Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft
United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention
December 16, 1970
Signed At The
Hague, On 16 December 1970
Hague Convention 1970)
The States Parties
to this Convention,
unlawful acts of seizure or exercise of control of aircraft in flight jeopardize
the safety of persons and property, seriously affect the operation of air services,
and undermine the confidence of the peoples of the world in the safety of civil
the occurrence of such acts is a matter of grave concern;
for the purpose of deterring such acts, there is an urgent need to provide appropriate
measures for punishment of offenders;
Have Agreed as
Any person who
on board an aircraft in flight:
by force or threat thereof, or by any other form of intimidation, seizes,
or exercises control of, that aircraft, or attempts to perform any such act,
- is an accomplice
of a person who performs or attempts to perform any such act commits an offence
(hereinafter referred to as "the offence").
State undertakes to make the offence punishable by severe penalties.
- For the purposes
of this Convention, an aircraft is considered to be in flight at any time
from the moment when all its external doors are closed following embarkation
until the moment when any such door is opened for disembarkation. In the case
of a forced landing, the flight shall be deemed to continue until the competent
authorities take over the responsibility for the aircraft and for persons
and property on board.
- This Convention
shall not apply to aircraft used in military, customs or police services.
- This Convention shall apply only if the place of take-off or the place of
actual landing of the aircraft on board which the offence is committed is
situated outside the territory of the State of registration of that aircraft;
it shall be immaterial whether the aircraft is engaged in an international
or domestic flight.
- In the cases mentioned in Article 5, this Convention shall not apply if
the place of take-off and the place of actual landing of the aircraft on board
which the offence is committed are situated within the territory of the same
State where that State is one of those referred to in that Article.
- Notwithstanding paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Article, Articles 6, 7, 8, and
10 shall apply whatever the place of take-off or the place of actual landing
of the aircraft, if the offender or the alleged offender is found in the territory
of a State other than the State of registration of that aircraft.
- Each Contracting
State shall take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction
over the offence and any other act of violence against passengers or crew
committed by the alleged offender in connection with the offence, in the following
- when the offence is committed on board an aircraft registered in that
- when the aircraft on board which the offence is committed lands in its
territory with the alleged offender still on board;
- when the offence is committed on board an aircraft leased without crew
to a lessee who has his principal place of business or, if the lessee has
no such place of business, his permanent residence, in that State.
- Each Contracting State shall likewise take such measures as may be necessary
to establish its jurisdiction over the offence in the case where the alleged
offender is present in its territory and it does not extradite him pursuant
to Article 8 to any of the States mentioned in paragraph 1 of this Article.
- This Convention does not exclude any criminal jurisdiction exercised in
accordance with national law.
States which establish joint air transport operating organizations or international
operating agencies, which operate aircraft which are subject to joint or international
registration shall, by appropriate means, designate for each aircraft the State
among them which shall exercise the jurisdiction and have the attributes of
the State of registration for the purpose of this Convention and shall give
notice thereof to the International Civil Aviation Organization which shall
communicate the notice to all States Parties to this Convention.
- Upon being satisfied that the circumstances so warrant, any Contracting
State in the territory of which the offender or the alleged offender is present,
shall take him into custody or take other measures to ensure his presence.
The custody and other measures shall be as provided in the law of that State
but may only be continued for such time as is necessary to enable any criminal
or extradition proceedings to be instituted.
- Such State shall
immediately make a preliminary enquiry into the facts.
- Any person in custody pursuant to paragraph 1 of this Article shall be assisted
in communicating immediately with the nearest appropriate representative of
the State of which he is a national.
- When a State, pursuant to this Article, has taken a person into custody,
it shall immediately notify the State of registration of the aircraft, the
State mentioned in Article 4, paragraph 1(c), the State of nationality of
the detained person and, if it considers it advisable, any other interested
States of the fact that such person is in custody and of the circumstances
which warrant his detention. The State which makes the preliminary enquiry
contemplated in paragraph 2 of this Article shall promptly report its findings
to the said States and shall indicate whether it intends to exercise jurisdiction.
State in the territory of which the alleged offender is found shall, if it does
not extradite him, be obliged, without exception whatsoever and whether or not
the offence was committed in its territory, to submit the case to its competent
authorities for the purpose of prosecution. Those authorities shall take their
decision in the same manner as in the case of any ordinary offence of a serious
nature under the law of that State.
- The offence shall be deemed to be included as an extraditable offence in
any extradition treaty existing between Contracting States. Contracting States
undertake to include the offence as an extraditable offence in every extradition
treaty to be concluded between them.
- If a Contracting State which makes extradition conditional on the existence
of a treaty receives a request for extradition from another Contracting State
with which it has no extradition treaty, it may at its option consider this
Convention as the legal basis for extradition in respect of the offence. Extradition
shall be subject to the other conditions provided by the law of the requested
- Contracting States which do not make extradition conditional on the existence
of a treaty shall recognize the offence as an extraditable offence between
themselves subject to the conditions provided by the law of the requested
- The offence shall be treated, for the purpose of extradition between Contracting
States, as if it had been committed not only in the place in which it occurred
but also in the territories of the States required to establish their jurisdiction
in accordance with Article 4, paragraph 1.
- When any of
the acts mentioned in Article 1(a) has occurred or is about to occur, Contracting
States shall take all appropriate measures to restore control of the aircraft
to its lawful commander or to preserve his control of the aircraft.
- In the cases contemplated by the preceding paragraph, any Contracting State
in which the aircraft or its passengers or crew are present shall facilitate
the continuation of the journey of the passengers and crew as soon as practicable,
and shall without delay return the aircraft and its cargo to the persons lawfully
entitled to possession.
- Contracting States shall afford one another the greatest measure of assistance
in connection with criminal proceedings brought in respect of the offence
and other acts mentioned in Article 4. The law of the State requested shall
apply in all cases.
- The provisions
of paragraph 1 of this Article shall not affect obligations under any other
treaty, bilateral or multilateral, which governs or will govern, in whole
or in part, mutual assistance in criminal matters.
State shall in accordance with its national law report to the Council of the
International Civil Aviation Organization as promptly as possible any relevant
information in its possession concerning:
- the circumstances
of the offence;
- the action
taken pursuant to Article 9;
- the measures
taken in relation to the offender or the alleged offender, and, in particular,
the results of any extradition proceedings or other legal proceedings.
- Any dispute
between two or more Contracting States concerning the interpretation or application
of this Convention which cannot be settled through negotiation, shall, at
the request of one of them, be submitted to arbitration. If within six months
from the date of the request for arbitration the Parties are unable to agree
on the organization of the arbitration, any one of those Parties may refer
the dispute to the International Court of Justice by request in conformity
with the Statute of the Court.
- Each State may at the time of signature or ratification of this Convention
or accession thereto, declare that it does not consider itself bound by the
preceding paragraph. The other Contracting States shall not be bound by the
preceding paragraph with respect to any Contracting State having made such
- Any Contracting State having made a reservation in accordance with the preceding
paragraph may at any time withdraw this reservation by notification to the
- This Convention
shall be open for signature at The Hague on 16 December 1970, by States participating
in the International Conference on Air Law held at The Hague from 1 to 16
December 1970 (hereinafter referred to as The Hague Conference). After 31
December 1970, the Convention shall be open to all States for signature in
Moscow, London and Washington. Any State which does not sign this Convention
before its entry into force in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Article
may accede to it at any time.
- This Convention shall be subject to ratification by the signatory States.
Instruments of ratification and instruments of accession shall be deposited
with the Governments of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America,
which are hereby designated the Depositary Governments.
- This Convention shall enter into force thirty days following the date of
the deposit of instruments of ratification by ten States signatory to this
Convention which participated in The Hague Conference.
- For other States, this Convention shall enter into force on the date of
entry into force of this Convention in accordance with paragraph 3 of this
Article, or thirty days following the date of deposit of their instruments
of ratification or accession, whichever is later.
- The Depositary Governments shall promptly inform all signatory and acceding
States of the date of each signature, the date of deposit of each instrument
of ratification or accession, the date of entry into force of this Convention,
and other notices.
- As soon as this Convention comes into force, it shall be registered by the
Depositary Governments pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter of the United
Nations and pursuant to Article 83 of the Convention on International Civil
Aviation (Chicago, 1944).
- Any Contracting
State may denounce this Convention by written notification to the Depositary
- Denunciation shall take effect six months following the date on which notification
is received by the Depositary Governments.
In Witness Whereof
the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, being duly authorised thereto by their Governments,
have signed this Convention.
Done at The Hague,
this sixteenth day of December, one thousand nine hundred and seventy, in three
originals, each being drawn up in four authentic texts in the English, French,
Russian and Spanish languages.
responds | video
project | documents