- Project Runeberg -  A practical guide for Russian consular officers and all persons having relations with Russia /

(1916) Author: Alfons Heyking - Tema: Russia
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§ 260.
Case of the
Alci-biades " at


§ 262.

§ 263.
Case oi: the
Russian ship
" Anna " at

captains and their crews, unless the contrary is provided for by local
law, though he can do so even if contrary to local law, provided the
right is conceded to Consular Officers in virtue of special conventions
or treaties. If, however, the disorder is of a nature to interfere with
the public tranquillity, or if any person not a member of the crew
is implicated in it, the local authorities are entitled to interfere.
Offences and crimes committed under these circumstances are within
the jurisdiction of the local tribunals.1

This rule of the Consular Regulations has been more definitely
expressed in a decision given by the Penal Department of Cassation
of the Imperial Senate of the 2nd November 1872, No. 1,329, in the
case of the Greek subject, Svaelos, accused of having caused the
death of another Greek subject on board the Greek merchant vessel
" Alcibiades " while lying in the roads at Kertch. The Senate found
that according to Art. 170 of the Penal Code, any foreigner
committing a crime in Russia is subject to Russian law, whether the offence
be committed against a native or a subject of the State to which
the offender belongs. This principle, however, cannot be applied
in all strictness to offences committed on board of foreign ships by
and against persons belonging to the crews of such ships, as the relation
of the members of the crew of a ship tying in the territorial waters
of a State cannot be considered as identical with those of foreigners
residing in the territory of that State. Offences against discipline
or neglect of duty on the part of seamen are, therefore, in all cases,
to be settled on board the ship, and in accordance with the laws of
the State to which she belongs. Ordinary crimes, on the other hand,
if committed on board ship, can only be regarded as being exempt
from the jurisdiction of the local authorities, if there has been no
disturbance of the public peace, if the master or the sufferer does not
desire the protection or assistance of the authorities, or if the
Diplomatic or Consular Officer of the district proposes to send the culprit
for trial to his own country.

The same principle exists in France, where crimes and offences
committed by members of the crews of merchant vessels against
each other and which in no way concern any local subject, are not
within the competency of the local tribunals. On the other hand,
if local subjects are in any way concerned in the crime, or if the
safety or tranquillity of the port is thereby endangered, the local
police and judicial authorities are entitled to interfere, without any
reference to the nationality of the persons concerned.

In Great Britain all crimes against the Penal Laws committed
on board of foreign merchant vessels are subject to the local

This is not always taken into consideration by British
magistrates. On the 29th December 1903, the captain of the Russian
barque " Anna," then lying at South Shields, reported to the Russian
Consulate at Newcastle-upon-Tyne that he had, on the previous
night, been assaulted by three of his crew, who attacked him with
such violence that he became unconscious. He desired that the

§§ 260, 261,

262, 263.

1 Cons. Reg., Art. 104.

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