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If an incident occurs on board an aircraft in flight which could be considered as criminal in one country, what decides which country the incident falls under? For example, if a man was found to be in possession of "virtual" child pornography and not all of the countries involved consider that to be illegal, which country is the one who decides whether the person have broken the law or not?

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marked as duplicate by Danny Beckett, SSumner, voretaq7 Apr 9 at 15:51

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Your example is murkier than you realize since he likely was in possession on takeoff and would be in possession on landing. Instead try to use an example of a crime that he could commit during the flight, in a country's airspace, that doesn't necessarily also occur at both ends of the flight. –  Adam Davis Apr 9 at 14:08

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In my PPL class I was taught a simplified explanation:

If a baby was born (or a crime committed for that matter) on an aircraft, the official country in which it was born depends on wether the aircraft's doors are open or closed (within reasonable limits, so assuming they can't be open in flight).

If the doors are open, the country will be the country where the aircraft is currently located. If the doors are closed, it will be the country in which the aircraft is registered.

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Not to rain on your analogy, but heavily pregnant women are typically not allowed to fly on planes, for this exact reason :p –  Danny Beckett Apr 9 at 20:02
Which makes perfect sense ofcourse :) –  Jeroen Apr 10 at 8:18
This is fascinating -- I'd be interested in seeing a source for this statement. –  tgies Apr 10 at 16:12

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