United States v. Yunis 924 F.2d 1086 (1991)

United States v. Yunis  924 F.2d 1086 (1991)

Principle: Passive nationality principle; a state may assume extra-territorial jurisdiction over aliens if that person cause suffering, injury or a civil damage is its national.

Fact: Mr. Yunis, a citizen of Lebanon, hijacked a plane of Jordan; in that plane few passengers were American citizen. USA arrested Mr. Yunis when he went to USA and started a case for that hijacking that plane. Though other countries claimed Mr Yunis to convict under their jurisdiction but USA refused showing the Passive Nationality Principle. They said, as there were few American citizens in the plane and as they had been traumatized due to the hijack and therefore affected by Mr. Yunis.

Issue: Whether USA had the jurisdiction to try the case?

Decision: The court held Mr. Yunis Responsible and also concluded that the assertion of such jurisdiction is fully consistent with norms of customary international law.

Reasoning:  USA adopted and applied the Passive Nationality Principle, as there were few American citizens in the plane they have been traumatized and therefore affected by Mr. Yunis.

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Rayhanul Islam

Advocate Rayhanul Islam is the founder and Editor in Chief of Law Help BD. He is also a researcher. Critical thinking is his main focus. He is on a quest to bring positive change to the legal sector of Bangladesh. He promotes legal knowledge and human rights concept to the root level. e-mail: rayhan@lawhelpbd.com

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