Principles of State Jurisdiction

The territorial principle The territorial basis for the exercise of jurisdiction reflects one aspect of the sovereignty exercisable by a state in its territorial home, and is the indispensable foundation for the application of the series of legal rights that a state possesses. That a country should be able to legislate with regard to activities within its territory and to prosecute for offences committed upon its soil is a logical manifestation of a world order of independent states and is entirely understandable since the authorities of a state are responsible for the conduct of law and the maintenance of good order within that state.
The lotus case The nature of territorial sovereignty in relation to criminal acts was examined in theL ot u s case 1927. The relevant facts may be summarized as follows. The French steamer, theL o tu s, was involved in a collision on the high seas with theB o z-K ou rt, a Turkish collier. The latter vessel sank and eight sailors and passengers died as a result. Because of this the Turkish authorities arrested the French officer of the watch (at the time of the incident) when theLo t u s reached a Turkish port. The French officer was charged with manslaughter and France protested strongly against this action, alleging that Turkey did not have the jurisdiction to try the offence. The case came before the Permanent Court of International Justice, which was called upon to decide whether there existed an international rule prohibiting the Turkish exercise of jurisdiction. Because the basis of international law is the existence of sovereign states, the Court regarded it as axiomatic that restrictions upon the independence of states could not be presumed. However, a state was not able to exercise its power outside its frontiers in the absence of a permissive rule of international law. But, continued the Court, this did not mean that ┬Áinternational law prohibits a state from exercising jurisdiction in its own territory, in respect of any...