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18.Insurance Issues - Usurped Poxoer

Again, the court considered whether the ordinary and natural meaning of "usurped power" assisted it in a better understanding of the phrase.




In general terms, the court stated that usurped power required proof that:



- a group of persons had attempted to acquire something which

belonged to another;



- that "something" was controlled by the State;



- the party seeking to usurp was a body of persons acting with violence;



- the usurping of power should be able to be distinguished from riot or

civil commotion; and



- usurped power does not require all of the characteristics of a more formalised conflict typical of' war, invasion and civil war.



If the state of affairs amounted to constructive treason then it fell within the definition of military or usurped power. The faction or mob must have attempted to take over a law-making or law enforcing power which properly belonged to the Sovereign Government.



Is it sufficient to show that the faction is in a posture of war acting with a common intent and some degree of leadership in pursuance of aims which properly lie with the Sovereign Government? Is it also necessary to show that the particular events should amount to rebellion or insurrection?



Mustill J decided that usurped power was not synonymous with rebellion and insurrection.



Did the events in Lebanon at this particular time amount to usurped power? A distinction was drawn between the casual looters and young people firing off guns for the sake of it, which would not fall within the exclusion, and trained militia and armed civilians, which did fall within the exclusion. Looking at the motivation of the factions, some favoured changes in the sectarian structure of the constitution, some wished to promote others to weaken the Palestinian presence and some may have wanted to displace a section of the population from the locations in which they lived. Some also asserted the right to prevent people from moving about the countryside. All of these acts were powers which the Government would normally exercise and were being usurped. Therefore, the events did fall within the exclusion.



This is typical of many similar cases where although it is difficult to link the losses to civil war, the task is often possible by reference to the usurped power exclusion



18.Insurance Issues - Usurped Poxoer

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18.Insurance Issues - Usurped Poxoer