CSS International Law Solved Paper 2016 Question No 8

Write short notes on any TWO of the following:

(a) Lotus Case

(b) Scotia Case

(c) Territorial and Extra-Territorial asylum

Lotus Case

Facts of the Case

A collision occurred on the high seas between a French vessel — Lotus — and a Turkish vessel — Boz-Kourt. The Boz-Kourt sank and killed eight Turkish nationals on board the Turkish vessel. In Turkey, the officer on watch of the Lotus (Demons), and the captain of the Turkish ship were charged with manslaughter. Demons, a French national, was sentenced to 80 days of imprisonment and a fine. The French government protested, demanding the release of Demons or the transfer of his case to the French Courts. Turkey and France agreed to refer this dispute on the jurisdiction to the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ).

ii. Question before the Court?

Did, Turkey violate international law when Turkish courts exercised jurisdiction over a crime committed by a French national, outside Turkey? If yes, should Turkey pay compensation to France?

iii. The Court's Decision

Turkey, by instituting criminal proceedings against Demons, did not violate international law.

iv. Relevant Reasoning’s of the Court The first principle of the Lotus Case:

A State cannot exercise its jurisdiction outside its territory unless an international treaty or customary law permits it to do so.

The second principle of the Lotus Case: Within its territory, a State may exercise its jurisdiction, in any matter, even if there is no specific rule of international law permitting it to do so. In these instances, States have a wide measure of discretion, which is only limited by the prohibitive rules of international law. This applied to civil and criminal cases.

The Lotus Case is also significant in that the Court said that a State would have territorial jurisdiction, even if the crime was committed outside its territory, so long as a constitutive element of the crime was committed in that State.

The Lotus case gave an important dictum on creating customary international law. opinion juris is reflected not only in acts of States (Nicaragua Case), but also in omissions when those omissions are made following a belief that the said State is obligated by law to refrain from acting in a particular way.