Back to Lotus? A Recent Decision by the Supreme Court of India on an Incident of Navigation in the Contiguous Zone

in International Community Law Review
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Abstract

This article stems from a recent decision of the Indian Supreme Court concerning whether the criminal courts of the Indian State of Kerala have jurisdiction over two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen. The analysis is critical of the Court’s reasoning and findings over the two main defences raised by the accused: namely, the lack of jurisdiction of the coastal state on the basis of the law of the sea and in relation to the customary rule on the jurisdictional immunity of military personnel for acts carried out in their line of duty. Finally, this study also critically examines the operational decision of the Indian Supreme Court in providing for the establishment of a specific domestic court deemed competent to entertain its jurisdiction over the cause in view of its international nature.

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22

See Armin von Bogdand and, Markus Rau, “The Lotus”, Max Planck, supra note 14.

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