Chung Chi Cheung v The King: PC 2 Dec 1938

Hong Kong.
Held: The applicant could not invoke any right under the rule of international law which placed upon a state a duty to receive its own national, because that rule was inconsistent with the domestic law. In modern times the idea of even a Government ship being a ‘floating island,’ belonging to and retaining the law of the country of its flag, has been abandoned.
Lord Atkin said: ‘ [S]o far, at any rate, as the Courts of this country are concerned, international law has no validity save in so far as its principles are accepted and adopted by our own domestic law. There is no external power that imposes its rules upon our own code of substantive law or procedure. The Courts acknowledge the existence of a body of rules which nations accept amongst themselves. On any judicial issue they seek to ascertain what the relevant rule is, and, having found it, they will treat it as incorporated into the domestic law, so far as it is not inconsistent with rules enacted by statutes or finally declared by their tribunals. . . ‘


Lord Atkin


[1939] AC 160, [1938] UKPC 75




Immigration Act 1971

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Jones (Margaret), Regina v Milling and others HL 29-Mar-2006
Domestic Offence requires Domestic Defence
Each defendant sought to raise by way of defence of their otherwise criminal actions, the fact that they were attempting to prevent the commission by the government of the crime of waging an aggressive war in Iraq, and that their acts were . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Immigration, Commonwealth, International

Updated: 05 July 2022; Ref: scu.239960