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International Law in the U.S. Legal System$
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Curtis A. Bradley

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190217761

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190217761.001.0001

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Extraterritorial Application of U.S. Law

Extraterritorial Application of U.S. Law

Chapter:
(p.169) 6 Extraterritorial Application of U.S. Law
Source:
International Law in the U.S. Legal System
Author(s):

Curtis A. Bradley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190217761.003.0006

This chapter considers the application of federal and state law to conduct that takes place outside the territory of the United States. It begins by discussing the territorial scope of U.S. constitutional rights. The chapter then discusses the “presumption against extraterritoriality” that the Supreme Court applies when interpreting federal statutes. For situations in which the presumption is overcome or is inapplicable, the chapter explains how customary international law principles relating to prescriptive jurisdiction can be relevant in U.S. litigation through application of the Charming Betsy canon of construction. In addition, the chapter discusses the role of “universal jurisdiction” in U.S. litigation and criminal prosecution. Possible constitutional limitations on the extraterritorial application of both federal statutes and state laws, based on due process and other considerations, are also considered.

Keywords:   territoriality, constitutional rights, habeas corpus, presumption against extraterritoriality, prescriptive jurisdiction, Charming Betsy canon, universal jurisdiction, due process

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