Extraterritorial Injunctions Affecting the Internet
(2018) 12(1) Journal of Equity 34
24 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 13, 2018
Digital globalisation will see an increase in the number of cases concerning claims for extraterritorial injunctions as plaintiffs seek to have content removed from the internet. This article considers the scope of courts’ jurisdiction to issue such injunctions. It is shown that courts have broad powers to issue injunctions in respect of persons and subject matter located beyond their territorial jurisdiction. Just because courts possess these powers does not mean that they should exercise them. But principles of forum non conveniens, which depend on connections to territory, may be ill-equipped for omnipresent online content. It is argued that, when faced with claims to remove content from the internet, courts should exercise self-restraint in accordance with the technique of equity. Extraterritorial injunctions are an exorbitant exercise of jurisdiction. They ought to be issued infrequently and as a last resort.
Keywords: injunction, equity, extraterritorial, internet, jurisdiction, service, remedy, choice of law, conflict of laws, private international law, breach of confidence, defamation
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