Convention for the
Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft [Hijacking Convention], 860 U.N.T.S.
105, entered into force Oct. 14, 1971.
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 aviation;
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 FOLLOWS:
Any person who on
board an aircraft in flight:
- unlawfully, 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, or
- 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 State;
- 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
The Contracting 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
- 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.
The Contracting 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
- 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 State.
- 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
- 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
- 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 a reservation.
- Any Contracting State having
made a reservation in accordance with the preceding paragraph may at any
time withdraw this reservation by notification to the Depositary Governments.
- 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
- 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,
- Any Contracting State may
denounce this Convention by written notification to the Depositary Governments.
- Denunciation shall take effect
six months following the date on which notification is received by the
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.