File No. 417.00/13 and 56.

Act of April 4–May 17, 1911, of the Nicaraguan Constitutional1 Assembly approving the presidential decree of March 29, 1911, establishing the tribunal or mixed commission.2


The National Constituent Assembly decrees that the presidential decree of March 29, 1911, is approved in the following terms:

The President of the Republic, having agreed with the Government of the United States of America as to the manner of jointly giving a just and equitable solution with regard to the validity or invalidity of all pending claims against the Government of Nicaragua, including those originating in the abolition or discontinuance of the monopolies, leases, concessions, or contracts granted or entered into by former Governments of Nicaragua, and in order to secure equally to both citizens and aliens their lawful rights by the power invested in him and in ministerial council, decrees:

  • Article 1. The establishment in this capital of a tribunal or mixed commission which shall examine and finally adjudge all unliquidated pending claims against the Government of Nicaragua, including those originating in the abolition or discontinuance of monopolies, concessions, leases, or any other forms of contracts made by former Governments of the Republic.
  • Article 2. The tribunal or mixed commission shall be composed of three persons, to wit: One of its members shall be a citizen of Nicaragua,[Page 632]appointed by the Government of Nicaragua; another member whom this Government shall also appoint, but upon the recommendation of the Government of the United States of America; and a third member who shall be appointed by the Department of State of the American Government.
  • Article 3. All proceedings relating to claims of the character mentioned in article 1 shall begin before said tribunal or mixed commission, which shall hear, try, and judge them in all their phases; and a majority of the votes of the members shall suffice for final judgment in all cases, and in pronouncing said judgment every member of the tribunal shall vote.
  • Article 4. The tribunal or mixed commission shall begin to sit for a hearing of claims within 15 days after the publication of this decree, and shall draw up such rules of practice and procedure as shall give to each party to the cases before it due hearing and adequate time for the presentation of evidence.
  • Article 5. The individuals or companies referred to in article 1, or their assigns, who shall not have brought their claims before the tribunal or mixed commission within six months, shall by such default be held to have lost said claims, together with all claims to indemnities; and upon the request of the Government of Nicaragua, and without the necessity for any further proceedings, the tribunal shall adjudge their concessions, leases, or contracts to be forfeited.
  • Article 6. The President shall cancel by special decrees such contracts or concessions as are referred to in article 1.
  • Article 7. The present decree is also applicable to cases already begun by the Government before the courts of the country.
  • Article 8. The authorities of Nicaragua shall give to the tribunal or mixed commission the same support as to the courts of Nicaragua.
  • Article 9. Each member of the tribunal shall receive an annual salary of $8,000 gold and $2,000 gold for expenses, which shall be paid by the general treasury of the Republic.
  • Article 10. To represent the Government of Nicaragua upon said tribunal Dr. Carlos Cuadra Pasos is hereby appointed, and upon recommendation of the Government of the United States of America the Hon. Thomas P. Moffat; as the third member, the person who shall be designated by the Secretary of State of the American Government shall be recognized.
  • Article 11. The previous Governments mentioned in article 1 are hereby understood to be those presided over by Gen. J. Santos Zelaya and Dr. José Madriz.
  • Article 12. The mixed commission shall also have jurisdiction over such claims as the Government of Nicaragua may have to make for the reasons expressed in article 1 or because of infractions committed by concessionaires or parties to contracts.
  • Article 13. The President shall proceed to the cancellation directed to be made in article 6 hereof within the term of one year from the promulgation of the present decree.
  • Article 14. The term of six months fixed in article 5 shall begin to run from the day on which the decree of cancellation shall have been promulgated when such decree is the basis of the claim, and in other cases it shall run from the day of the promulgation of this decree.

  1. The terms “Constituent” and “Constitutional”’ are both applied to this assembly in the course of the correspondence. See the comment in the minister’s dispatch 152, under “Political affairs.”
  2. Enacted Apr. 4, 1911, by the first assembly. Reenacted May 17, 1911, by the second assembly, which convened May 1, 1911; President Estrada dissolved the first assembly on Apr. 5, 1911; he resigned the presidency May 9, 1911, and the reenactment was under the presidency of Adolfo Diaz.