Extraterritorial Criminal Jurisdiction: Replacing 'Objective Territoriality' with 'Defensive Territoriality'

Studies in Law, Politics & Society, Vol. 28

Posted: 21 Jan 2003

See all articles by Ellen S. Podgor

Ellen S. Podgor

Stetson University College of Law


The "objective territorial principle" is a common jurisdiction base used in the United States for the prosecution of extraterritorial crimes. With increased globalization, it becomes easier for a prosecutor to demonstrate that conduct occurring outside the United States is having a substantial effect in this country. Although "objective territoriality" expands the limits of extraterritorial jurisdiction, it sometimes fails to offer jurisdiction for conduct directly targeting the United States government. This article suggests that "objective territoriality" needs to be reconfigured to provide more respect for the laws of other countries. Likewise, in keeping with the decision of United States v. Bowman, it is important to provide extraterritorial jurisdiction when necessary to protect government processes of the United States. This article offers the concept of "defensive territoriality" as an alternative to "objective territoriality." It distinguishes this new concept from the "protective principle" and presents contextual application of how this new principle might operate in determining issues of extraterritoriality.

Note: This is a description of the paper and not the actual abstract.

Keywords: International, Criminal, Exterritoriality, Jurisdiction

JEL Classification: K14, K33, K42

Suggested Citation

Podgor, Ellen S., Extraterritorial Criminal Jurisdiction: Replacing 'Objective Territoriality' with 'Defensive Territoriality'. Studies in Law, Politics & Society, Vol. 28. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=365520

Ellen S. Podgor (Contact Author)

Stetson University College of Law ( email )

1401 61st Street South
Gulfport, FL 33707
United States
727 562 7348 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.stetson.edu/tmpl/faculty/memberProfile.aspx?id=88

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