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78 Tex. L. Rev. 1323 (1999-2000)
Hiding in the Hulls: Attacking the Practice of High Seas Murder of Stowaways through Expanded Criminal Jurisdiction

handle is hein.journals/tlr78 and id is 1339 raw text is: Hiding in the Hulls: Attacking the Practice of High
Seas Murder of Stowaways Through Expanded
Criminal Jurisdictiont
I.   Introduction
The increased transnational commerce and mobility of recent years
have introduced new challenges-both practical and legal-to the shipping
industry. Although international organizations, corporations, and govern-
ments have attempted to solve many of these problems through con-
ventions, internal regulation of corporate behavior, and bilateral or
multilateral governmental agreements, many of the most crucial areas are
left untouched. Like the sea itself, vast amounts of territory remain
uncharted and unreachable. High seas criminal activity, and in particular
the mistreatment and killing of stowaways, figures within this area.
The most egregious illustration of the law's inability to effectively
combat high seas crime, perhaps, is an incident that resulted in the deaths
of four Romanian stowaways.' In March 1996, several Filipino crew
members on the Maersk Dubai witnessed the murder of two stowaways.2
Two months later, the crew saw the violence repeated, at a level more
brutal than the first.3 Anxious to stop the killings and return to the
predictable life aboard a cargo ship, four witnesses denounced the murders
and presented enough evidence to Canadian officials to detain seven of the
ship's officers allegedly responsible for the violence.4
Despite Canada's advantageous position to swiftly render justice-
having custody of the suspects, access to witnesses and evidence, and a
strong, independent judiciary-the fact that the crime scene was miles off
shore frustrated the possibility of trial in Canadian court.5 Pursuant to the
t My sincere gratitude to Professor Sarah Cleveland for her guidance and encouragement in
preparing this Note.
1. The details of the incident were reported in an incredibly moving article: Scott L. Malcomson,
The Unquiet Ship, NEw YORKER, Jan. 20, 1997, at 72; see also Ron Nissimov, Stowaways: Filipino
Seamen Allege Horrific Crimes Aboard Ship, HOUSTON CHRON., Feb. 2, 1997, at A33, available in
1997 WI 6538163.
2. See Nissimov, supra note 1.
3. See id.
4. See id.
5. See infra notes 15-16 and accompanying text.

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