School of Law

Satya Talwar Mouland

Thesis title

Coordination of international and national jurisdiction: an inquiry on principles of authority


Dr Stephen Allen, Professor Julian Lew QC, Norah Gallagher.

Summary of research

The doctrine of prescriptive jurisdiction, focused on state regulation of foreign conduct, has eclipsed the role of courts and tribunals in the development of the law. A conflict of principle between national and international jurisdiction, as demonstrated most recently by the Enrica Lexie case, occurs when two states have equally valid claims to jurisdiction or when no state has jurisdiction and there is no rule of international law to fill the gap. These situations of jurisdictional conflict demand that principles of adjudicative jurisdiction are developed to assist in coordination of international and national jurisdiction.

The question which this thesis seeks to address is whether there is a general ‘enforcement principle’ in the practice of states which may assist with greater coordination. As increasing enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards in state courts demonstrates, enforcement may no longer be merely a corollary of prescriptive jurisdiction – i.e. the enforcement of a rule of international law which permits the state to compel or induce conduct as the consequence of the existence of a link to the territorial state – but may instead be an aspect of the sovereignty of the state itself, and therefore be subject to different bases and limits.

The determination of these is examined by employing the international law method with the primary aim of identifying customary international law norms. As the thesis concerns the extent to which any such ‘enforcement principle’ is limited or controlled by public international law, it is directed to determining any bases or common principles for such a principle, grounded in an approach adopted in the US Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law (1987).


Satya Talwar Mouland is a recipient of the QMUL London Research Studentship. She completed her LLM in Commercial Law at the University of Edinburgh 2015-16 for which she received the UK/EU Masters Scholarship. Her dissertation, entitled "A Conceptual Approach to Jurisdiction in International Law", focused on private international law aspects of the doctrine of jurisdiction.

During her LLB Law with German Law degree at the University of Birmingham 2011 - 2015, she completed a year abroad at the Free University of Berlin, where she participated in and finished as an Oral Finalist in the Willem C Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot 2013-14 in Hong Kong. Her undergraduate thesis entitled "Comparing the Role of the Courts in English and German Arbitration Law" originally written in German was subsequently published in English in The European Students Association Law Review and the Asian Law Students' Association.

Her current doctoral thesis builds in some ways on the fruits of both degrees, combining her understanding of the role of the courts in the context of international dispute resolution with development of the doctrine of adjudicative jurisdiction in international law. The focus of this thesis is on public international law aspects of the doctrine. It uses a doctrinal and comparative approach, looking at the doctrine through the lens of the UK, US and French law understandings of adjudicative jurisdiction. Satya is a native English speaker, speaks fluent German and has a working knowledge of French.