Jurisdiction in International Law (Oxford Monographs in International Law)

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9780199544714: Jurisdiction in International Law (Oxford Monographs in International Law)

This book examines the international law of jurisdiction, focusing on the areas of law where jurisdiction is most contentious: criminal, antitrust, securities, discovery, and international humanitarian and human rights law. Since F.A. Mann's work in the 1980s, no analytical overview has been attempted of this crucial topic in international law: prescribing the admissible geographical reach of a State's laws.

The need for such an overview has grown more pressing in recent years as the traditional framework of the law of jurisdiction, grounded in the principles of sovereignty and territoriality, has been undermined by piecemeal developments. Antitrust jurisdiction is heading in new directions, influenced by law and economics approaches; new EC rules are reshaping jurisdiction in securities law; the U.S. is arguably overreaching in the field of corporate governance law; and the universality principle has gained ground in European criminal law and U.S. tort law.

Such developments have given rise to conflicts over competency that struggle to be resolved within traditional jurisdiction theory. This study proposes an innovative approach that departs from the classical solutions and advocates a general principle of international subsidiary jurisdiction. Under the new proposed rule, States would be entitled, and at times even obliged, to exercise subsidiary jurisdiction over internationally relevant situations in the interest of the international community if the State having primary jurisdiction fails to assume its responsibility. This book examines the international law of jurisdiction in the fields where it has been most contentious, including criminal, antitrust, and human rights law. It analyzes how traditional principles of sovereignty and territoriality have been undermined, and presents a new theory of international jurisdiction based on the concept of subsidiarity.

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About the Author:

Cedric Ryngaert is a Lecturer in international law at the Universities of Utrecht and Leuven, he co-ordinates the Belgian case reports for OUP's International Law in Domestic Courts service.


This ambitious book, based on Cedric Ryngaert's PhD at Leuven University, does not disappoint. Its aim is nothing less than a comprehensive analysis of the admissible geographical reach of State legislative power...this remarkably concise volume is a gem bound to become a reference on prescriptive jurisdiction in International law Michael Waibel, ICLQ, Vol 58 ...a welcome and timely piece of scholarship, especially as a comprehensive examination of State jurisdiction appears to have been previously attempted over two decades ago...The book at hand doubtlessly succeeds in challenging the reader's views about the way in which international law deals with the exercise of state jurisdiction. Ryngaert's plan for revision is ambitious and thought-provoking, though not without difficulties Rain Liivoja, Finnish Yearbook of International Law

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