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Vol.14 Issue 2 (2018)

The Conundrum of Internet Jurisdiction and how U.S. Law has Influenced the Jurisdiction Analysis in India

Julia Hörnle

This Article examines jurisdiction, in the sense of the competence of the courts from a US perspective in internet cases and compares this with the jurisdictional approach of the courts in India. Both the US and India are common law jurisdictions and since the US has been leading the technological internet revolution it is probably not surprising that Indian courts have been influenced by US legal approaches. At the same time, there are important legislative and constitutional differences in India, which makes it even more interesting to trace this influence in internet cases. The Article focuses on jurisdiction in tort (such as intellectual property and defamation) as well as contractual cases. The article contains a fine grained and conceptualised analysis of the latest case law and critiques some of the concepts, concluding that the “reasonableness” test should act as a filter to prevent jurisdictional overreach without narrowing the minimum contacts test.


Professor, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London.

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