Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)


Building the Case for Jus Cogens Norm of Universal Jurisdiction in International Crimes; A Hope for Extra-Territorial Justice

Author(s): Misbah Saboohi Prince

 International Criminal Court (ICC) created in 2004 is not ratified by some powerful states but their involvement in international disputes has created victims of injustice which world conscience cannot leave unpunished. Though Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute) does not explicitly incorporate Universal Jurisdiction principle but most states parties to Rome Staute have tacitly opened up for universal jurisdiction in International Criminal Court to some acts. The article argues that Dictatorships and non state actors’ acts of tortures and terrorism have fundamentally altered the principles and dynamics of International Justice norms by which it is constituted. The doctrine of Universal Jurisdiction of courts for certain crimes has now evolved into a pluralist norm in International Relations and many states allow prosecution in their national courts regarding certain most heinous extra territorial crimes. This article will see how much the doctrine of Universal Jurisdiction has been developed post Ex-Parte Pinochet case in United Kingdom court and is it an appropriate platform. Universal jurisdiction doctrine was in its nascent stages of development however Pinochet case provided a breakthrough moment of its effective invocation when a foreign court took cognizance of crimes against humanity committed by the government and its proxies. Now the debate is whether Universal Jurisdiction Doctrine has emerged as new norm (Jus Cogens) in International Law or it still has flawed foundation which can be abused and exploited by states with arm twisting political power over others in International Criminal Court.

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