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Who Has Legal Jurisdiction On International Flt  
User currently offlineMarkabcan From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 205 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12114 times:

I was just wondering, on international flights if a crime was committed who has legal jurisdiction. The country of origin or the country where the aircraft is registered? Where would the perpetrator be prosecuted?

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAJRfromSYR From United States of America, joined May 2005, 454 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12104 times:

Registered...

fill
er



-AJR-
User currently offlineGrbld From Netherlands, joined Dec 2005, 353 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12099 times:

While in the air, you're actually on national "soil" for the country that the aircraft is operated out of. So if you're on a French AOC but you're leasing a UK aircraft but have French crew fly it, it's French soil. If you're wet-leasing a UK airplane with UK crew, then you're not operating it yourself and it's UK soil.

If, however, a perpetrator is prosecuted, it's usually in the country of arrival, where the local authorities detain that person, unless otherwise requested, but this has to go through higher levels, up to government level.

Grbld


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3531 posts, RR: 29
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12084 times:

This has been discussed some times already, but in Tech Ops...

The captain is regarded as a police officer during the flight, he is in command of the airplane, and the law of country where the plane is registered applies:

Lets take an LH airplane. Doors are closed in FRA, but German law applies during the whole flight until you land, no matter whether this is JFK, KIX, AMS or CGN. German law also gives the captain police authorities, this means he is allowed to get somebody tied to his seat and do everything, so by acting against the captain, you are actually doing a criminal offense against this guy.

Before 9/11, this was also visible: BA 747s kept their flight decks open for visitors, while US airplanes had to keep them closed. Unfortunately this has changed now, but also here the national state decides about the rules. These rules usually are harmonized by international agreements, but nevertheless it is the national law which is binding for the flight captain.


User currently offlineDL787932ER From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 597 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 12074 times:

Not sure how official this is, but I travelled US-EU twice when I was 18. On DL I couldn't be served alcohol (even in BizElite), but on KL I got free drinks the whole way over.  bigthumbsup  Of course, that could just be airline policy and not the law.


F L Y D E L T A J E T S
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8883 posts, RR: 75
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 12073 times:

Tricky question, I dont think either answer above is 100% correct. Can also be the airspace that the aircraft is in at the time.

Aviation law is not standard across the world, and "international" law ... fairly useless most fo the time.

What maybe a crime in one country, may not be in another.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3531 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 12047 times:

Quoting Zeke (Reply 5):

Aviation actually IS one of the areas where rules are pretty much harmonised the world over. The law of an airplane is the law of the country where it is registered. The pilot must obey the rules of this country. Therefore, a KLM plane may serve alcohol, also on domestic US flights, which they anyway only can do under certain circumstances.

This applies to the "inside" of the plane. Certainly, inside a state the plane itself is subject to national legislation. A plane disobeying ATC orders can be forced by combat planes of that country to land immediately.

But everything happening inside the plane is subject to the law of the country where the plane is registered. These rules are comparable to ships.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8883 posts, RR: 75
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 11998 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 6):
Aviation actually IS one of the areas where rules are pretty much harmonised the world over. The law of an airplane is the law of the country where it is registered. The pilot must obey the rules of this country. Therefore, a KLM plane may serve alcohol, also on domestic US flights, which they anyway only can do under certain circumstances.

Alcohol is tricky, the legal age maybe be different country to country, no obligation on most flights to check for ID, or to have a responsible serving licence like you would do in a similar establishment on the ground. Some middle east airlines also serve it onboard when its illegal in the country of registration.

Drugs, if caught say on a ZHR-MAN flight run by SQ, you would not be sent to Singapore for the death penalty for trafficking and possession in Singapore.

Some airlines like Philippine airlines have their aircraft registered in different ICAO contracting states, however they are operated under Philippine rules.

The ICAO convention of 1914 has been enacted differently the world over, no country has implemented it the same way, not all of the convention has been adopted by all countries, not all countries are compliant with it.

Some countries are not ICAO such as Taiwan, if you have an accident or incident in Taiwan one of the first actions that happens is the crew is arrested by the local police. A pilot license, medical, or aircraft rating issued in Taiwan is not recognized by most ICAO countries.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3531 posts, RR: 29
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 11980 times:

Quoting Zeke (Reply 7):
Drugs, if caught say on a ZHR-MAN flight run by SQ, you would not be sent to Singapore for the death penalty for trafficking and possession in Singapore.

Of course not, as states do not enforce laws for other state. However, you certainly could be brought before jail in Singapore in absence...

For example, look on §4 of the German criminal law:

§ 4

Geltung für Taten auf deutschen Schiffen und Luftfahrzeugen

Das deutsche Strafrecht gilt, unabhängig vom Recht des Tatorts, für Taten, die auf einem Schiff oder in einem Luftfahrzeug begangen werden, das berechtigt ist, die Bundesflagge oder das Staatszugehörigkeitszeichen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zu führen.

The German penal code applies, regardless of the law of the crime scene, for offenses done on board of a ship or airplane, which is allowed to flag under the German flag or which is allowed to bear the German registry.

If Singapore has a similiar rule, which I don't know, it might be that you can be brought before court in Singapore and sentenced to death. However, if you are flying to England and have the drugs on board the SIA airplane, the UK would not send you back to Singapore as it is not allowed to send prisoners from Europe to coutries where they could fear the Death penalty.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8883 posts, RR: 75
Reply 9, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 11934 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 8):
The German penal code applies, regardless of the law of the crime scene, for offenses done on board of a ship or airplane, which is allowed to flag under the German flag or which is allowed to bear the German registry.

That maybe the case, however if for a case of say serious unlawful interference in FAA airspace with a D registered aircraft, German law will not apply, US law will, and may result in the whole aircraft being terminated in-flight.

I am aware of no country that empowers crew to be able to arrest and detain passengers who commit an offence and repatriate them to the country of registration.

Its is not cut and dry, my experience is that in most cases that the passenger is met at the destination by local police who deal with the matter. The crew maybe required to submit a statement, however in most cases criminal proceedings do not proceed as the act was committed outside the jurisdiction of the court hearing the offence.

The civil implications for the irresponsible passenger is normally worse, civil proceeding to recover costs and/or damages, with possible banning on travel by airlines, entry into countries, and possible withdrawal of passport by the issuing country.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineGoaliemn From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 463 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 11897 times:

I fly little airplanes (cessnas) I know when traveling to Canada, the interior of my plane is considered US Soil. I'm not allowed to fly a Canadian registered aircraft, as my license isn't "valid" in Canada, however, I can fly my US registered aircraft in Canadian airspace, since its US Soil.

This doesn't exempt me from customs searches, however. Its an odd situation.

I do know a guy who flew his plane to Russia across the Bearing Straight. He had a handheld GPS with him. Those are illegal to own in Russia without some registration. Russian customs told him it was legal to keep, as long as it didn't leave the US registered aircraft, but once it left his aircraft, he could be arrested for unlawful posession.


User currently offlineFlyinfroggie From United States of America, joined May 2004, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 11871 times:

I know that we could play "what if" all day - but what might happen in the case where some of Avianca's planes are registered "EI-", and they fly BOG-MIA...

User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8883 posts, RR: 75
Reply 12, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 11831 times:

Quoting Goaliemn (Reply 10):
I fly little airplanes (cessnas) I know when traveling to Canada, the interior of my plane is considered US Soil. I'm not allowed to fly a Canadian registered aircraft, as my license isn't "valid" in Canada, however, I can fly my US registered aircraft in Canadian airspace, since its US Soil.

Not really the reason, its due to the Chicago convention and USA & Canada trade laws. According to article 1 and 2 of the Chicago convention "The contracting States recognize that every State has complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above its territory." and "For the purposes of this Convention the territory of a State shall be deemed to be the land areas and territorial waters adjacent thereto under the sovereignty, suzerainty, protection or mandate of such State."

As far as the licence issue ...articles 32 and 33 "(a) The pilot of every aircraft and the other members of the operating crew of every aircraft engaged in international navigation shall be provided with certificates of competency and licences issued or rendered valid by the State in which the aircraft is registered.

(b) Each contracting State reserves the right to refuse to recognize, for the purpose of flight above its own territory, certificates of competency and licences granted to any of its nationals by another contracting State." and "Certificates of airworthiness and certificates of competency and licences issued or rendered valid by the contracting State in which the aircraft is registered, shall be recognized as valid by the other contracting States, provided that the requirements under which such certificates or licences were issued or rendered valid are equal to or above the minimum standards which may be established from time to time pursuant to this Convention."

Quoting Goaliemn (Reply 10):
This doesn't exempt me from customs searches, however. Its an odd situation

Not odd at all, the Chicago convention allows for "The appropriate authorities of each of the contracting States shall have the right, without unreasonable delay, to search aircraft of the other contracting States on landing or departure, and to inspect the certificates and other documents prescribed by this Convention."

Quoting Goaliemn (Reply 10):
I do know a guy who flew his plane to Russia across the Bearing Straight. He had a handheld GPS with him. Those are illegal to own in Russia without some registration. Russian customs told him it was legal to keep, as long as it didn't leave the US registered aircraft, but once it left his aircraft, he could be arrested for unlawful posession.

Your friend is very lucky, the Chicago convention only applies to radio transmitters installed in aircraft, handheld GPS receivers are not covered by the Chicago convention (written back in 1917). The actual wording is in article 30 is "(a) Aircraft of each contracting State may, in or over the territory of other contracting States, carry radio transmitting apparatus only if a licence to install and operate such apparatus has been issued by the appropriate authorities of the State in which the aircraft is registered. The use of radio transmitting apparatus in the territory of the contracting State whose territory is flown over shall be in accordance with the regulations prescribed by that State.

(b) Radio transmitting apparatus may be used only by members of the flight crew who are provided with a special licence for the purpose, issued by the appropriate authorities of the State in which the aircraft is registered. " and I dont see how article 35 can be used "apparatus necessary for the operation or navigation of the aircraft or the safety of the personnel or passengers.", as a hand held GPS is not necessary for the operation or navigation of the aircraft unlike a ADF, VOR, ILS etc. You cannot legally fly an approach with a hand held GPS.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 11627 times:

Quoting Zeke (Reply 9):
Its is not cut and dry, my experience is that in most cases that the passenger is met at the destination by local police who deal with the matter. The crew maybe required to submit a statement, however in most cases criminal proceedings do not proceed as the act was committed outside the jurisdiction of the court hearing the offence.

This is intriguing, because if what you said earlier is true about repatriation (and I have no reason to doubt you), then the passenger who committed the crime could very well not be prosecuted by either the country to which the aircraft is registered (since that would require repatriation), or the country in which he arrived. Doesn't that seem odd?


User currently offlineCO7e7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 2848 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 11560 times:

If the plane carries a US registration, then it's the Federal Government (aka the FEDS)

User currently offlineBBJII From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 850 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 11502 times:

In the vast majority of situations, the law of the aircraft's registered country applies towards:

When aircraft are leased: it's normally the country of the AOC operator: as per reply 2.

However; the prosecuting airline has the write to say which countries law will apply, subject to the indescression:

e.g. If BA prosecuted a passenger, who had commited an act in Australia...they can apply Australian Law. If the flight had diverted to a third country: the Law of that country applies, unless the airline request's otherwise. e.g HKG-LHR diverts to MOW, Russian Law applies. Unless BA ask's for British Law to be applied.




 wave 



Remember: The Bird Hit You, You Didn't Hit The Bird.....
User currently offlineJmc757 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2000, 1298 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 11493 times:

Interesting, a good example of this occured only this week.

A Monarch airlines flight (G- registered) took off from Manchester bound for Tenerife. A passenger became drunk and rowdy and the captain decided to drop into Porto Santo (small Portugese island near Madeira) to get rid of him. The guy has been charged in Portugal, and will have to return there for trial. If he fails to show up, the UK could extradite him.

I assume though, that this guy could also be charged in the UK? Being a British citizen and aboard a British registered aircraft?


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