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Full Version: Practical extraterritorality
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Alright. Between the sourcebooks I've read and the conversations here, I feel that there's something missing. I don't know the full details of the full RL political details, but...

I can understand that a AAA corporation can be considered effectively a landless soverign, with all the rights and responsibilities thereof. But from everything I see about the issue in-game, corporations powerful enough have effective carte-blanche to declare any place they build an office building "soverign corporate territory".

Maybe that drek can work in Aztlan, but what industrialized country would give another soverign power the right to annex its territory willy-nilly? I understand that governments are weakened in SR, but this is ludicris.

I can see megacorporate representatives being granted diplomatic immunity. I can see megacorporations offering concessions for extraterritorality rights too, in a way analogous to setting up embassies. So corporate headquarters and massive installations (Arcology, Azzie Pyramid, MCT Towers, etc) would certainly have land concessions made, but aside from that, working at an ARES manufacturing plant should no more immunize you to UCAS law than working for a company based out of the Bahamas immunizes me to U.S.A. laws.

I dunno, I just find it funny that megas can declare any plot of land they like "soverign corporate territory"; makes me wonder what keeps them from declaring a whole city theirs block by block, office by office, employees-only apartment by employees-only apartment. If cannon or real life disagrees with the impression I've picked up, let me know, but otherwise I'm ranting and the idea is just silly.
The country has the last say on whether or not they can build a corporate office there. If the country says "No!" the Corp has to abide by it (In legal terms, at least). Once the country allows them in, any plot of land in which one of their buildings is built, they are a soverign area. The area extends upwards and downwards at a certain angle, and nothing can be done about that area. If, however, something crosses that area (Toxic sludge, noxious gases, etc.), then the Corp can be held responsible.

Up to and until that point, however, the Corp is its own nation, virtually.
Extraterritoriality is a big leap of faith element in SR. It's rather unlikely it would ever happen, but it remains a cornerstone of SR. Some people have modified their games to reflect that corp are not extraterritorial cause they just can't accept it. That's fine. But the SR reasons and logic is as follows:

A corp can declare one of it's physical plants as extraterritorial by clearly delimiting it's borders (hedges, fences, a big red line, etc) and clearly marking it as foreign soil (a big sign that says ARES: TRESPASSER WILL BE SHOT and the likes).

Now, two things to remember here: the territory is not pure extraterritoriality. That corporations law apply on that land, but the corporation must still pay taxes (technically, they always pull legal loopholes to get out of it though) and, although not explicityl stated in SR, corporate laws are most likely very similar to your standard UCAS law. People are still accountable for crimes and stuff and execs that embezzle or endanger the public are still arrested and stuff. It would be unacceptable otherwise. For shadowrunners though, the big differance is the authorized use of deadly force and jurisdiction.

Corporations probably have regulators and other such law enforcement supervisors that actually check to make sure the corp isn't pulling dirty tricks, like a controller does financially for a corporation. Obviously they are not very effective, but still, corporations are still bound by reasonnable law. Extraterritoriality isn't that big a deal.
Also remember AAA megas (the big 10) are extraterritorial, so are AA megas, secon tier corps. Anything smaller, A and down is NOT extraterritorial. A corp cannot just "get big enough" and gain that status, only the Corporate Court can grant that status, which is nigh impossible to have happen.
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