Multilateral Versus Unilateral Exercises of Universal Criminal Jurisdiction
Israel Law Review, Vol. 43, pp. 301-329, 2011
29 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2011 Last revised: 4 Jul 2011
Date Written: December 1, 2010
This Article draws a distinction between two types of exercises of universal criminal jurisdiction with a view to demonstrating that one of them is deeply detrimental to domestic IHL enforcement mechanisms. This Article especially zeroes in on contemporary unilateral exercises of universal criminal jurisdiction and argues that their unilateral character deprives domestic enforcement procedures of their legitimacy and efficacy. This Article begins by distinguishing between unilateral and multilateral uses of criminal universal jurisdiction. Once these two different exercises of universal jurisdiction have been sufficiently spelled out, this Article explains why unilateral exercises of universal jurisdiction and the absence of conventional basis do not, per se, stir any problems of legality. The last part of this Article shows that unilateral exercises of universal jurisdiction, while not generating any problem of legality, fuel problems of legitimacy because of the discourse that generally accompany such proceedings as well as the impossibility to relate such exercises to the consent of the State of nationality of the accused or that where the crime was committed. On this occasion, it is shown that the perceived illegitimacy of unilateral exercises of jurisdiction can prove harmful to the legitimacy and efficacy of domestic IHL enforcement procedures as a whole.
Keywords: Public International Law, International Criminal Justice, International Criminal Law, Jurisdiction, Prosecution, Universal Jurisdiction, Impunity, War Crimes, Genocide, Legitimacy, Geneva Convention, Torture, Constitutionalism, International Legal Order, Enforcement, Fight against impunity,
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