Universal Jurisdiction: International and Municipal Legal Perspectives
This study is about the ambit of national criminal law. Reydams identifies the international legal issues that arise when a State exercises extraterritorial jurisdiction generally. He then brings together accounts of universal jurisdiction in 14 countries.
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|Library of Congress
||Jurisdiction (International law), Exterritoriality, Case studies, International and municipal law
||International Law: Professional
||Professional and scholarly
Description of this Book
After centuries of near dormancy, the concept of 'universal jurisdiction' has suddenly become an important legal tool in the international campaign against impunity, most prominently in high-profile criminal trials. Among the legal questions raised by the exercise of universal jurisdiction, this book considers two. Under what conditions is a country investigating or prosecuting a foreigner for an extraterritorial offence internationally competent? What is the basis in municipal law for the exercise of universal jurisdiction? Reydams first identifies the international legal issues that arise when a State exercises extraterritorial jurisdiction generally, discerns the different doctrinal concepts of universal jurisdiction, and traces universal jurisdiction in current international texts such as multilateral conventions, resolutions of intergovernmental bodies, and official drafts and studies. He then brings together, and makes accessible in English, detailed accounts of universal jurisdiction in fourteen countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Reydams' point of departure is the need for a context-sensitive analysis. The municipal laws are thus placed in the larger context of a country's views on criminal jurisdiction generally and the case discussions pay detailed attention to the factual and legal context of each case. This approach provides the reader with the reasons why the individual was brought to justice in a third country. The inclusion of (translated) texts of municipal statutes, of (translated) excerpts from judicial decisions, and of commentaries by legal scholars makes this volume an important resource for decision makers and legal practitioners, both national and international.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||... meticulously and comprehensively navigates the discourse over a nation-state's authority to prosecute an alleged international criminal ... I am unaware of any other study of universal jurisdiction offering as extensive a compilation and critique of the relevant domestic law. The American Journal of International Law Reydams provides an excellent historical overview of the development of the principle [of universal jurisdiction]. ...[his] book offers a clear counterpoint to those on both ends of the political spectrum who overstate and celebrate the extent of universal jurisdiction and those who overstate and fear it. International Affairs
Luc Reydams is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame.