Samuel S. Lewis

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Drug smuggling into the United States has grown to epidemic proportions during the last decade. The primary avenue for drug shipment is the high seas. To preserve comity among nations, U.S. courts seek to abide by principles of international law to obtain jurisdiction over acts of trafficking committed aboard U.S., stateless, and foreign vessels on the open seas. In the past, courts generally were able to establish adequate jurisdictional grounds based on these principles. Nevertheless, stringent substantive laws that required proof of a nexus between the narcotics aboard the vessels and the United States hampered the control of illegal drug importation.

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