When a defendant is being investigated overseas, jurisdiction may also come into the picture. In other words, under jurisdiction, the court is authorized to penalize the accused. Issues related to jurisdiction can be very complex as international crimes often involve several countries. Jurisdiction generally applies to the national or international courts where crimes were committed. Nevertheless, the United States can assert jurisdiction over an individual who committed a crime overseas as long as it corresponds with international law.
International laws are quite abstract. There are various ways an specific nation can assert jurisdiction over someone committing a crime overseas including:
- When the crime either occurred within the nation asserting jurisdiction or when the crime affected this nation
- When the accused is a national
- When protecting the national interests, safety, and interests of the country