As the title suggests if you are wanting to murder someone then do it on a cruise and you will probably get away with it!
As much as I love my husband of 22 years there have been times in our life when I have visualised pushing him in front of a bus or throwing a knife at him when he has annoyed me although he is still alive so I have obviously resisted!
I have often wondered when watching murder documentaries and wondered how people think they can get away with it or indeed how could you get away with it and have decided that the best place for murder is on a cruise ship and these are the reasons why:
It’s all to do with jurisdiction and many times people go without being prosecuted because of this.
The legal definition of jurisdiction is as below:
The geographic area over which authority extends; legal authority; the authority to hear and determine causes of action. Jurisdiction generally describes any authority over a certain area or certain persons. In the law, jurisdiction sometimes refers to a particular geographic area containing a defined legal authority.
When it comes to criminal conduct on a ship there are some basic principles that apply and legal jurisdiction on the sea follows these rules:
A country’s internal waters — areas like bays and ports — are a part of that country. So when a ship is docked at the Port of Miami, all U.S. (and Florida) laws apply to the ship, its passengers and its crew.
Almost all of a nation’s laws also apply in its territorial waters which extend up to 12 miles from its coastline (we’ll look at an exception on the next page). A ship departing from a U.S. port cannot open gambling activities until it’s 12 miles out, since gambling is illegal in most parts of the United States.
A nation has limited jurisdiction in its contiguous zone — the area 12 miles to 24 miles from its coast. A country has certain rights within that zone, such as patrolling its borders. For instance, within 24 miles of the U.S. coast, the U.S. Coast Guard is allowed to board any ship suspected of drug smuggling, regardless of which flag it’s flying under.
Once a ship is 24 miles from any coastline, it’s on the high seas (or international waters). With the exception of certain rights within the contiguous zone, the law of that ship is the law of the country whose flag it’s flying. So, a Liberia-registered cruise ship that’s 25 miles off the coast of California isn’t subject to U.S. law; it’s subject to Liberian law.
This is why most cruise lines register their ships with countries such as Panama, Bahamas and Liberia as the laws are more lax.
So in short if you want to murder someone then first make sure you sail on a ship registered in one of the three countries above and make sure you are at least 25 miles away from any land.