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Title: Conflict of Criminal Laws
Authors: Stimson, Edward S
Keywords: Conflict;Law;Criminal
Issue Date: 1936
Publisher: Washington University
Abstract: This is the fourth of a series of books and articles on the Conflict of Laws. It has been preceded by a book, "Jurisdiction and Power of Taxation," and two articles, "Jurisdiction Over Foreign Corporations" and "Conflict of Workmen's Compensation Laws." In "Conflict of Criminal Laws" my purpose has been to make a thorough analysis of the problem of jurisdiction over crime with a view to ascertaining and recommending general principles to be applied in solving the problem, to accurately state the law, and to collect and cite all of the Anglo-American authorities it was possible to find. The central problem dealt with is the problem of what law should be applied to determine the legal effect of a person's conduct when he does an act in one state which produces harmful effects in another. There is a conflict in the authorities upon this question, some courts applying the law of the state in which the accused was at the time of the conduct the legal effect of which is in question, and others the law of the place where an effect was produced. Results reached by the courts vary from crime to crime. The general problem is first considered, the reasons offered by the courts in support of the opposing views are analyzed, and the conclusion is reached that the sound view is that the law which governs is the law of the state in which the accused was at the time of the conduct, the legal effect of which is in question. This is also the weight of authority, although the decisions are fairly evenly divided between the two views. There follows a detailed consideration of fourteen different crimes. Special problems arise in connection with each crime because of the different elements of which each is composed, and varying results have been reached by the courts due to historical development and the differing views held by judges. The method of treating each crime is as follows: 1. A clear statement of the problem to be solved. 2. An accurate statement of the state of the law. 3. The historical development of the rules where that is necessary to an understanding of them. 4. A criticism of the rules in the light of general principles derived from a consideration of the problem as a whole. In addition to the central problem other problems necessary to make the book a complete treatment of the Conflict of Laws relating to crime are dealt with. These include the applicability of laws to citizens while they are abroad, the extent to which the principle that courts will not try persons accused of violating foreign law is applicable, problems related to extradition, such as the rights of persons illegally removed from one state or country to another and the right to try persons for crimes other than those for which they were extradited, and forfeitures or criminal proceedings in rem. Incidentally, it was necessary to consider related problems of venue, since venue cases are frequently relied upon by the courts as "authority" in dealing with similar problems of jurisdiction.
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