Posts Tagged objective territoriality
Jurisdiction and the internet is a topic which has featured once or twice on this blog recently (and in a paper which I have already referred to in those earlier postings). Belgian’s Supreme Court in ordinary (the Hof van Cassatie /Cour de Cassation) employed the objective territoriality principle in a case with roots going back to 2007 (the fraudulent purchase of and subsequent failure to pay for electronic equipment from a shop in Dendermonde, Belgium), Yahoo! was requested to hand over the IP addresses associated with e-mail accounts registered to Yahoo!’s e-mail service. Yahoo! Inc, domiciled in California, refused to comply, triggering fines under criminal law. (It’s corporate slogan btw used to be ‘it’s true!’ Hence the title of the post).
Responding to Yahoo!s claims that Belgium was imposing its criminal laws extraterritorially, the Court of Appeal had held that Yahoo! is territorially present in Belgium, hereby voluntarily submitting itself to the jurisdiction of the Belgian authorities: it takes an active part in economic life in Belgium, among others by use of the domain name http://www.yahoo.be, the use of the local language(s) on that website, pop-up of advertisements based on the location of the users, and accessibility in Belgium of Belgium-focussed customer services (among others: a ‘Belgian’ Q&A, FAQ, and post box). [Notice the similarity with the Pammer /Alpenhof criteria]. The Court of Appeal had suggested that the accusations of extraterritoriality could only be accepted had there been a request for the handover of data or objects which are located in the USA, with which there is no Belgian territorial link whatsoever, and if the holder of these objects or data is not accessible in Belgium (either physically or virtually).
The Supreme Court on 1 December confirmed all of the Court of Appeal’s arguments, essentially linking them to the objective territoriality principle. Yahoo! actively directs its activities towards consumers present in Belgium.
Even though the case involves a criminal proceeding, the Court’s judgment inevitably (not necessarily justifiably) will be used as further support for the Belgian tussle with Facebook.
Belgie, Belgique, Belgium, C-131/12, C-362/14, Case C-131/12, Charter of fundamental rights and freedoms, CJEU, Cour de Cassation, criminal law, Data protection, Data protection authorities, Data protection Directive, Directive 95/46, ECJ, EU, Extraterritoriality, Facebook, Google, Google Spain, Hof van Cassatie, http://jure.juridat.just.fgov.be/pdfapp/download_blob?idpdf=N-20151201-1, Internet, IP address, Jurisdiction, Libel, New Technologies, objective territoriality, P.13.2082.N, Privacy, Right to be forgotten, safe harbour, Schrems, Search engine, Territorial scope, Yahoo!
- Vestel v HEVC Advance (Delaware) and Philips (NL). High Court denies stand-alone competition law damage both on the basis of Article 7(2) BRU Ia and residual CPR rules. 05/12/2019
- The High Court on the lawfulness of the proposed ivory ban. 03/12/2019
- The UK ban on e-collars. High Court finds decision does not breach property rights (ECHR) or internal market (TFEU). 02/12/2019
- ED&F Man Capital Markets v Come Harvest Holding et al. Court of Appeal confirms Tolenado DJ’s forum analysis of Vedanta. Leaves Rome II issue undiscussed. 30/11/2019
- Is the innovation principle compatible with a European Green Deal? 29/11/2019
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