Related on TestTube
How Does Extradition Work?
What Is Asylum and How Does It Work?
If you're a Mexican citizen and you travel abroad to Morocco and break the law during your visit, what happens? That's the type of hypothetical question explored here. It's practical information for anyone traveling around the world. It's also an interesting glimpse into how diplomacy operates both on a large and small scale.
In general, a person is beholden to the laws of the host country. A tourist from California with a state-issued medical cannabis card can get arrested for marijuana possession in a country with strict drug laws. In cases like this, the person will have to be held accountable for the laws of the place they are visiting, if local authorities move forward on pressing charges.
Sometimes, a country will extradite a citizen back home to face charges. For instance, the U.S. will do this for anyone who has committed or allegedly committed underage sex with a minor. It really depends on the severity of the crime. The big take-away here: do your research before you travel. We highlight some very serious crimes here, but it's also crucial to be aware of different cultural norms abroad, as those can often translate over to different laws than your home country.
What is Extraterritorial Jurisdiction? (cornelllawreview.org)
"Assertions of legal power beyond territorial borders present lawyers, courts, and scholars with analytical onions comprising layers of national and international legal issues; as each layer peels away, more issues are revealed."
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law (fas.org)
"Criminal law is usually territorial."
U.S. Is Now Pursuing Americans Who Commit Sex Crimes Overseas (nytimes.com)
"One suspect was a convicted pedophile from Baltimore accused of molesting boys in two Asian countries."
Drug Laws in Bali and the Rest of Indonesia (goseasia.about.com)
"The drug scene in Indonesia is something of a contradiction."