Two Aspects of the Territorial Principle

The territorial principle has two aspects

Subjective aspect

Objective aspect

Under the subjective aspect of territorial jurisdiction a sovereign is recognized as having the power to adopt criminal laws that apply to crimes that are physically committed within his territorial borders. So, for example, the United Kingdom can adopt a statute that makes it a crime for anyone to commit an act of murder within its borders and the subjective aspect of the territorial principle would recognize the power of the United Kingdom to enact such a statue.

Under the objective aspect of territorial jurisdiction a sovereign is recognized as having the power to adopt a criminal law that applies to crimes that take effect within its borders even if the perpetrator performs the act outside of its borders. The Internet and the wave of cybercrime which the Internet has fostered have made the objective aspect of the territorial principle increasingly important.

United States v. Ivanov, 175 F. Supp.2d 367 (D. Conn. 2001)

1. What did the court say about the jurisdiction of the United States to prosecute Ivanov if the criminal statute that he is charged with violating is construed as not having an extra-territorial effect?

2. On what facts did the court rely to determine that the United States had jurisdiction to prosecute Ivanov if the statutes under which he was prosecuted do not have an extra-territorial effect?

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Crim Juris 16