Because of possibility of legal consequences arising from the law of jurisdictions outside the EU I would like to limit visitors to my website to residents of EU so that in an event of legal application only EU residents would be eligible for the application.

Another reason is that I'm considering to pay a lawyer to thoroughly inspect and fix my TOS to be in accordance with the EU law but I'm not willing to hire a lawyer to go look for any other laws world wide as that would be way too expensive.

To achieve this I'm thinking about putting a Jurisdiction Restriction clause into my TOS, which would for example look something like this:

  1. Jurisdiction Restriction

If you're not resident of the EU then you may not use this website for any purposes, including filing a legal application against the website or its owner.

I know this won't prevent non EU residents from visiting and using the website for which I honestly don't care, I only care that my local law and the law of EU applies to me and no other laws of any other jurisdictions have any power over me.

The only problem I see myself about this is possible copyright infringement claims (or any other IP infringements), for instance if there is infringed material on my site from someone who is not EU resident then I'm not sure if this restriction would limit their IP infringement to the law of EU, I think it might because there is EUCD.
And the clause should probably exclude IP infringement claims.

I might have other reasons to legally limit visitors, but the main question is, can I restrict visitors in such way?

  • 1
    I think there is a good question in here, but as it is this will be closed as legal advice. If it can be rephrased as more hypothetical it should be OK though.
    – User65535
    Commented May 8 at 8:39
  • 1
    This reverses the jurisdictions, but the EU GDPR can apply to foreign hosted websites when they are visited by EU citizens. I don't think a simple disclaimer in the terms of service would be sufficient to avoid that but I don't know what the legally sound way for the foreign website would be if they want to avoid GDPR compliance.
    – quarague
    Commented May 8 at 9:38
  • Given you're already intending to hire a lawyer to assist with this venture, I'm unsure why you're asking here. Commented May 28 at 15:53
  • @Pyrotechnical I've asked to attract comments such as yours, if you had read my question you would realize the portion to pay a lawyer to thoroughly inspect and fix my TOS not to "assemble entire TOS from scratch" which is more expensive than just fixing existing one. Commented May 28 at 19:33
  • The thing is, we're not your lawyer and it should be your lawyer who advises you on whether you can or cannot restrict visitors in the manner you describe. After all, presuming you do get sued, it will be your lawyer that's going to court for you. Commented May 28 at 19:52

1 Answer 1



If Somalia decides their law applies to your website, then you are subject to Somali law. Substitute any other country in the world and the same statement is true.

You don’t get to decide what nation’s laws apply to you, they do.

Whether they can enforce the law against you is another question, but private arrangements can’t override national (or sub-national) law.

In practice, laws will generally only be applicable if there is some connection with the relevant jurisdiction. For a website, it’s unlikely to be an issue, but you can’t contract outside the law.


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