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A jurisprudential analysis of the concurrent criminal jurisdiction over cross-border telecom fraud crime

Lianlian Liu (School of International Studies, Peking University, Beijing, China)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 13 March 2020



The issue of concurrent jurisdiction over cross-border crimes has become common in a globalizing world, while the rigid compliance with territoriality and active personality jurisdiction has created a legal vacuum for cross-border crimes in many situations. The jurisdiction dispute between mainland China and Taiwan over cross-border telecom fraud crimes is a good example. In recent years, the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China cracked down a series of cross-border telecom fraud crimes against mainland residents and extradited suspects to mainland China. Given a certain proportion of Taiwan residents in criminal gangs, the Taiwan side raised jurisdiction objections, arguing that mainland China had no right to exercise jurisdiction over Taiwanese criminals. The essence of the jurisdiction dispute between two sides is the concurrence of Taiwan’s right to exercise active personality jurisdiction and the mainland’s right to exercise passive personality jurisdiction. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the connotation of different jurisdiction principles (namely, territorial, active personality, protective and passive personality jurisdiction) and reinterpret their prioritization of applicability from a jurisprudential perspective, and thus, enhance the theoretical basis for resolving the issue of concurrent jurisdiction over cross-border crimes.


By reviewing the historical trajectory of major jurisdiction principles since the 1920s, and studying the specificities of the case in this context, this paper argues that territorial jurisdiction and active personality jurisdiction have presumed priority but not an absolute priority for resolving the issue of concurrent jurisdiction. The applicability of protective and passive personality jurisdiction could precede the former provided the jurisdictions of territoriality or active personality are inadequate, incompetent or lack of motivation to combat crimes, which harm other jurisdictions.


The developmental trajectory and contemporary connotation of major jurisdiction principles suggests that the legitimacy of the mainland’s exercise of passive personality jurisdiction over Taiwan criminal suspects lies in the urgent need to recover mainland victims’ significant property loss, the incompetence of Taiwan in detecting and prosecuting telecom fraud crimes committed by Taiwanese residents and targeting mainland victims and that the mainland has guaranteed the Taiwan side’s right to be timely informed and fully participate in its exercise of criminal jurisdiction over crimes involving Taiwan suspects.


Current literature on jurisdiction doctrines mainly uses a historical or descriptive approach to reveal the attitudes of different countries toward jurisdiction principles, which helps little in resolving the issue of concurrent jurisdiction over cross-border crimes in an era of globalization. This paper uses an interpretative approach, reinterprets the contemporary connotation of different jurisdiction principles and redefines the criteria for determining their prioritization in the context of the specificities of a case. It is expected to update the academic literature for resolving concurrent jurisdiction, fill the legal vacuum for combating cross-border crimes created by rigid compliance with territorial jurisdiction, and meanwhile relieve concerns about abuse of extraterritorial jurisdiction as it provides concrete standards for weighting the applicability of jurisdiction principles.



Liu, L. (2020), "A jurisprudential analysis of the concurrent criminal jurisdiction over cross-border telecom fraud crime", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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