Redefining Universal Jurisdiction

25 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2020 Last revised: 15 Sep 2020

See all articles by Leila N. Sadat

Leila N. Sadat

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law

Date Written: 2001


This essay assesses how historical jurisdictional bases for adopting and applying international criminal law norms, most recently exemplified by the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, have given rise to a new universal international jurisdiction. It also examines how domestic courts exercise universal inter-state jurisdiction to try international crimes. Finally, this essay proposes a methodology for courts and commentators to conceptualize and analyze both types of universal jurisdiction, with the former exercised by the international community and the latter exercised by States.

Keywords: universal jursidiction, universal international jurisdiction, universal inter-state jurisdiction, Rome Statute, International Criminal Court, ad hoc tribunals, customary international law, Nuremberg Tribunal, complementarity principle, Rome Treaty, State sovereignty, jus cogens, double jeopardy

Suggested Citation

Sadat, Leila N., Redefining Universal Jurisdiction (2001). 35 New England Law Review 241 (2001), Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 20.03.10, Available at SSRN:

Leila N. Sadat (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law ( email )

Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States
314-935-6411 (Phone)
314-935-5356 (Fax)

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