A new jurisprudential framework for jurisdiction: Beyond the Harvard Draft

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Eighty years ago, in 1935, a major step was taken in international law; the Harvard Research Draft Convention on Jurisdiction with Respect to Crime (“Harvard Draft”) was published in the American Journal of International Law. The influence of the Harvard Draft has been nothing but phenomenal and must surely have exceeded the drafters’ wildest ambitions. Indeed, it is fair to say that the structure put forward in the Harvard Draft has represented public international law’s approach to jurisdiction ever since.

The most obvious reason the Harvard Draft has had such an enormous influence is of course found in the fact that it represents a sterling research effort performed by top scholars, resulting in a convenient summary of a complex topic, published in a prestigious outlet at the right moment in time. However, the Harvard Draft principles are ill-equipped for today’s modern society characterised by constant, fluid and substantive cross-border interaction, particularly via the Internet. Here, I will thus argue that a paradigm shift is overdue and I will provide a sketch of what a new paradigm may look like.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalAJIL Unbound
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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