Cyberspace Jurisdiction in the U.S

The International Dimension of Due Process

hssph "at" yahoo "dot" com

This book (431 pages) (in pdf) is offered free by courtesy of the author and the Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law, University of Oslo. From the backside of the cover:

Jurisdiction is a central feature of state sovereignty, for it is an exercise of authority that may alter, create or terminate legal relationships and obligations. It follows from the nature of the sovereignty of states that it must not intervene in the domestic affairs of another nation.

This book deals with American law on the subject, and is encyclopedic in its proportion, and contains a wealth of concrete examples. It is the first part of a study planned to also include European law, but useful also for the European lawyer as the examples and discussions in US case law spring from a more developed market.

US courts have ten years of experience with interstate jurisdictional questions related to Cyberspace between the fairly independent fifty states. The issues will essentially be the same outside the US. Thus some of the experiences from the US should be useful also outside the US - though the arguments will have to be modified, especially in non-common law countries. Many aspects are brought out in this survey. Some of the more challenging questions arise in those cases where the courts have exercised jurisdiction based on Cyberspace facts alone and where one of the parties is an alien. In these relative rare cases, it seems to be a highly political view of the court that determines whether to exercise jurisdiction or not. As for the question of personal jurisdiction and Cyberspace, the lesson from the US should at least be that the final test for any court must be a determination of whether the exercise of jurisdiction is consistent with fair play and substantial justice.

A necessary tool to understand the decisions of US Cyberspace cases in relation to the jurisdictional question is to know how personal jurisdiction in United States generally is exercised. Chapter II give a broad overview on this topic.

Book review by professor Michael Bogdan in Nordic Journal of International Law, Vol. 71, No. 3, 2002 page 435-436

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The author welcomes information on cases on the topic of Cyberspace and jurisdiction from around the world (US: only unpublished cases) at e-mail: hssph "at" yahoo "dot" com. Furthermore, English (unauthorized) translations of rules on jurisdiction to adjudicate is welcome. Also, any comment on the book is welcome.

The book can also be ordered at Price 685 NOR (~ $ 77).

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March 25, 2008