United States Supreme Court 353 U.S. 138 BENZ v. COMPANIA NAVIERA HIDALGO, S.A. Argued: March 6, 1957.

--- Decided: April 8, 1957 Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, dissenting. The case involves a contest between American unions and a foreign ship. The foreign ship came to Portland, Oregon, to load a cargo of wheat for carriage to India. The crew members were paid about one-third the amount of cash wages that are paid to American seamen on American vessels carrying grain to the Orient. This foreign ship is in competition with those American vessels. American unions, therefore, have a interest in the working conditions and wages of the seamen aboad this foreign vessel. Their interest is in the re-employment of the foreign crew at better wages and working conditions. And they peacefully picketed the foreign vessel to further that interest. The judgment we sustain today is one in damages against members of the American union who engaged in that peaceful picketing. It is for conduct precisely regulated by the Taft-Hartley Act. If, as the District Court found, the purpose of the picketing was to prevent the repairing and loading of the foreign vessel, the question then arises whether the peaceful picketing was not a secondary boycott condemned by § 303(a)(1) of the Act. If the purpose of the peaceful picketing was to force the foreign vessels to bargain with one of the American unions without any of them being first certified as the representative of the seamen, the question arises whether that was not a violation of § 303(a)(2) of the Act. If either § 303(a)(1) or § 303(a)(2) was violated, then the injured person may sue in the federal courts for damages, as provided in § 303(b). The Court bases its decision that the Act is inapplicable on the conclusion that the underlying controversy was between the foreign vessel and its crew. It intimates, however, that the Act would apply if this suit had been brought by the American independent contractors whose employees refused to cross the picket line, although the identical conduct by the American unions were involved. But, even if we assume arguendo that the foreign vessel would not be subject to the regulatory provisions of the Act, it could nonetheless sue under § 303(b) to get protection from any unfair labor practice condemned by the Act. That is indeed the force of our ruling in Local Union No. 25 of

76 S. 166.' Garner v. 98 L.H. The Labor Board has asserted jurisdiction over unions that bring their pressures to bear on vessels of foreign registry. v. the Board's Regional Director administratively dismissed the petition. 74 S. etc.Ed. 75 S. where a ship of foreign registry and ownership was undergoing repairs. however. both an administrative remedy and a remedy by way of damages. I see no answer therefore to the conclusion that state law has been pre-empted by federal law within the meaning of our decision in Weber v. 228. 98 L. 490. 160161. issued against the union by the same Regional Director. New York. Chaufferus & Helpers Local Union. 99 L. 346 U.Ct. Anheuser-Busch Inc. 166. After the picketing began.' The Board sustained the Regional Director's action on the ground that it had no jurisdiction over the foreign owner of the vessel.S. Teamsters.S. The facts alleged in the complaint. Affiliated with United Mine Workers of America v. as against American unions. If American unions or their members are to be mulcted in damages for unfair labor practices affecting commerce.Ed. might constitute unfair labor practices under the Act. 227. N.. a petition to be certified as the representative of the vessel's crew. and Congress has provided. 350 U. 833. 560561. 1025. the union filed. if true.S. after the owner of the vessel refused to recognize the union as exclusive representative of the crew.International Brotherhood of Teamsters.Ct. 656.R. these American unions should be subject only to disciplinary action by the federal agencies to whom Congress has entrusted the job of law enforcement. 547). & H. pp. [1] Id.R. Notes ^1 The Sailors' Union of the Pacific picketed the main gate of a San Francisco shipyard.. . charging that the picketing violated § 8(b)(4) (A) of the Act. 347 U. Co.Ct. 230-231.. If there is to be peace along the waterfront and a full and free flow of commerce as declared in § 1 of the Act. As noted by the Court. 348 U. at the same time that it has declined to assume jurisdiction over the foreign vessel.Ed. 100 L. 74 S.S.Ed. 546. Laburnum Construction Corp. 468. 'inasmuch as the internal economy of a vessel of foreign registry and ownership is involved.. 485. (In the matter of Sailors' Union of the Pacific. assumed jurisdiction over an unfair labor practice complaint. with the Board's Regional Office. 161. 92 N. [2] Only by applying those centralized controls can we avoid the 'diversities and conflicts likely to result from a variety of local procedures and attitudes toward labor controversies.B. 480.L. 155. There is no hiatus in the federal regulatory scheme as was true in United Construction Workers. The Board. Congress has provided the way in which it shall be done.Ct.

v. 'This action is directed not against the relationship between the Canadian Company and its employes or its relationship with the Canadian Union. 232 Minn. and neither seeks to regulate the relationship between the Canadian Company and its employes or the Canadian Company and the Canadian Union. Seafarers' International Union. In a suit by the grain company against both unions. 46 N. 104. 109.^2 That was the conclusion of the Minnesota Supreme Court in a situation similar to this one. .2d 94. An American union and a Canadian union picketed the dock of an American grain company to prevent the loading and unloading of vessels owned by a Canadian company. 91.W.' Norris Grain Co. which had served notice that it would cease to recognize the Canadian union as bargaining representative for its crews. the Minnesota Supreme Court concluded that the state courts had no jurisdiction over the dispute which was governed by the Federal Act. but against acts of defendants done in the United States.

to wit. because it being the primary object of our Opium Law to protect the inhabitants of the Philippines against the disastrous effects entailed by the use of this drug. October 19. it is the last one that obtains in this jurisdiction. even though aboard a foreign merchant ship. But to smoke opium within our territorial limits. HELD: There are two fundamental rules on this particular matter in connection with International Law. We have seen that the mere possession of opium aboard a foreign vessel in transit was held by this court not triable by or courts. aboard the merchant vessel Changsa of English nationality while said vessel was anchored in Manila Bay two and a half miles from the shores of the city. without being used in our territory. L-18924. Remanded to the lower court for further proceedings in accordance with law. unless their commission affects the peace and security of the territory. which so held and dismissed the case. Of this two rules. its mere possession in such a ship. according to which. Hence such a mere possession is not considered a disturbance of the public order. like the one herein involved. People of the Philippines vs Wong Cheng FACTS: Wong Cheng was on board the English vessel Changsa smoked opium while the said vessel was anchored in Manila Bay two and a half miles from the shores of the city. 1922 FACTS: Appellee is accused of having illegally smoked opium.THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS vs. according to which crimes committed aboard a foreign merchant vessels should not be prosecuted in the courts of the country within whose territorial jurisdiction they were committed. committed aboard merchant vessels anchored in our jurisdiction waters. based on the territorial principle and followed in the United States. The demurrer filed by said appellee alleged lack of jurisdiction on the part of the lower court. . and the English rule. the French rule. is certainly a breach of the public order here established. because at present the theories and jurisprudence prevailing in the United States on this matter are authority in the Philippines which is now a territory of the United States (we were still a US territory when this was decided in 1922). It seriously contravenes the purpose that our Legislature has in mind in enacting the aforesaid repressive statute. because it causes such drug to produce its pernicious effects within our territory.WONG CHENG (alias WONG CHUN) G.R. ISSUE: Whether the courts of the Philippines have jurisdiction over crime. does not being about in the said territory those effects that our statute contemplates avoiding. crimes perpetrated under such circumstances are in general triable in the courts of the country within territory they were committed. No.

the English rule based on the rule that any crime committed within the territory of a specific country is triable in courts of the country where the crime was committed. However. On the other hand. thus follows the English rule which the United States is following. to smoke opium within our territorial limits is a breach of public order because it causes such drug to produce its pernicious effects within our territory.Issue: Whether or not the court has jurisdiction over the ship RULING: International law has 2 rules regarding the jurisdiction of a court over a ship. the Philippines was an American territory. . Mere possession of opium in a foreign vessel in transit is not considered a disturbance if public order. The first one is the French rule where in the court has no jurisdiction over a ship carrying a foreign flag. During the time when this crime was committed by the defendant.

Lotus). everything that isn't prohibited is permitted. o France argued that as a matter of customary international law. because they were on a French boat in international waters at the time of the accident.  "Under international law.I. France went to the Permanent Court of International Justice (P. Turkey attempted to try the French officer in charge of the Lotus for negligence. Ser.  Article 11(1) says that only the flag State or the State of which the alleged offender was a national has jurisdiction over sailors regarding incidents occurring in high seas. that both countries had concurrent jurisdiction over the accident. collided with a Turkish ship in international waters. but it didn't give them exclusive jurisdiction." This case led to the Lotus Principle (aka the Lotus Approach).The S.C. No. o The French ship then docked in Turkey. the flag of the vessel (in this case France) has exclusive jurisdiction. The PCIJ found that Turkey did have the right to try the French sailors.S. o Turkey argued that since their nationals were killed. Lotus Case P. o The PCIJ found that customary international law gave France jurisdiction. 4 (1927)      A French ship (the S. they had jurisdiction to try those responsible for the deaths.S. o The PCIJ basically found that since the two ships were involved in the same accident. which says that sovereign states may act in any way they wish so long as they do not contravene an explicit prohibition. A. . o The Lotus Principle was later overruled by the 1958 High Seas Convention.) and argued that Turkey did not have jurisdiction to try the French officers.I. p. 10. o They found him guilty and sentenced him to 80 days in jail. killing some Turkish sailors.J.C.J.

In Turkey. Turkey and France agreed to refer this dispute on the jurisdiction to the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ). Overview: A collision occurred on the high seas between a French vessel and a Turkish vessel. and the captain of the Turkish ship were charged with manslaughter.Lotus Case (Summary) Name of the Case: The Lotus Case (France vs Turkey). Relevant Findings of the Court: Establishing Jurisdiction: Does Turkey need to support its assertion of jurisdiction using an existing rule of international law or is the mere absence of a prohibition preventing the exercise of jurisdiction enough? The first principle of the Lotus case said that jurisdiction is territorial: A State cannot exercise its jurisdiction outside its territory unless it an international treaty or customary law permits it to do so. did not violate international law. by instituting criminal proceedings against Demons. The 10 survivors of the Boz-Kourt (including its captain) were taken to Turkey on board the Lotus. Demons. This is what we called the first Lotus Principle. was sentenced to 80 days of imprisonment and a fine. Victims were Turkish nationals and the alleged offender was French. the officer on watch of the Lotus (Demons). outside Turkey? If yes. Year of the decision: 1927. demanding the release of Demons or the transfer of his case to the French Courts. should Turkey pay compensation to France? The Court’s Decision: Turkey. a French national. The Boz-Kourt sank and killed eight Turkish nationals on board the Turkish vessel. The French government protested. Questions before the Court: Did Turkey violate international law when Turkish courts exercised jurisdiction over a crime committed by a French national. and Court: PCIJ. “Now the first and foremost restriction imposed by international law upon a State is that – failing the existence of a permissive rule to the contrary – it may not exercise its power in any form in the territory of . Could Turkey exercise its jurisdiction over the French national under international law? Facts of the Case: A collision occurred on the high seas between a French vessel – Lotus – and a Turkish vessel – Boz-Kourt.

as regards other cases. which is only limited in certain cases by prohibitive rules. Such a view would only be tenable if international law contained a general prohibition to States to extend the application of their laws and the jurisdiction of their courts to persons. owing to the impossibility of citing a universally accepted rule on which to support the exercise of their [States’]jurisdiction.” (para 45) The second principle of the Lotus case: Within its territory. Far from laying down a general prohibition to the effect that States may not extend the application of their laws and the jurisdiction of their courts to persons. This discretion left to States by international law explains the great variety of rules which they have been able to adopt without objections or complaints on the part of other States …In these circumstances all that can be required of a State is that it should not overstep the limits which international law places upon its jurisdiction. on any matter. If the existance of a specific rule was a pre-requisite to exercise jurisdiction.” (para 48). But this is certainly not the case under international law as it stands at present. it cannot be exercised by a State outside its territory except by virtue of a permissive rule derived from international custom or from a convention. as an exception to this general prohibition. and in which it cannot rely on some permissive rule of international law. PCIJ argued.” (paras 46 and 47) This applied to civil and criminal cases.another State. and if. which is only limited by the prohibitive rules of international law. In this sense jurisdiction is certainly territorial. it leaves them in this respect a wide measure of discretion. then “it would…in many cases result in paralysing the action of the courts. it allowed States to do so in certain specific cases. even if there is no specific rule of international law permitting it to do so. every State remains free to adopt the principles which it regards as best and most suitable. property and acts outside their territory. however. in respect of any case which relates to acts which have taken place abroad. property and acts outside their territory. its title to exercise jurisdiction rests in its sovereignty. a State may exercise its jurisdiction. follow that international law prohibits a State from exercising jurisdiction in its own territory. within these limits. . “It does not. States have a wide measure of discretion. In these instances.

took a strong positivists view)]. In this case. This State may exercise its jurisdiction over the ship. from regarding the offence as having been committed in its territory and prosecuting. In this case. The Court held that Turkey and France both have jurisdiction in respect of the whole incident: i. in the same way as it exercises its jurisdiction over its land. the Court equated the Turkish vessel to Turkish territory. “International law governs relations between independent States. accordingly.The PCIJ based this finding on the sovereign will of States. a guilty act committed on the high seas produces its effects on a vessel flying another flag or in foreign territory. The PCIJ held that a ship in the high seas is assimilated to the territory of the flag State. the same principles must be applied as if the territories of two different States were concerned. the delinquent. The rules of law binding upon States therefore emanate from their own free will as expressed in conventions or by usages generally accepted as expressing principles of law and established in order to regulate the relations between these co-existing independent communities or with a view to the achievement of common aims. to the exclusion of all other States. the PCIJ held that the “… offence produced its effects on the Turkish vessel and consequently in a place assimilated to Turkish territory in which the application of Turkish criminal law cannot be challenged. It held that France. even in regard to offences committed there by foreigners.” . there is concurrent jurisdiction. Criminal Jurisdiction: Territorial Jurisdiction France alleged that the flag State of a vessel would have exclusive jurisdiction over offences committed on board the ship in high seas. did not enjoy exclusive territorial jurisdiction in the high seas in respect of a collision with a vessel carrying the flag of another State (paras 71 – 84). therefore. and the conclusion must therefore be drawn that there is no rule of international law prohibiting the State to which the ship on which the effects of the offence have taken place belongs. Restrictions upon the independence of States cannot therefore be presumed” [NB: This was one of the most debated aspects of the judgement. The PCIJ disagreed. as the flag State.” Turkey had jurisdiction over this case. Some argued that the Court placed too much emphasis on sovereignty and consent of States (i. “If.e.e.

legally. if the constituent element was absent – the crime would not have happened.” In other words. so long as a constitutive element of the crime was committed in that State. and not that they recognized themselves as being obliged to do so. there are other circumstances calculated to show that the contrary is true. even if the crime was committed outside its territory. France alleged that jurisdictional questions on collision cases are rarely heard in criminal cases because States tend to prosecute only before the flag State. These two elements are. i. opinio juris is reflected in acts of States (Nicaragua Case) or in omissions (Lotus case) in so far as those acts or omissions are done following a belief that the said State is obligated by law to act or refrain from acting in a particular way.. abstained from instituting criminal proceedings.The Court held that this “…would merely show that States had often. in practice. one must prove that the element of the crime and the actual crime are entirely inseparable. France argued that this absence of prosecutions points to a positive rule in customary law on collisions. whilst its effects made themselves felt on board the BozKourt. .The Lotus Case was also significant in that the PCIJ said that a State would have territorial jurisdiction. “The offence for which Lieutenant Demons appears to have been prosecuted was an act – of negligence or imprudence – having its origin on board the Lotus. In order for subjective territorial jurisdiction to be established.” Customary International Law The Lotus case gives an important dictum on creating customary international law. so much so that their separation renders the offence non-existent… It is only natural that each should be able to exercise jurisdiction and to do so in respect of the incident as a whole.e. for only if such abstention were based on their being conscious of having a duty to abstain would it be possible to speak of an international custom. we call this subjective territorial jurisdiction. The alleged fact does not allow one to infer that States have been conscious of having such a duty. on the other hand. It is therefore a case of concurrent jurisdiction. as will presently be seen. Today. entirely inseparable.

Eichmann’s trial raised several legal issues for the court to decide upon. The Court said that the ban on retroactivity of laws was not a general principle of international law and did not apply in cases of grave crimes such as those committed by Eichmann. and took decisions for the expulsion of thousands of Gypsies. Adolf Eichmann was found guilty of all the counts and sentenced to death by the District Court in Jerusalem. a retroactive and extraterritorial law designed to make it possible to try Nazis in Israel for crimes against humanity. crimes against humanity. On 15 December 1961. the court relied on the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law 5710-1950. within the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA). Eichmann was executed on 31 May 1962. On 19 April 2010. the Court ruled that the nature of the crimes also justified the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Israel. Nevertheless. Eichmann also claimed that Israel had no jurisdiction to try the case given his nationality and the context of the crimes. he was in charge of the logistical implementation of the “Final Solution”. As such. As such. The Court rejected the Government's argument that the documents should remain secret because the information was gained by foreign intelligence services. in its judgment the Supreme Court again addressed many of the issues raised by Eichmann’s defence. not least that the accused had been illegally abducted from Argentina and that the state of Israel did not even exist at the time of the facts alleged. While avoiding consideration of the nature of his arrest. war crimes and membership in an organisation declared criminal by the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg 15 years earlier. . After the war. Adolf Eichmann escaped to Argentina where he lived under the false name of Ricardo Klement.EICHMANN Presentation of the case: During WWII. the Israeli Intelligence Service. Adolf Eichmann was in charge of the departments of “Jewish affairs” (Judenreferat) and “Clearing Activities” (Räumungsangelegenheiten). to base its jurisdiction. the Eichmann trial is one of the first applications of the principle of universal jurisdiction for crimes against humanity. with the indictment charging him with 15 counts of crimes against the Jewish people. he managed the spoliation of the properties of the deported. arguing the superior orders ‘Nuremberg defence’ and ‘crimes of state’. In cooperation with other German institutions.Mossad. Further. Eichmann based his defence on the court’s incompetence to judge him. In May 1960. abducted Eichmann in Argentina and secretly transferred him to Jerusalem to face an Israeli court. Eichmann’s trial opened on 11 April 1961 in Jerusalem. and further denied his individual responsibility. Eichmann coordinated every detail of the deportation of European Jews to the extermination camps. the Federal Administrative Court of Germany (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) ordered the release of secret Nazi files concerning Eichmann after a claim filed by an Argentinian journalist. arguing that the legal base for prosecution was created after the alleged crimes were committed. From 1942 onwards. The Supreme Court of Israel rejected his appeal on 29 May 1962.