UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION NOT SO UNIVERSAL: Time to Delegate to the International Criminal Court?

Hoover, Dalila
January 2011
Eyes on the ICC;2011, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p73
Academic Journal
The exercise of universal jurisdiction in cases involving crimes under international law remains highly debated and underlines several le-gal and political issues. Because the principle of universal jurisdiction relies on national authorities to enforce international prohibitions, pivotal decisions are expected to reflect domestic decision-makers' positions as to the interests of justice, the national interest, and other criteria. In many states, the legal system lacks the means to investigate or prosecute crimes that should be investigated using the concept of universal jurisdiction. Indeed, many legal systems do not define the term "crimes" that can be prosecuted under the principle and continue to apply domestic criminal law. The purpose of this article is to discuss the scope of universal jurisdiction and the risks associated with its application. In particular, this article highlights the various obstacles that may explain why universal jurisdiction has not yet proven to be an effective tool to combat impunity. Finally, this article proposes a solution that may remedy the current inadequacies associated with the implementation of the principle of universal jurisdiction and would ensure peace and justice within the international community with regards to heinous crimes. Considering the obstacles and risks associated with the scope and application of universal jurisdiction, the best way to protect the international community from being affected by unpunished crime is to subject the exercise of universal jurisdiction of a state party to the Rome Statute to the scrutiny of the ICC through the creation of a Review Board that would, in turn, assess the legitimacy of a state's claim over a particular case according to fair and uniform laws.


Related Articles

  • Asian Values v. The Paper Tiger. Kapur, Amrita // Journal of International Criminal Justice;Dec2013, Vol. 11 Issue 5, p1059 

    In a decade of shifting norms and changing practices in international criminal law, the principle of complementarity has emerged as the primary, but as-yet incompletely defined, mechanism of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to coax states towards enforcing individual accountability for...

  • THE MEANINGLESS EXISTENCE OF UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION. Lett, Ariel // Michigan State International Law Review;2015, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p545 

    The article focuses on the final principle, universality, and the policy of universal jurisdiction for international crimes and examines how current foreign policies, particularly Conventions and the International Criminal Court, affect the customary universal jurisdiction policy.

  • Just a ‘Bubble’? Roht-Arriaza, Naomi // Journal of International Criminal Justice;Jul2013, Vol. 11 Issue 3, p537 

    The international criminal justice project is not in decline. Its focus, however, has shifted to where it, arguably, belongs: to national courts. National courts are integral to both the origins and the future of international criminal justice. The difficulties involved in national prosecutions...

  • Prosecutorial Discretion at the ICC and Victims’ Right to Remedy. Aptel, Cécile // Journal of International Criminal Justice;Dec2012, Vol. 10 Issue 5, p1357 

    Through the exercise of discretionary powers, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) selects from among the many offences which fall within the mandate of the Court a narrow set of crimes to be litigated. As a result, and also because of the complementarity paradigm, many...

  • The Many Faces of the International Criminal Court. Jessberger, Florian; Geneuss, Julia // Journal of International Criminal Justice;Dec2012, Vol. 10 Issue 5, p1081 

    The article outlines different ‘functions’ of the International Criminal Court. The authors suggest that the ICC is more than just a criminal court proper adjudicating individual criminal responsibility. In addition, the Court should be regarded as a ‘watchdog court’...

  • Corporate Criminal Responsibility for International Crimes: Exploring the Possibilities. van der Wilt, Harmen // Chinese Journal of International Law;Mar2013, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p43 

    This article investigates whether it is possible and recommendable that corporate criminal responsibility should be introduced for international crimes and that the International Criminal Court should therefore have jurisdiction over legal entities. This article adopts the French proposal on...

  • Prosecuting international crimes at the International Criminal Court: is there a coherent and comprehensive prosecution strategy? Ambos, Kai; Stegmiller, Ignaz // Crime, Law & Social Change;May2013, Vol. 59 Issue 4, p415 

    The authors analyze the so far published selection and strategy papers of the Office of the Prosecutor ('OTP') of the International Criminal Court ('ICC') with a view to their consistency, coherence and comprehensiveness. Given the high number of communications and referrals to the ICC a focused...

  • The Yugoslavia Tribunal and the Selection of Defendants. de Vlaming, Frederiek // Amsterdam Law Forum;Jun2012, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p89 

    After a historical overview of prosecutorial policies at Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals, this article looks at the policy and practice of individual chief prosecutors of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia regarding the selection of defendants.

  • The ICC Prosecutor's Missing Code of Conduct. Markovic, Milan // Texas International Law Journal;Fall2011, Vol. 47 Issue 1, p201 

    The article presents information on the interrelationship between legal ethics and international criminal law based on the actions taken by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court in the trials of Prosecutor v. Lubanga and Prosecutor v. Al-Bashir. The lack of...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics