DEFINITION OF HIJACKING : “Hijacking” is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group.
ARTICLE 1 OF HAGUE CONVENTION DEFINES OFFENCE OF “HIJACKING” AS FOLLOWS: Any person who on board an aircraft in flight: (a) unlawfully, by force or threat thereof, or by any other form of intimidation, seizes, or exercises control of, that aircraft, or attempts to perform any such act, or (b) is an accomplice of a person who performs or attempts to perform any such act commits an offence.
MAIN PROVISIONS OF HAGUE CONVENTION 1970: At least six principal features of the Hague Convention 1970 (which it also shares with the Montreal Convention) may be highlighted.
· First, it defines the offence of hijacking and stipulates that an attempt to commit that offence or to aid and abet its commission also amounts to hijacking.
· Second, the Convention, like other anti-terrorism conventions, recognises, explicitly or by necessary implications, the jurisdictional claims of at least seven categories of states.
· Third, It establishes a general obligation on any party state in whose territory the offender is found either to take measures to prosecute him or to extradite him.
· Fourth, all states party to the Convention have an obligation to render the prosecuting state ``the greatest measure of assistance in connection with criminal proceedings'' including, evidently, handing over of any evidence or other information in its possession.
· Fifth, the Convention also imposes on a party state a number of important procedural obligations such as the duty to take the alleged offender into custody or to ensure his presence within its territory, the duty to hold an immediate preliminary inquiry into the facts of the offence etc..
· Sixth, the Convention recognises the supervisory role of the Council of the ICAO
· Finally, the Convention also provides for an optional dispute settlement mechanism of arbitration or access to the ICJ.
CRITICISM ON HAGUE CONVENTION : Protection only to an aircraft in flight ; no relief for the damage caused to passengers and goods ; failed to recognise hijacking as an international crime.