by William S. Dodge

On Friday, March 3, there was a workshop on territoriality at UCLA School of Law, organized by Professor Kal Raustiala. The workshop brought together law professors, political scientists, and others to discuss changing notions of territoriality. What became apparent to this participant is that territoriality is not, in the words of another participant, a “holistic concept.” Although territorial borders have been challenged by phenomena as varied as the extraterritorial application of statutes, the rise of universal jurisdiction, and the “dollarization” of less developed countries, those borders remain fundamentally important in areas such as immigration and enforcement jurisdiction. Moreover, in each area in which territoriality has declined, the reasons for decline have differed. The abandonment of national currencies has been driven by economic motivations and competitive forces, while the extraterritorial application of statutes has been driven more by changes in ideas, with the evolution of approaches to extraterritoriality paralleling changes in thinking about the conflict of laws.


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