Where America Ends and the International Order Begins: Interpreting the Jurisdictional Reach of the U.S. Constitution in Light of a Proposed Hague Convention on Jurisdiction and Satisfaction of Judgments
31 Pages Posted: 27 May 2008
Date Written: October 1, 1998
The recently concluded Hague Convention on Choice of Courts Agreements is the culmination of over a decade of negotiations. While the convention is very modest in what it attempts to accomplish, many observers see it as a first step toward achieving greater global uniformity of rules regarding jurisdiction and satisfactions of judgments. To the extent the United States Constitution governs the international ambit of United States jurisdiction in international cases, there is the potential for conflict between the Constitution and international treaty rules. A treaty found to be in conflict with the Constitution would likely be held invalid - at least in part - by United States courts. This could both damage U.S. relations with its treaty making partners and undermine attempts to promote a coordinated and coherent international jurisdictional system. Both results would be particularly unfortunate at a time when the legal demands of the global economy have amplified the advantages of developing and maintaining a well-coordinated international jurisdictional system. This article makes the theoretical case that an interpretation of the US Constitution as governing the international ambit of United States jurisdiction in international cases is not consistent with a teleological interpretation of the Constitution.
Keywords: international law, jurisdiction, choice of courts, treaties, constitution, hague convention on choice of courts agreements
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation