Copyright (c) 2004 Williamette Journal of International Law & Dispute Resolution
Williamette Journal of International Law & Dispute Resolution
ARTICLE: INTERNATIONAL LAW, EXTRATERRITORIAL ABDUCTIONS AND THE EXERCISE OF CRIMINAL JURISDICTION IN THE UNITED STATES 1
11 Willamette J. Int'l L. & Dispute Res. 61
Julie Philippe* and Laurent Tristan**
This essay focuses on several issues that arise historically, and in the post 9/11 context, from the exercise of jurisdiction by U.S. courts over defendants abducted outside U.S. territory and subsequently brought to the U.S. for trial. They include domestic constitutional issues, issues of federalism, and international issues. The focus of this essay is international law, although a number of domestic law issues will be addressed tangentially, in so far as they are necessarily intertwined with international law issues.
The contemporary U.S. position, as supported by executive practice and judicial doctrine, is that the exercise of post-abduction jurisdiction is not vitiated by the manner in which the defendant was apprehended and brought before the court. However, this position, is not consistent with prior U.S. policy towards parallel practice by other countries.
For example, in 1948, the U.S. strongly condemned an attempt by the former Soviet Union to kidnap an American citizen from within U.S. territory. 2 The Department of State declared that "the government of the United States cannot permit the exercise within the United States of the police power of any foreign government." 3
In 1989, the Iranian Parliament adopted a statute which allowed for the arrest of American citizens anywhere without the agreement of the U.S. government. 4 The purpose of the statute was to allow the transport of the arrestees to Iran to stand trial. 5 The official U.S. response was again an outright condemnation of the law as violative of basic ...
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