Jurisdictional challenges in fighting cybercrimes: Any panacea from international law?
Jurisdiction is pivotal and fundamental to administration of legal justice in general and of criminal justice in particular. It is trite in law that no matter how well conducted a proceeding was, lack of jurisdiction on the part of the trial court would bring to nullity the entire adjudicatory process. Jurisdiction itself is an issue of law. Yet, hardly are there uniform laws across jurisdictions. Even if the substantive laws are similar, the adjectival laws and enforcement procedures may differ. It is observed that situations are all the more complex when related to crimes in cyberspace which knows no boundaries. However, it may seem that the global nature of cyberspace and the Internet are coterminous with international geographical space, and thus may be subjected to the provisions of international law. This paper, after due consideration, discovers that this is not necessarily so. Rather than constituting a definitive panacea, some international law provisions and practice can only offer some help towards determining jurisdiction for combating cybercrimes. This study seeks only to identify the problem which the issue of jurisdiction does pose to the fight against cybercrimes, and advocates the need for a more global and universalist approach.
Keywords: Jurisdiction, Cybercrimes, International Law, Jurisprudence, Internet, Computer