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  • International law
  • Law (general)
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English
  • territorial principle term
Definition Gives legal authority for a State to exercise jurisdiction in a case, due to location of the crime.
Remark
This principle also bars states from exercising jurisdiction beyond its borders, though with some possible exceptions including the principle of nationality, passive personality principle, the protective principle, and possibly the universal jurisdiction in extreme cases of human rights violations.

As opposed to the personality principle which is: The basis on which it is stated that Law is Law according to legal rules from where one comes from. (Laws practiced according to tribe of origin.)

The S.S. Lotus case was a key court ruling on the territoriality principle. In 1926, a French vessel collided with a Turkish vessel, causing the death of several Turkish nationals. The Permanent Court of International Justice ruled that Turkey had jurisdiction to try the French naval lieutenant for criminal negligence, even though the incident happened beyond Turkey's boundaries. This case extended the territoriality principle to cover cases that happen outside a state's boundaries, but have a substantial effect on the state's interests or involve its citizens.

From the Lotus case:

"[A]ll that can be required of a State is that it should not overstep the limits which international law places upon its jurisdiction. The territoriality of criminal law, therefore, is not an absolute principle of international law and by no means coincides with territorial sovereignty".

With increased globalization and the expansion of the Internet, questions have arisen regarding the application of the territoriality principle. Its applicability was also in question in the case against Augusto Pinochet.

Variant: territoriality principle

Related phrase: territoriality of criminal law

Related terms: objective territoriality; subjective territoriality

Background: Some States adopt the so-called objective territorial principle of jurisdiction, others the so-called subjective territorial principle. The former asserts the jurisdiction of the State in respect of offences commenced outside the territory of the State but consummated within the territory; the latter asserts the jurisdiction of the State in respect of offences commenced inside the territory of the State but consummated outside the territory.
Sources:
  1. E(TEXT of Lotus Case):http://www.worldcourts.com/pcij/eng/decisions/1927.09.07_lotus/;
  2. E:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territoriality_principle (consulted Aug 2009);

French
  • territorialité du droit pénal term
    Source: F(def): Dictionnaire de la terminologie du droit international, 1960;
Definition "Territorialité" est un terme servant à exprimer la référence faite à un certain espace, d'ordinaire au territoire d'un État, pour déterminer le cadre d'application d'une règle de droit, par exemple: territorialité des coutumes, des lois en général ou de certaines lois (lois pénales, lois sur le régime foncier)

Spanish
Definition Según el principio de territorialidad penal, la ley penal de cada Estado se aplica a los delitos cometidos dentro de su territorio, cualquiera que sea la nacionalidad del delincuente y de la víctima.

Russian
  • территориальность уголовного права term

Chinese
  • 属地原则 term
  • 领土原则 term

Arabic
  • مبدأ الاختصاص الإقليمي term
    Source: A: Faruqi's Law Dictionary;
Remark
تمارسه الحكومة أو إحدى مصالحها المختصة على الإقليم التابع لها والأشخاص المقيمين فيه والمسائل الناشئة ضمن حدوده.
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