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Mortensen v. Peters
High Court of Justiciary (Scotland)
14 S.L.T. 227 (1906)
Mortensen (defendant), a Danish citizen living in England, was arrested for a violation of the Sea Fisheries Act and Herring Fisheries (Scotland) Act. The act prohibited otter trawling, a fishing method, in Moray Firth within a certain geographic area that extended more than three miles from the shoreline. Mortensen was found otter trawling more than three miles from the shoreline in an area within the area identified by the act. Peters (plaintiff), the local sheriff, found Mortensen guilty of violating the act and fined him £50. Mortensen appealed, arguing the act only applied to British citizens and foreign nationals within British territories. Mortensen further asserted that under international law, British territorial jurisdiction extended only three miles from land and that his otter trawling occurred outside of British waters. Peters argued that the statute applied to British citizens and foreign citizens in Moray Firth, which was within British territorial waters.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Dundedin, Lord Justice General)
Concurrence (Lord Salvesen)
Concurrence (Lord Kyllachy)
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