right of search

Definition of right of search

  1. 1 :  the right of a belligerent to stop a merchant vessel of a neutral state on the high seas and make such examination and search as may be reasonably necessary to determine whether it has become liable to capture by violation of the laws of war (as by carrying contraband goods)

  2. 2 :  a right similar to the wartime right of search that arises in time of peace under various circumstances (as for the purpose of enforcing revenue law or preventing piracy)

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