|1.||the privilege granted to some aliens, esp diplomats, of being exempt from the jurisdiction of the state in which they reside|
|2.||the right or privilege of a state to exercise authority in certain circumstances beyond the limits of its territory|
in international law, the immunities enjoyed by foreign states or international organizations and their official representatives from the jurisdiction of the country in which they are present. Extraterritoriality extends to foreign states or international organizations as entities and to their heads, legations, troops in passage, war vessels, mission premises, and other assets. It exempts them, while within the territory of a foreign sovereign, from local judicial process, police interference, and other measures of constraint. The term stems from the fiction that such persons or things are deemed not to be within the territory of the sovereign where they are actually present. This doctrine was originated by the French jurist Pierre Ayraut (1536-1601) and gained wide currency because of its adoption by the classical writers on the law of nations such as Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) and Samuel von Pufendorf (1632-1694). The word extraterritoriality or its foreign equivalent was not in use until the end of the 18th century. It gained a place in the legal vocabulary through its use, if not creation, by Georg Friedrich von Martens (1756-1821), whose treatise on the law of nations, published in 1788, acquired international repute and was promptly translated into several languages, including English.
Learn more about extraterritoriality with a free trial on Britannica.com.