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Jurisdictional Countermeasures Versus Extraterritoriality in International Law

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Sovereignty is the reason why States seek to apply their jurisdictions. All States like to extend their jurisdictions as far as they can, so some of them have adopted extraterritorial policies in exercising their jurisdictions. In this manner the United States has approved several extraterritorial Laws in respect of competition law and sanctions, causing some coercion to non-target states. In response to this long-arm jurisdiction by the U.S., some countries, such as the U.K., Canada, Australia, Mexico etc., as well as the E.U., took actions of their own in order to nullify these extraterritorial laws. These measures, which are mostly applied to the jurisdictional field, could be described as jurisdictional countermeasures. They can be divided into prescriptive, adjudicative and executive measures, which include blocking statutes, claw-back statutes, non-recognition, procedural restrictions, non-execution and retaliatory measures. Not all of these measures are prohibited by international law and some can be viewed as a just retorsion against that State. However, where the application of these measures is prohibited by international law – in cases such as the non-recognition of foreign judgments and other jurisdictional regulations in international treaties like mutual judicial assistance agreements – they are countermeasures. If these actions are in response to an illegal extraterritorial law, they should comply with the conditions for countermeasures as cited in the Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts 2001 as approved by the International Law Commission.

About the Author

Seyed Yaser Ziaee
University of Qom
Iran, Islamic Republic of

Assistant Professor of the International Law Group;

Faculty of Law, University of Qom, Qom, 3716146611, Iran


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For citation:

Yaser Ziaee S. Jurisdictional Countermeasures Versus Extraterritoriality in International Law. Russian Law Journal. 2016;4(4):27-45.

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ISSN 2309-8678 (Print)
ISSN 2312-3605 (Online)