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To cope more effectively with the changed landscape of child exploitation, it is necessary for laws to expand their extraterritorial reach. Some statutes in the “child exploitation arena” have already been ruled to apply extraterritorially. The prime example of this is 18 U.S.C. § 2252 (2004) (certain activities relating to the material involving the sexual exploitation of minors). Two of the more useful statutes in combating online pedophiles are 18 U.S.C. § 1470 (2003) (transfer of obscene materials to minors) and 18 U.S.C. § 2422 (2003) (coercion and enticement). These latter statutes, however, have yet to receive significant or wide-spread recognition as having extraterritorial application.

The internet has dispensed with territorial limitations for sexual predators. This article addresses issues relating to the international law of extraterritorial jurisdiction as well as domestic law as it relates to extraterritorial jurisdiction. We will discuss traditional international law of jurisdiction and apply the various jurisdictional theories to a series of hypothetical situations and cases that have occurred or may occur in the international arena. We will analyze which of the traditional bases of jurisdiction is more appropriate in each circumstance. We will also discuss whether new theories of jurisdiction or combinations of traditional bases are appropriate and sufficient to address the problem.

Publication Citation

50 Wayne L. Rev. 109 (2004).