Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
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Manual of the Laws of Naval War. Oxford, 9 August 1913.
Section IV : On the rights and duties of the belligerent with regard to enemy property - Art. 54.
Art. 54. C. Submarine cables. In the conditions stated below, belligerent States are authorized to destroy or to seize only the submarine cables connecting their territories or two points in these territories, and the cables connecting the territory of one of the nations engaged in the war with a neutral territory.
The cable connecting the territories of the two belligerents or two points in the territory of one of the belligerents, may be seized or destroyed throughout its length, except in the waters of a neutral State.
A cable connecting a neutral territory with the territory of one of the belligerents may not, under any circumstances, be seized or destroyed in the waters under the power of a neutral territory. On the high seas, this cable may not be seized or destroyed unless there exists an effective blockade and within the limits of that blockade, on consideration of the restoration of the cable in the shortest time possible. This cable may be seized or destroyed on the territory of and in the waters belonging to the territory of the enemy for a distance of three marine miles from low tide. Seizure or destruction may never take place except in case of absolute necessity.
In applying the preceding rules no distinction is to be made between cables, according to whether they belong to the State or to individuals; nor is any regard to be paid to the nationality of their owners.
Submarine cables connecting belligerent territory with neutral territory, which have been seized or destroyed, shall be restored and compensation fixed when peace is made.