Extraterritoriality - Panama



Extraterritorial jurisdiction continues to exist in the Panama Canal Zone, where, on the basis of the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty of 1903, the United States exercises "all the rights, power and authority within the zone" that it "would possess if it were the sovereign of the territory … to the entire exclusion of the exercise by the [Panama] Republic of any such sovereign rights, power or authority." Although in 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson indicated a willingness to negotiate a new treaty, and a Joint Statement of Principles in 1974 affirmed this desire, it was not until 1978 that President James Earl Carter's administration was able to persuade the Senate to ratify treaties recognizing Panama's sovereignty and jurisdiction in the Canal Zone by the year 2000.



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