Prosecutions of extraterritorial criminal conduct and the abuse of rights doctrine
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Under international law, states can in certain circumstances institute domestic prosecutions over conduct occurring extraterritorially. Such exercises of extraterritorial jurisdiction sit at the crossroads of domestic and international law and can be highly controversial. This paper considers whether the abuse of rights doctrine is useful in regulating assertions of extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction. Part I introduces the principles of extraterritorial jurisdiction under international law. Part II provides examples of some of the problems that can arise in domestic prosecutions of extraterritorial criminal conduct, compromising the ability of an individual to enjoy a fair trial. Part III considers the effectiveness of the abuse of rights doctrine in providing a paradigm through which to conceptualise these problems and help protect fair trial rights.
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