Thesis (Ph.D)

Judicial jurisdiction and legal conflicts on the Internet: an analysis of Jordanian cyber jurisdiction rules


Before the advent of the Internet, jurisdiction rules had evolved within individual countries to reflect the culture and perceived needs of their citizens. In this sense, and for the purposes of this study, the term jurisdiction can be taken to refer to the power of an entity such as a country or a court, over a specific geographical area and over the activities, materials and people associated with that area. Jurisdiction types in this definition refer to adjudication, prescription and enforcement. These types of jurisdiction can be defined as functional at both at domestic and international levels, in matters pertaining to the activities, materials and people of a specific country, and in accordance with the personal, territorial and subject matter rules of that country. However, since the development of the Internet, extension of legislation to cyberspace has posed one of the greatest cross-border jurisdictional challenges to the international legal community, that of establishing acceptable jurisdiction over internationally shared lands, seas, air-space and outer-space. Such a task poses an infinitely complex set of problems, surpassing those arising from any earlier technological media such as the telephone and the fax. The internet, by virtue of its borderless and stateless nature, has forced the question as to which entities should be responsible for regulating cyberspace, and as to whose authority the control of cyberspace activities should be answerable. Although international treaties do already exist to regulate cross-border disputes in law; an important issue is that not all countries are equal in having fully evolved a set of jurisdiction rules for dealing with Internet activities. Still-developing countries are as yet in process of consolidating rules which will best reflect the needs of their citizens and of their national security. Such a developing country is Jordan, which can be taken as representative of many developing countries seeking solutions to internet activities within the tenets of their laws and cultures. The aim of this research therefore is to examine Jordan as a case study of how such solutions may be achieved. This research assembles data from previous literature, reviews prior cases and examines the issues from the specific vantage point of Jordanian law The findings of this research uphold a current viewpoint that international legislation has only a partial capacity to accommodate internet jurisdictional issues, and that for full capacity to be achieved, certain reforms will be required. From the findings of this study, it is recommended that for such reforms to be effective, individual countries must not only engage in international co-operation but be prepared to waive certain of their attitudes to sovereignty issues. Taken as a case study the challenges facing Jordan can be argued as typical of many other countries still developing a jurisdictional framework for accommodating internet crime. The case study of Jordan also illustrates the need for countries to co-operate in prioritising future clarity for internet jurisdiction over national partiality. In order to make such co-operation a reality, the major recommendation of this research is for the establishment of an international body or convention which will serve to resolve cyberspace jurisdiction disputes.

Attached files


Almahareh, M M

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
School of Law


Year: 2012

© Almahareh, M M
Published by Oxford Brookes University
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