Universal jurisdiction

Universal jurisdiction is a legal principle that allows states or international organizations to claim criminal jurisdiction over an accused person regardless of where the alleged crime was committed, and regardless of the accused's nationality, country of residence, or any other relation to the prosecuting entity. Crimes prosecuted under universal jurisdiction are considered crimes against all, too serious to tolerate jurisdictional arbitrage.

The concept of universal jurisdiction is therefore closely linked to the idea that some international norms are erga omnes, or owed to the entire world community, as well as to the concept of jus cogens – that certain international law obligations are binding on all states.[1]

According to Amnesty International, a proponent of universal jurisdiction, certain crimes pose so serious a threat to the international community as a whole that states have a logical and moral duty to prosecute an individual responsible; therefore, no place should be a safe haven for those who have committed genocide,[2] crimes against humanity, extrajudicial executions, war crimes, torture, or forced disappearances.[3]

Opponents such as Henry Kissinger, who himself was called to give testimony about the US Government's Operation Condor in a Spanish court,[4] argue that universal jurisdiction is a breach of each state's sovereignty: all states being equal in sovereignty, as affirmed by the United Nations Charter, "[w]idespread agreement that human rights violations and crimes against humanity must be prosecuted has hindered active consideration of the proper role of international courts. Universal jurisdiction risks creating universal tyranny – that of judges."[5][6] According to Kissinger, as a logistical matter, since any number of states could set up such universal jurisdiction tribunals, the process could quickly degenerate into politically driven show trials to attempt to place a quasi-judicial stamp on a state's enemies or opponents.

The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1674, adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 28 April 2006, "Reaffirm[ed] the provisions of paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document regarding the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity" and commits the Security Council to action to protect civilians in armed conflict.[7][8]

  1. ^ See Lyal S. Sunga Individual Responsibility in International Law for Serious Human Rights Violations, Nijhoff (1992) 252 p. ISBN 978-0-7923-1453-0
  2. ^ The Program for Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, "Brief Primer on Genocide" Accessed at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION: Questions and answers". Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  4. ^ "CNN.com - Spanish judge seeks Kissinger - April 18, 2002". edition.cnn.com.
  5. ^ Kissinger, Henry (July–August 2001). "The Pitfalls of Universal Jurisdiction". Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009.
  6. ^ Roth, Kenneth (September–October 2001). "The Case for Universal Jurisdiction". Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 21 January 2009.
  7. ^ Resolution 1674 (2006) Archived 23 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Security Council passes landmark resolution – world has responsibility to protect people from genocide Oxfam Press Release – 28 April 2006

From Rich X Search The Next Generation Search Engine

Copyright 2022 Rich X Search