From the Editors
The New York Times says Jadaliyya "Brings New Life to Arab Studies." Read about it by clicking here.
Richard Falk and Lisa Hajjar engage in a discussion about universal jurisdiction, international law, and criminal accountability for gross crimes (torture, genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity). The doctrine of universal jurisdiction was developed in the 19th century to combat piracy and slave trading on the high seas. The aim was to close a jurisdictional gap by allowing governments to prosecute these "enemies of all mankind" in their own national legal systems despite no direct connection to the crime. Developments in the post-World War II era, notably the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals, did not involve universal jurisdiction, but they paved the way for the development of modern international criminal law. Universal jurisdiction was revived in the late 20th century when a Spanish judge, Balthazar Garzon, sought to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet from England, where he had traveled, to Spain to stand trial for torture and murder under his regime. The British legal system ruled that Pinochet was indeed prosecutable for torture because there is no legal/sovereign immunity for this gross crime. (Pinochet was not extradited, however, because he was deemed by the British Home Secretary Jack Straw to be too demented to be put on trial.) Following the "Pinochet precedent," some (mostly European) countries instituted or strengthened universal jurisdiction laws into their legal systems. Consequently, these governments came under pressure (mainly from the US and/or Israel) to revise or cancel those laws to prevent their use against officials from powerful states. Most universal jurisdiction cases, to date, have targeted perpetrators from the global south, primarily Africa. Whether this constitutes "justice" is one of the issues that frames the debate about the benefits and liabilities of universal jurisdiction.
Camera Work: Cory Cullington . Zeituna Productions
This is a conversation between Richard Falk and Jadaliyya Co-Editor Lisa Hajjar on the topic of Universal Jurisdiction, Impunity, and Accountability. The conversation was co-edited by Noura Erakat and Bassam Haddad.
If you prefer, email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot on Facebook
Jadalicious / جدلشس
"ce qui frappe ici est la combinaison complexe d'un urbanisme contrôlé et autoritaire face à une pratique de la démocratie participative et des initiatives des habitants à l'échelle locale."click | email | tweet
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- New Texts Out Now: Olfa Lamloum and Mohamed Ben Zina, Jeunes de Douar Hicher et d’Ettadhamen. Une enquête sociologique
- Letter of Support by Colleagues and Personal Friends of Emad Shahin
- O.I.L. Media Roundup (27 May)
- Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (May 26)
- Turkey Media Roundup (May 26)
- Syria Media Roundup (May 25)
- Egypt Media Roundup (May 25)
- Last Week on Jadaliyya (May 18-24)
- فصل من رواية أسد البصرة
- Sharjah Biennial 12: Uriel Barthelemi's Souls' Landscapes
- Not Much Special in UN Middle East Missions
- إعادة ابتكار فلسطين: السينما من أجل السلام في جنين
- The Armenian Genocide and the Politics of Knowledge
- ISIS in the News: Extensive Media Roundup (March-April 2015)
- Naema’s Office is Bleeding
- Foreign Policies Media Roundup (April-May 2015)
- We Are All Uncomfortable: On Academic Boycott & What Is Productive
- New Texts Out Now: Bedross Der Matossian, Shattered Dreams of Revolution: From Liberty to Violence in the Late Ottoman Empire
- Memory and Forgetfulness in A Settler Colony
- طائرة الجثامين الصباحية