Ruling Pertaining to the Difference Between France and
New Zealand Arising from the Rainbow Warrior Affair
26 I.L.M. 1349 (1987)
- Greenpeace (an environmental
group) had a ship in a harbor in New Zealand. They were headed to protest
French nuclear testing in the South Pacific.
- French secret agents put a
bomb on the ship, sinking it and killing a crewmember.
- New Zealand arrested two
- France claimed that the
agents were working for the government, so they shouldn't be held
- Under French law, criminal
acts committed pursuant to official orders are not illegal.
- New Zealand said that
international law doesn't excuse criminal acts on the grounds they were committed
pursuant to official orders.
- New Zealand tried and
convicted the agents and sentenced them to jail in New Zealand.
- France wanted them to serve
their sentences in France.
- France attempted to pressure
New Zealand by restricting imports of New Zealand goods.
- France and New Zealand agreed
to Third Party dispute settlement through the Secretary General of the UN.
- The UNSG found:
- France should give an
- France should pay
- France should remove trade
- The two French agents should
be allowed to serve their sentences in France.