If a Frenchman was to commit a French crime while visiting Australia, where that action is not a crime, can France prosecute them for that action?

1 Answer 1


That depends on the details of the French law involved. If the French law says that it applies outside of French jurisdiction, that it may.

There are, I know, US laws that specifically apply tom actions by US people that occur outside the US. For example the The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) at 15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1, et seq. makes it a crime to pay bribes and make improper payments outside the US. The US does prosecute its citizens on charges of violating the FCPA. There could be a similar law in France.

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    French law always applies to French citizens. France claims extraterritoriality for everything. They could prosecute you for littering in Australia if they like.
    – Dale M
    Aug 12, 2021 at 22:19
  • @DaleM Last I checked, France only claims extraterritoriality for misdemeanor-equivalents if they're also a crime in the local country.
    – cpast
    Aug 12, 2021 at 23:04
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    Germany will prosecute sexual abuse of children committed by Germans anywhere in the world, whether it’s legal or illegal in that country. (Also when committed by anyone in Germany obviously). Every country is free to decide what laws they have.
    – gnasher729
    Aug 13, 2021 at 23:19
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    France can prosecute them if French law says they can, and if they can get hold of the person. Australia wouldn’t extradite them if it wasn’t a crime in Australia.
    – gnasher729
    Aug 13, 2021 at 23:22

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