William Funk


One of the topics for this symposium is “trans-territorial administrative law.” It is said that public law is in the process of de-territorialization; that many of the phenomena discussed in the current context of modern administrative law (e.g., agency-networks, governance, privatization, globalization) have led to a lessening of the principle of territoriality in public law; and that, indeed, in a digital age, the principle of territoriality seems much less important to an increasing sector of regulation of activities (e.g., media, telecommunications, banking, insurance, internet, crime prevention, etc.). Deterritorialization is probably most evident in trade law, where the World Trade Organization (WTO)1 has become the de facto ruling body regarding national barriers to international trade. Nevertheless, de-territorialization is hardly limited to trade, as the International Criminal Court (ICC) reflects. While the United States has been a leader with regard to some aspects of this globalization of public law, such as in the formation of the WTO, it has also failed to participate in other aspects, such as in the creation of the ICC. What explains this American ambivalence?

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