Universal Jurisdiction under International Criminal Law: Problems and Prospects

  • Anwesha Pati
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  • Anwesha Pati

    Practicing Advocate at Calcutta High Court, India

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The principle of universal jurisdiction has been a contentious issue amongst the international community, despite receiving recognition under the Geneva Convention of 1949. It refers to the ability of states to prosecute criminals irrespective of the territory in which the crime was committed or their nationality. The principle remains saddled with numerous challenges as its application is seemingly narrowed down to only grave crimes like genocide, war crimes, coupled with the reluctance of individual nations to formulate adequate provisions at the domestic level. Further the principle is also met with scepticism by several nations as an endangerment to their sovereignty and sometimes resulting in abuse of it. Though the principle has been accepted as an important international norm, its frequent intermingling with realpolitik and the lack of guiding principles as to its definition, scope and limitation has created impediments in its proper application. This article analyses the various challenges that thwart its effective implementation and ways in which the international community and individual nations must come together to lay down uniformity in practices so that the universal jurisdiction can become potent principle to tackle transnational crimes.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 6, Page 1669 - 1678

DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.116280

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