Extraterritoriality

Extraterritoriality refers to the application of a nation’s law to persons, conduct, or property outside its own territory. Customary international law allows nations to regulate extraterritorially on a number of different bases, including effects, nationality, and universal jurisdiction. Nations generally limit the extraterritorial application of their laws to a greater extent than customary international law requires. For example, the United States applies a presumption against extraterritoriality to federal law and sometimes imposes additional limitations as a matter of prescriptive comity. Some U.S. states have their own presumptions against extraterritoriality, which may differ from the federal presumption.

A Primer on Extraterritoriality

Extraterritoriality refers to the application of a state’s law beyond the state’s borders. Although the word “extraterritorial” often has negative connotations, international law permits a great deal of extraterritorial regulation. In a world where trade, information, crime, and lots of other things regularly cross borders, states often have an interest in regulating beyond the strict…

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Recent Posts

District Court Interprets Geographic Scope of the Commodity Exchange Act

In a recent decision, CFTC v. WorldWideMarkets Ltd., the federal district court for the District of New Jersey (Judge Kevin McNulty) interpreted the geographic scope of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), holding that two of its provisions apply only when irrevocable liability for a transaction is incurred within the United States. The decision aligns the…

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Surveying Extraterritoriality

TLB advisor Hannah Buxbaum has posted to SSRN a  piece entitled “The Practice(s) of Extraterritoriality.” It is an introductory chapter from the book Extraterritoriality/L’extraterritorialité, edited by Buxbaum and Thibaut Fleury Graff, which grew out of the 2019 Centre for Studies and Research at the Hague Academy of International Law. Buxbaum’s chapter is a masterful survey of extraterritoriality…

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Throwback Thursday: Timberlane Lumber Co. v. Bank of America

Although the relevant text of the Sherman Act remained unchanged for most of the twentieth century, courts’ interpretations of its extraterritorial reach fluctuated dramatically. In 1909, the U.S. Supreme Court adopted a territorial approach in American Banana, described in a recent post, holding that the Sherman Act applied only to anticompetitive conduct in the United…

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