the fact that many old ages before the birth of Christ and before Europeans arrived to Africa, native people had created great imperiums. In the late 18th century and in the ninteenth century Africans were populating in a province of bondage or selfdom ; the slave bargainers form Europe seized adult females, work forces and even sometimes kids in order to merchandise them. The bargainers carried the Africans to America and sold them to plantation proprietors. Furthermore, the ships antecedently used to reassign the slaves, subsequently were used to reassign the plantation goods to Europe. John Hawkins, was the first English adult male who arrived to Africa and he managed to wrest 25,000 Africans, which lead his descendent to inquire forgiveness for the actions for his ascendant.

African Slaves Were Legally Classified as Chattels

In English statutory jurisprudence, slaves were regarded as movables. This cardinal rule of British colonial slave Torahs can be shown in the More Easy Recovery of Debts Act, 1732, which states that slaves can be apt to be impounded in satisfaction of a debt. When instances were brought by or against slaves who claimed their autonomy, these and other relevant commissariats came before the English tribunals for consideration.

The Slave Cases in the English Courts

When the slaves from Africa arrived at England, so the restrictions of common jurisprudence arose in relation to the care of human rights ; the Judgess had troubles in accommodating the rights of belongings and the relationship of maestro and slave with the basic rules of autonomy. Since some of the Judgess took into history the controversial topic of faith and their determination were affected, divergent judgements were delivered. The undermentioned instances are illustrations of different determination in the tribunals: Butts v. Penny[ 2 ], Chambers v. Warkhouse[ 3 ], Smith v. Goud[ 4 ]and Gregson v Gilbert[ 5 ].


Since the 17th century the Dutch, the Gallic and the British were importing slaves form Africa to Guyana in order to labor on the cotton, java and sugar plantations.

The Plantations in Guyana in the nineteenth Century

The population of Guyana consists of Indians, Africans, Amerindians, Portuguese and other people of assorted heritage. The indigens were the Amerindians. There were three different settlements in Guyana: the settlement of Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice. Even though there was developed substructure in order to command the flow of H2O, there were diseases into the H2O because it was dead.

The Inhuman Treatments of Slaves on the Plantations

On the plantations the slaves were treated inhumanely and the methods used to penalize them were really barbarous and sometimes could be a life. An of import illustration that proves the torture of the slaves is the 1 that Dr. Alvin O. Thompson had documented were the arm of a slave was chopped off, because he dared to hit a white adult male. Another illustration of barbarous behaviour is the torture of a pregnant adult female, named America, who was given 150 ciliums with a cart-whip, because of a misinterpretation with the director ‘s married woman, for whom her kid was working. Due to the rough penalty the hapless adult female lost her unborn babe. However, the director was sentenced to three months imprisonment plus a all right and costs, but he did non function the full sentence due to wellness conditions.


The Magna Carta, 1215 and the Bill of Rights, 1688-89 gave rise to the Human Rights Act, 1998.

Magna Carta 1215

Magna Carta introduced the declaration of human rights in English jurisprudence. It was a series of Torahs, which acknowledges that no free person could be arrested or imprisoned without any sensible cause. Besides, it suggests that the individual or belongings of a free adult male can non be taken off, unless it is based on a legal process. However, the Torahs of Magna Carta merely use to free persons.

The Bill of Rights 1688-89

The Bill of Rights was the following functionary papers after Magna Carta, which refers to the human rights. It limited the powers of the Crown and emphasized the rights of the citizens. Peoples had the right of free address and they could back up themselves ; they could be presented and take portion in the conversations of the Parliament. In general, the basic construct of the common jurisprudence, harmonizing to Dicey ‘s theory was: “ we are free to make everything except that which we are out to make by jurisprudence. ” Due to the fact that the British Constitution is non written, cardinal rights are non contained, every bit good as the legislative domination of the Parliament is authorized to restrict or get rid of rights, that could be considered cardinal in other states.

The Somerset Case

During the last decennaries of the 18th century the human rights motion begun to develop in England. Granville Sharp supported the abolishment of bondage through the instance of James Somerset, a slave who demanded his freedom. Lord Mansfield was enforced to allow this adult male free, since bondage was indefensible under English jurisprudence. After Somerset ‘s instance Judgess discharged many slaves.

The 1797 Act

This Act excluded the word “ Blacks ” from the least of points of belongings, which could be used for the satisfaction of debts.

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