Territorial Jurisdiction

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Territorial Jurisdiction

Territorial Units treatment in the Convention on Law Applicable to Products Liability

Articles 12-14 (of the Convention on Law Applicable to Products Liability) are directed to the peculiar problems of States which are composed of territorial units, each with its own rules of law on the subject of products liability.

Article 12

Articles 12-14 are concerned with the peculiar problems posed by a State which is composed of territorial units each of which has its own rules of law on the subject of products liability. Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and Yugoslavia are examples of States that belong to this category. Switzerland, on the other hand, does not do so, because it has a unified law of products liability that is in force in all the Cantons.

This article (12) is concerned with identifying the particular territorial unit that will furnish the applicable law. To this end, it provides simply that ‘each territorial unit shall be considered as a State for the purposes of selecting the applicable law under this ConventionÂ’. So, for example, the United States would not be considered a State for the purpose of selecting the applicable law. Rather, each of its fifty States and, in addition, the District of Columbia would be considered a separate State for this purpose.

An identical solution to the same problem is provided by article 12 of the Convention on the Law Applicable to Traffic Accidents.

Article 13

This article provides that a non-unified State of the sort described in the discussion of article 12 need not apply the Convention in situations ‘where a State with a unified system of law would not be bound to apply the law of another State by virtue of articles 4 and 5 of this ConventionÂ’.
Accordingly, a non-unified State is not bound in such circumstances by articles 4 and 5. It is not freed, on the other hand, from the obligation of applying the law chosen by the claimant pursuant to the limited option given him by article 6.

The purpose of this article can best be made clear by a hypothetical case. Suppose that the claimant who has his habitual residence in New York, purchases in New Jersey an automobile of German manufacture and is injured in Idaho by reason of a. defect in the automobile. Suppose furthermore that the manufacturer could have reasonably foreseen that the particular automobile, or automobiles of the same typé, would be available through commercial channels in New York and New Jersey but that he could not have foreseen that they would be available in. Idaho. But for article 13, a court sitting in the United States would be compelled by the Convention to apply German internal law, since neither New York nor New Jersey contained two or more of the contacts mentioned in articles 4 and 5 and the internal law of Idaho could not be applied under article 7 because of lack of the requisite foreseeability on the part of the manufacturer.

On the other hand, if all of these events had taken place in a country, such as France, with a unified system of law, the internal law of that country would be applicable under the Convention. This result might be thought to discriminate against the non-unified State and accordingly it is freed in such a case from the obligation of applying articles 4 and 5 of the Convention.

On the other hand, it is not freed from the obligation of giving the claimant the limited option accorded him by article 6. Hence, in the hypothetical case posed, the claimant could effectively elect to have his rights against the manufacturer determined in accordance with German internal law.

It should also be pointed out that article 13 affects only the obligations of a State with non-unified system of law. Under no circumstances does it free a State with a unified system of law from the obligation of applying the provisions of the Convention. So, if in the hypothetical case presented above where three of the four relevant connecting factors are in different States of the U.S.A., suit against the manufacturer had been brought in France, the French court would be bound by the Convention and would be required, even against the claimantÂ’s desires, to determine the rights of the parties in accordance with German internal law. So
much was recognized by the Conference.

This result seemed acceptable because it was felt that a court of a State with a unified system of law, if it were freed from applying the provisions of the Convention, would feel obliged to attempt to arrive in many situations of this sort at the same results as would the courts of the non-unified State. This would involve endless complexities. Hence it seemed the course of wisdom to require the courts of a State with a unified system of law to apply in all cases the relatively simple provisions of the Convention.

Article 14

This is the last of the three articles that are concerned with the peculiar problems of a State which is composed of two or more territorial units each of which has its own rules of law on the subject of products liability.

This article permits such a State to declare that the Convention shall be binding on all of its territorial units or only on one or more of them and to modify its declaration by submitting another declaration at any time.

A State that lacks constitutional power to bind its territorial units by treaty would find it impossible to ratify the Convention if it were not for this article. This article may also facilitate ratification of the Convention by a State which contains some territorial units that favour the Convention and others that oppose it.

The article does not explicitly state the time when a declaration is to take effect. A declaration made at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance or accession would presumably take effect at the time that the Convention enters into force in the State in question. (Compare in this regard the provision to such effect in article 19.) A declaration made on a later occasion should take effect, in the absence of some indication in the statement to the contrary, at the time when the declaration is notified to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
This article is essentially similar to article 14 of the Convention on the Law Applicable to Traffic Accidents. [1]

Territorial Jurisdiction in Election Law

Geographical area within which an authority exercises the powers conferred upon it by law.

Territorial Jurisdiction of the International Commission of the River Oder Case

Embracing mainstream international law, this section on territorial jurisdiction of the international commission of the river oder case explores the context, history and effect of the area of the law covered here.

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Further Reading

  • The entry “territorial jurisdiction of the international commission of the river oder case” in the Parry and Grant Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law (currently, the Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law, 2009), Oxford University Press

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See Also

  • Election Law
  • Electoral Laws
  • Electoral Legislation

Hierarchical Display of Territorial jurisdiction

Law > Organisation of the legal system > Legal system > Jurisdiction

Territorial jurisdiction

Concept of Territorial jurisdiction

See the dictionary definition of Territorial jurisdiction.

Characteristics of Territorial jurisdiction

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Translation of Territorial jurisdiction

Thesaurus of Territorial jurisdiction

Law > Organisation of the legal system > Legal system > Jurisdiction > Territorial jurisdiction

See also

  • Conflict of prerogatives
  • Subject-matter jurisdiction

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