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NCJ Number: 62562 Find in a Library
Title: CONTROL OF AIRCRAFT HIJACKING - THE LAW OF INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION
Journal: WORLD AFFAIRS  Volume:134  Issue:2  Dated:(FALL 1971)  Pages:143-156
Author(s): A RAFAT
Date Published: 1971
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: HIJACKING HAS BECOME A PROBLEM OF INTERNATIONAL MAGNITUDE WITHOUT BEING A RECOGNIZED OFFENSE UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW. SIGNIFICANT STEPS TOWARD A MULTILATERAL AGREEMENT ON AIRCRAFT HIJACKING ARE REVIEWED.
Abstract: HIJACKING IS DEFINED AS ANY UNLAWFUL SEIZURE OR EXERCISE OF CONTROL OF CIVIL AIRCRAFT IN FLIGHT WITH THE INTENTION OF ALTERING ITS COURSE TO A DIFFERENT DESTINATION. IN ADDITION TO ENDANGERING PASSENGERS AND CAUSING DAMAGE TO CRAFT, HIJACKING AFFECTS THE PROCESSES OF INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AND DIPLOMACY. SUBVERTING THE CONDUCT OF A STATE'S FOREIGN RELATIONS IS OFTEN THE POLITICAL MOTIVE OF HIJACKINGS. CONVENTIONAL INTERNATIONAL LAW REGULATES AGAINST 'AIR PIRACY', BUT ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF HIJACKINGS ARE DONE FOR POLITICAL, NOT PERSONAL, REASONS BY PEOPLE ALREADY INSIDE THE CRAFT. THE ACT USUALLY TAKES PLACE WITHIN AIRSPACE UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF A STATE. THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT DEALING WITH HIJACKING, THE TOKYO CONVENTION OF 1963, WAS SIGNED BY 37 STATES AND HAS RECEIVED GENERAL COMPLIANCE. ITS PROVISIONS PROTECT PASSENGERS, CREW, AND AIRLINES FROM ARBITRARY TREATMENT BY LANDING STATES BUT HAVE NO PROVISIONS FOR EXTRADITION, PUNISHMENT, OR PROSECUTION OF HIJACKERS. EFFORTS TOWARD A MULTILATERAL AGREEMENT ON THESE ISSUES HAVE BEEN HAMPERED BY THE DIVERGING POLICIES OF THREE GROUPS. COUNTRIES FAVORING THE AGREEMENT ARE LED BY THE U.S., THE PRINCIPAL VICTIM OF HIJACKINGS. THE SOVIET UNION HAS SHIFTED ITS NEGATIVE POLICY SINCE DISCONTENTED ELEMENTS IN SOVIET SOCIETY HAVE RESORTED TO HIJACKING AS A MEANS TO POLITICAL ASYLUM ABROAD. CUBA AND ARAB COUNTRIES, FREQUENTLY DESTINATIONS OF HIJACKERS, ARE INTERESTED IN BILATERAL ARRANGEMENTS TIED TO SETTLEMENTS OF OTHER ISSUES. THE CONVENTION FOR THE SUPPRESSION OF UNLAWFUL SEISURE OF AIRCRAFT WAS SIGNED AT THE HAGUE IN DECEMBER 1970 BY 50 STATES, INCLUDING THE SOVIET UNION. THIS AGREEMENT ADEQUATELY DEFINES HIJACKINGS, AND DEALS WITH JURISDICTION OVER THE OFFENSE, PROSECUTION, AND PUNISHMENT OF THE OFFENDER, AND EXTRADITION. JURISDICTION EXTENDS TO THIRD STATES WHOSE TERRITORY THE HIJACKER MAY ENTER AFTER LANDING, BUT EXTRADITION IS LIMITED TO STATES ALREADY BOUND BY EXTRADITION AGREEMENTS. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE HAGUE CONVENTION DEPENDS UPON THE WILLINGNESS OF THE POWERFUL STATES AND ORGANIZATIONS TO APPLY SANCTIONS AGAINST COUNTRIES WHICH FAIL TO COMPLY. NOTES ARE INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Aircraft hijacking; Antiterrorist laws; Extradition; Hijacking; International cooperation; International law; Netherlands; Piracy; Political offenders; Revolutionary or terrorist groups
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