Aankondiging Seminar Jurisdictional Reasonabless

The project on ‘Unilateral Jurisdiction and Global Values’ (UNIJURIS), funded by the European Research Council and the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (PI: Prof. Cedric Ryngaert), organizes a half-day seminar on jurisdictional reasonableness on 30 October 2018, at Utrecht University, for which you are hereby kindly invited.



In 1987, the American Law Institute (ALI) adopted the Restatement (Third) of US Foreign Relations Law, Section 403(1) of which provided that ‘[e]ven when one of the bases for jurisdiction … is present, a state may not exercise jurisdiction to prescribe law with respect to a person or activity having connections with another state when the exercise of such jurisdiction is unreasonable.’ At the time, the ALI held that reasonableness ‘has emerged as a principle of international law’. In 2017, the ALI adopted (parts of) the Restatement (Fourth) of US Foreign Relations Law. Under the heading ‘reasonableness in interpretation’ (Section 204), the ALI stated that ‘[a]s a matter of prescriptive comity, U.S. courts may interpret federal statutory provisions to include other limitations on their applicability’. While acknowledging reasonableness as a rule of statutory construction, it conspicuously refrained from characterized it as a rule of international law. In Europe, courts do not normally apply reasonableness in jurisdictional disputes. Still, the principle may inform the practice of regulatory and law-enforcement agencies, which may limit the geographic reach of domestic law to accommodate the interests of foreign sovereigns and private actors. The principle’s comity incarnation has even given shape to an entire field of law: private international law. Jurisdictional reasonableness also continues to feature in international legal scholarship, where it is considered as a useful and sometimes indispensable tool to give shape to the principle of non-intervention. A number of subprojects of the larger UNIJURIS project have paid ample attention to reasonableness.


Aim of the seminar

The aim of the seminar is to have speakers with diverse backgrounds reflect on the value and role of reasonableness in preventing and settling jurisdictional disputes in various fields. Is reasonableness used in fact, and if so, is it properly applied? Is reasonableness a legal concept, and if so, what is its source (public international law, European law, domestic law)? What is its relationship with comity? Does it go beyond the remit of courts and administrative agencies to engage in the sort of (sovereign) interest balancing which reasonableness prescribes? Can reasonableness be applied as a general principle, or should it be operationalized by specific norms? The seminar consists of three thematic panels: (1) transnational civil litigation; (2) criminal law; (3) regulatory law.



Please send an email to secretariaat.ier@uu.nl.



The programme starts at 13h, and ends at 18h.


In brief an overview of the subjects and presenters:


Comity as jurisdictional reasonableness in transnational litigation

– Prof. William Dodge (University of California at Davis): ‘Reasonableness and Comity in the US Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law’

– Niccolò Ridi (King’s College London): ‘An Uncertain Umpire? Comity as an Ordering Principle in Transnational and International Litigation’


Jurisdictional reasonableness in international and transnational criminal law enforcement

– Dr. Michail Vagias (Hague University of Applied Sciences): ‘Is the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court Reasonable?’

– Prof. Michiel Luchtman (Utrecht University): ‘Jurisdiction in EU Criminal Law. The Quest for Reasonableness’


Jurisdictional reasonableness and regulatory law

– Dr. Mistale Taylor (Utrecht University): ‘Using Reasonableness to Shape the Long Arm of EU Data Protection Law’

– Dr. Natalie Dobson (Utrecht University): ‘Interest-Balancing and Climate Change Jurisdiction: Reflections on EU Practice’

– Marieke Koekkoek (Leuven University): ‘In Search of the Final Frontier – An Analysis of the Extraterritorial Effect of International Trade Measures from a Jurisdictional perspective’


For the complete programme, see document.

announcement seminar jurisdictional reasonableness Utrecht 30 10 2018