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Sketching the Margins of a Borderless World: Examining the Relevance of Territoriality for Internet Jurisdiction

Chia Chen Wei

(2018) 30 SAcLJ 833

The concept of jurisdiction in international law has served as a divisive and contentious subject among academics and practitioners alike. With the advent of the Internet, which serves as a revolutionary, borderless medium of communication, the controversies in this field have further increased. The lack of international consensus in the area of Internet jurisdiction is acutely demonstrated by the varying practices of municipal courts in addressing the offences of hate speech and criminal defamation. This paper will examine the applicability of traditional bases of jurisdiction to cyberspace, focusing particularly on the territorial principle. It will also recommend a refinement to the territorial principle in order to alleviate the jurisdictional problems posed by the unique nature of cyberspace.