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date: 13 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the role of jurisdiction in international law. Jurisdiction becomes an issue in international law once a state adopts laws that govern matters which are not purely of domestic concern. In this case, the extension of jurisdiction to regulate the activities of a state’s nationals abroad under the so-called active personality principle draws on the conception of a state as more than just territory, namely as a group of persons, wherever located, who are subject to a common authority that accompanies nationality. This type of jurisdiction is exercised to protect a state’s reputation from being tarnished by the conduct of its nationals abroad. Meanwhile, the question of nationality is determined by domestic law, although international law ascertains whether such a claim of nationality by one state must be accepted by another on the basis of the ‘genuine link’ test.

Keywords: international courts and tribunals, jurisdiction, statehood, jurisdiction of states, organs of states, relationship between international and domestic law, nationality of individuals

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