AIR AGE: All Power to the Pilot

One of the trickiest and most disputed questions in the nebulous world of international law is legal jurisdiction in the air. If a Swiss citizen slips arsenic into his wife's martini on a British airliner flying from Frankfurt to Paris, which country should prosecute—Great Britain because the plane is British, France because the plane landed there after the crime, Switzerland since Swiss citizens were involved, or Germany in whose airspace the crime was committed?

In the age of jets, the answer is still unclear and the problem increasingly acute. To date, in the absence of international agreement, offenders have been...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!