A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Warning

Message: Invalid argument supplied for foreach()

Filename: laworld-theme/content.php

Line Number: 8

A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Warning

Message: Invalid argument supplied for foreach()

Filename: laworld-theme/content.php

Line Number: 55

United States moves to assert global criminal jurisdiction over corporations

At the urging of the United States Department of Justice, the U.S. Judicial Conference recommends changing criminal procedural rules to make it easy for U.S. prosecutors to assert jurisdiction over foreign corporations.  Currently, U.S. rules for such cases reflect widely accepted principles of international law, generally restricting the service of U.S. criminal summons to U.S. soil.  The amendment adds a new clause:  “A summons to an organization … may also be served at a place not within a judicial district of the United States.”  (emphasis added)  The new rule offers U.S. prosecutors a number of traditional but somewhat burdensome alternatives for extraterritorial service (service as authorized by foreign law, stipulation, letters rogatory, or pursuant to international agreement).  Most importantly, it gives the government the simpler alternative of accomplishing service of process against any organization outside the U.S. “by any other means that gives notice….”  Thus, if the rule receives final approval, U.S. prosecutors may assert jurisdiction over any organizations, anywhere in the world, by simply giving them notice of a U.S. criminal summons.

In other words, U.S. prosecutors will soon be allowed to serve an American criminal summons in any other country by post or even email.

To be sure, an organization served in such a manner retains its right to hire U.S. counsel to defend it and to raise substantive arguments, including arguments that the U.S. lacks jurisdiction over it.  And a U.S. court could ultimately reject a U.S. prosecutor’s effort as overreaching.  

But the overseas organization will lose the right under U.S. court rules to simply ignore a summons served on it in violation of international law or the domestic law of its home country – even if the organization has taken care to structure its operations to operate in the U.S. only through a separate U.S. subsidiary, with no contact by its own personnel.  In fact, the amendment also expressly authorizes U.S. judges to take action against organizational defendants who fail to respond to such a summons.  

The U.S. Justice Department assured the Judicial Conference that it would use this power sparingly, but nothing in the new rule requires it to do so.  In fact, it need not even seek court approval to resort to extraterritorial service by email.

The amendment has not yet been finally enacted, but it has cleared the only substantive review commonly given such matters.  And the change has flown almost entirely under the radar, with no press coverage.  If the Supreme Court approves it, Congress has the opportunity to review and reject the change, but the legislature rarely uses that power.  History suggests that the amendment will be enacted absent, and maybe even despite, some belated realization by foreign governments or international business of the change that’s afoot.

Look for the U.S. Justice Department’s creeping assertion of worldwide criminal jurisdiction to continue to grow in the new year and beyond.

Patrick O’Donnell’s practice includes white collar criminal matters, civil governmental investigations, and complex federal litigation, at LAWorld member Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis in Washington, D.C.  He often counsels international clients concerning U.S. investigations. To contact Pat please email him on podonnell@hwglaw.com 

VW open to separate trucks unit listing: Bloomberg
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 09:48:01 GMT
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG's trucks business is open to acquisitions or even a public listi...
Credit Suisse's Thiam wants his bonus to be cut up to 50 percent - report
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 08:14:37 GMT
ZURICH (Reuters) - Credit Suisse Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam has asked the bank's board to...
Crude oil rises in holiday-constrained trade
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 07:58:28 GMT
TOKYO (Reuters) - Crude oil futures rose on Monday in thin trade as many Asian markets were on holid...
Asia stocks slip, Japan rebounds in holiday-thinned trade
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 07:09:59 GMT
TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares pared losses on Monday as a weaker yen helped Japan's Nikkei snap a f...

Europe/Middle East Regional Meeting and Lawyers Next Generation (Budapest) from 5pm on Friday the 16th of September, 2016 to 5pm on Saturday the 17th of September, 2016

LAWorld Annual Conference (Cape Town) from 5pm on Tuesday the 5th of April, 2016 to 2pm on Friday the 8th of April, 2016

See All Events
 
LAWorld
Email: mail@laworld.com
© LAWorld. Website Developed by Redstudio Design Limited

A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Warning

Message: Invalid argument supplied for foreach()

Filename: controllers/welcome.php

Line Number: 29

A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Notice

Message: Undefined index: category

Filename: controllers/welcome.php

Line Number: 47

A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Notice

Message: Undefined index: content_id

Filename: controllers/welcome.php

Line Number: 54

A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Notice

Message: Undefined property: Welcome::$assignedGallery

Filename: controllers/welcome.php

Line Number: 126

LAWorld News

Business News

Upcoming Events