EJILTalk! Symposium on ExtraTerritorial Jurisdiction

EJILTalk! is 'hosting' a Symposium on ExtraTerritorial Jurisdiction put together by Dapo Akande that is worth checking out: Here's the blurb from Dapo:


One of the topics that will be taught in
any basic course on public international law is “Jurisdiction”. By this
is meant the jurisdiction of States and as Rosalyn Higgins explains in
her book Problems and Process: International Law and How We Use It,
questions of State jurisdiction are questions relating to allocation of
competence. The question is which State has the competence to regulate
persons, property and events. Questions of jurisdiction will often
arise, in the first place, in the relations between States and private
persons, as those persons argue that this or that State ought not to
apply its law or its judicial powers to the activities of that person.
However, since jurisdiction is about the allocation of competence
between States, jurisdictional disputes often, and almost inevitably,
become inter-State disputes.

There were numerous inter-State disputes on jurisdiction from the 1970s till the end of the 20th
century about the United States’ application of the effects doctrine to
economic regulation (primarily competition or anti-trust law) and about
US extraterritorial application of its sanctions laws (eg sanctions on
the Soviet Union in the early 80s or on Cuba or Iran in the mid 90s).
There appeared to be a lull on those types of disputes and
accommodations seem to have been reached. However, the rise of
international criminal law at the end of that century and the increased
resort to universal jurisdiction has led to a different set of
inter-State disputes about extraterritorial State jurisdiction. In this
area, it is European States -the main complainants in disputes with the
US – that have most often been the object of complaints of overreaching.
Those complaints have been voiced (often very loudly) by African
States, by Israel, by Latin American States, and also by the US. Recent
developments suggest disputes over jurisdiction are not going away and
are as prevalent as ever. In some contexts it is thought that the
adoption of international law rules in an area of law would reduce the
disputes about jurisdiction (since harmonization of substantive law
means that whoever does regulate would apply the same rules anyway). But
the debates surrounding the application of universal jurisdiction for
international crimes shows that acceptance of common international law
rules on matters of substance does not necessarily mean that there won’t
be questions as to who gets to interpret, apply and enforce those

Next week, EJIL:Talk! will be hosting a
symposium highlighting recent developments with regard to
extraterritorial jurisdiction. Contributions to the symposium will focus
on recent cases in three different jurisdictions each of which raises
questions about the proper scope of extraterritorial jurisdiction.

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