Canadian Journal of Law and Technology


The reach of national law is often greater than its grasp. Although Canada has effective legal power over its territory and all within it, Canadian interests are no longer confined exclusively within Canadian borders. Canada thus finds it increasingly necessary to consider asserting its legal jurisdiction beyond its frontiers. Such extraterritorial assertion of Canadian legal authority may run into strong opposition from other countries, who might view Canada as attempting to intervene in their own national territories and domestic affairs. Likewise, other states, under the same pressures of globalization, may try to extend their legal reach into Canadian terri- tory, where they are likely to be rebuffed with equal indignation. Yet the rapidly growing volume and variety of transnational interactions between people, activities, and events, which constitute the engine of globalization, ensure that the extraterritorial application of national legal powers cannot be avoided. This paper sets out an analytical framework to be applied in answering the set of complex and interlinked questions that arise when Canada is faced with the issue of whether to act extrater- ritorially. It does so taking into account the many different factual contexts in which issues of extraterritoriality arise.