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Toward a Theory of Extraterritoriality

In this Response to Jeffrey Meyer’s Dual Illegality and Geoambiguous Law: A New Rule for Extraterritorial Application of U.S. Law, Professor Gibney commends Professor Meyer’s efforts to theorize a comprehensive framework for understanding the extraterritorial scope and limits of United States law.  Professor Meyer’s proposal would give a territorial reading to U.S. law unless (1) Congress expressly calls for an extraterritorial application or (2) there is a jurisdictional link to the United States and what is being regulated under U.S. law is also regulated by the law of another state.  Professor Gibney argues, however, that the scope of U.S. law should be defined in terms of America’s obligations under international law.