Hague Hijacking Convention



Hague Hijacking Convention

  • The Hague Hijacking Convention (formally the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft) is a multilateral treaty by which states agree to prohibit and punish aircraft hijacking.
  • The convention does not apply to customs, law enforcement or military aircraft, thus it applies exclusively to civilian aircraft.
  • The convention only addresses situations in which an aircraft takes off or lands in a place different from its country of registration.


Beijing Convention

  • It is a 2010 treaty by which state parties agree to criminalize certain terrorist actions against civil aviation.
  • Parties that ratify the Convention agree to criminalize using civil aircraft as a weapon and using dangerous materials to attack aircraft or other targets on the ground.
  • The illegal transport of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons is also criminalized under the Convention.



  • From a punishment perspective, the act prescribes the death penalty where the offence results in the death of a hostage or security personnel, and life imprisonment in all other cases, there is no chance of remission.
  • It also provides for capital punishment against conspirators and abductors of any of the acts of hijacking
  • For the first time, the act provides for the confiscation of moveable and immoveable property of a person convicted under its purview.
  • Another notable inclusion relates to a designated court to provide a speedy trial for offences relating to hijacking.



  • The term ‘aircraft’ is identified as any aircraft, whether or not it is registered in India. But it excludes an aircraft that is used in customs or police service, which should have been included.
  • It would have helped if there was also a provision to cover ‘hoax calls’ with proportionate punishment. Hoax calls create panic, resulting in serious complications for passengers. They also cause a nightmare for security agencies who end up wasting resources and time to verify the authenticity of the call.
  • The act also does not protect ground staff and security personnel at the airport. In its current form, the act defines the punishment for acts of violence connected with hijacking and covers only violence against passengers or airline crew.

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