National Courts and the Prosecution of Serious Crimes Under International Law
Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
392 pages, 155.00 x 235.00 x 0.00 mm
- ISBN: 9780812219500
- Published: February 2006
When former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London at the request of a Spanish judge, the world's attention was focused for the first time on the idea of universal jurisdiction. Universal jurisdiction stands for the principle that atrocities such as genocide, torture, and war crimes are so heinous and so universally abhorred that any state is entitled to prosecute these crimes in its national courts regardless of where they were committed or the nationality of the perpetrators or the victims. In 2001, two Rwandan nuns were convicted in a Belgian court for atrocities committed in Rwanda against Rwandans. Serbs have been prosecuted in German courts, and a court in Senegal asserted universal jurisdiction over the former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré. Universal jurisdiction is becoming a potent instrument of international law, but it is poorly understood by legal experts and remains a mystery to most public officials and citizens.
Universal Jurisdiction brings together leading scholars to discuss the origins, evolution, and implications of this legal weapon against impunity. They examine the questions that cloud its future, and its role in specific cases involving Adolf Eichmann, Pinochet, Habré, and former Rwandan government officials, among others, in order to determine the proper place of universal jurisdiction in the emerging regime of international legal accountability.
PART I. THE PRINCETON PRINCIPLES
Preface to the Princeton Principles
The Princeton Principles on Universal Jurisdiction
Commentary on the Principles
—Steven W. Becker
PART II. ESSAYS AND COMMENT
1. The History of Universal Jurisdiction and Its Place in International Law
—M. Cherif Bassiouni
2. Comment: The Quest for Clarity
—Stephen A. Oxman
3. The Growing Support for Universal Jurisdiction in National Legislation
—A. Hays Butler
4. The Adolf Eichmann Case: Universal and National Jurisdictions
—Gary J. Bass
5. Comment: Connecting the Threads in the Fabric of International Law
—Lori F. Damrosch
6. Assessing the Pinochet Litigation: Whither Universal Jurisdiction?
—Richard A. Falk
7. Comment: Universal Jurisdiction and Transitions to Democracy
—Pablo De Greiff
8. The Hissène Habré Case: The Law and Politics of Universal Jurisdiction
—Stephen P. Marks
9. Defining the Limits: Universal Jurisdiction and National Courts
10. Universal Jurisdiction, National Amnesties, and Truth Commissions: Reconciling the Irreconcilable
—Leila Nadya Sadat
11. The Future of Universal Jurisdiction in the New Architecture of Transnational Justice
—Diane F. Orentlicher
12. Universal Jurisdiction and Judicial Reluctance: A New "Fourteen Points"
13. Afterword: The Politics of Advancing International Criminal Justice
List of Contributors
List of Project Participants
"This particular publication is likely to become an essential one in the analysis of jurisprudential bases for the heinous activity that such jurisdiction is bound to eradicate."—American Society of International Law Newsletter