Protective Principle Law and Legal Definition

Protective principle is a rule of international law that allows a sovereign state to assert jurisdiction over a person whose conduct outside its boundaries threatens the states security or interferes with the operation of its government functions.

The following is an example of a case law on protective principle:

Under international law, the "protective principle" gives a country the jurisdiction to prescribe a rule of law attaching legal consequences to conduct outside its territory that threatens its security as a state or the operation of its governmental functions, provided the conduct is generally recognized as a crime under the law of states that have reasonably developed legal systems. [United States v. Zehe, 601 F. Supp. 196 (D. Mass. 1985)]