May 08, 2019

Jurisdiction of International Laws

[ By Titus Manickam Rock ]


Internationals laws and jurisdictions are complex issues since a law in one country may or may not be the same in another country. For instance, internet issues. The internet has made the every nation in the world akin to villages in one region. The internet has gate-crashed boundaries and made contents available to every Tom, Dick and Harry across the world. So how does one handle any issue. As an issue may legally mean one thing in one country but vary in another.

For instance, take the case of defamation. Under existing laws in England and Wales, defamatory statements are presumed to be false. It means the defendant who made the statement must prove that it is true. This position is exactly the opposite in the United States where the plaintiff must prove that the statement is false.

On issues concerning hate speech, Austria, France and Germany have laws prohibiting Nazi propaganda and display of Nazi symbols while laws in several other countries ban speech denying the Holocaust and other historical genocides. Many nations also have laws criminalizing speech that incites hatred on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity and national origin. There have been number of cases where nations have sought to use these laws to extradite their citizens living overseas to face criminal charges in the home countries.

The United States is particular about personal laws where intrusion into the privacies of one person could be held accountable and punitive sentences awarded if proved offensive. In 2004, a British newspaper was found to have violated the privacy rights of model Naomi Campbell by publishing a photograph of her leaving a drug treatment clinic.

Posting something online may be found offensive in another country and there may be trouble for the offender. If someone posts something online with an element of offense and it is found in another country with laws existing against such posts the person or institute having made the post online could become liable to be sued in a different country who can claim jurisdiction as the content was found even in this country and the responsible party can be hauled up into the jails of the country although he may not be a citizen here.

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