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Territorial Jurisdiction Over Cross-frontier Offences: Revisiting a Classic Problem of International Criminal Law

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The principle of territoriality is the cornerstone of the law of criminal jurisdication. The question arises, however, how the principle ought to be applied to cross-frontier offences which have connections to more than one territory. It is demonstrated that, from a study of six Western States, it transpires that the constituent elements approach (pursuant to which jurisdiction is found as soon as a constituent element of the crime has occurred on the territory) is the dominant approach, with the exception of England. As far as cross-frontier participation and inchoate offences are concerned, however, solutions diverge considerably among States.

Affiliations: 1: Lecturer in international law, Utrecht University, The Netherlands and Leuven University, Belgium


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