Country jurisdiction

I have a question, if a crime happened on an international flight who would have jurisdiction?


To be honest, I am really not sure. I would imagine that the US would as all of our airplanes are registered in the US and carry the US flag, but I really do not know.



This actually a fairly complicated question. In 1963 they tried to iron the whole thing out in what’s called the Tokyo Convention. It’s long on legalese but how I understand it is for a country to claim jurisdiction they must have a “connection” to the offense (country of aircraft registry, nationality of the victim or criminal, country of departure or landing, etc). The idea was to prevent a criminal from escaping prosecution if they committed a crime and landed somewhere with no extradition or less stringent laws thereby allowing the whoever was most “offended” by offense to claim it.

There are actually a few interesting provisions in the Tokyo Convention. The first gives the Capt (Pilot in Command) “police authority” to restrain/detain etc any criminals aboard their flight. The second is the US basically says if they’re involved in ANYWAY it’s their jurisdiction.

As I said the paper is quite extensive and I’m no lawyer but if you’re really interested there’s tons of material on it online.


Thank you guys! I know it’s a complicated question. I was more curious of if there were any set rules to decide jurisdiction

Adam is not a lawyer, but he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.