The focus of a significant case in international law, the Red Crusader was a Scottish trawler, which was arrested in May 1961 by the Danish frigate Niels Ebbesen, for having illegally fished within the boundaries of the fisheries around the Faeroe Islands (Danish: Færøerne), a Danish semi-autonomous province.
A small Danish crew was put aboard the Red Crusader to guide it to port in the Faeroe Islands, but the vessel nevertheless continued towards Aberdeen in Scotland, despite efforts on the part of the Danish frigate to prevent this. Among other things, the Danish frigate fired warning shots across the Red Crusader's bow.
To resolve the legal and political chaos caused by the affair, the governments of Great Britain and Denmark agreed to the appointment of a neutral commission at the Hague to uncover the details of the affair.
The commission filed its report in March 1962, and found no definitive proof that Red Crusader had been engaged in poaching, although it had been apprehended clearly within the borders of the fishing limit, with its trawl out. The commission also found that the Niels Ebbesen had exceeded the limits for the reasonable use of force as sanctioned by the principles of international law.
The British and Danish governments subsequently agreed to settle the affair by dropping any and all outstanding claims in the matter.
The affair of the Red Crusader is one of the only, if not the only case in international affairs where states have agreed to settle a matter by letting a neutral commission clarify the facts, thus providing an equitable basis for a settlement. In 1967, the U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution encouraging member states to make use of this method for resolving disputes, but despite the resolution, the method has remained otherwise unused to date.