Jurisdiction in Marginal Seas: With Special Reference to Smuggling

By William E. Masterson | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THE question of jurisdiction in marginal seas has always been a troublesome one; and within quite recent years, it has become an increasingly important and active one. Its codification is now under consideration by the Committee of Experts for the Progressive Codification of International Law appointed by the Council of the League of Nations in 1924; it became the subject of diplomatic correspondence in 1922 when the United States Government began the seizure on the high seas of foreign vessels engaged in introducing or in attempting to introduce into the nation's commerce illicit cargoes in violation of her revenue laws and the National Prohibition Act; during the past four years, it has been the subject matter of treaties between some nineteen States; and several non-official International Law societies and associations have proposed solutions of the question through draft conventions.

The recent exclusion of certain articles of commerce, especially alcoholic liquors, by several countries and the imposition of a heavy duty upon their importation by others have given rise to renewed activities of smugglers operating in foreign vessels off the coasts in several parts of the world. The enforcement on the high seas of the national revenue laws, often spoken of as the "hovering laws," against these vessels centered attention upon the question of the extent of the so-called "territorial waters" and the further question of how far a State may, under International Law, exercise a special jurisdiction beyond such waters over foreign craft engaged in violating or in

-vii-

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