From the Editors
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
“Depicting the pyramids as [...] “Egypt” perpetuates a romanticized conception of Egyptians[…] Using this image is a missed opportunity to convey the uncertainty facing many Egyptians as well as a perpetuation of a false Egyptian identity.”click | email | tweet
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- One Year after Raba'a: An Interview with Adam Sabra and Mona El Ghobashy
- Studio Visit with Doa Aly
- An Excerpt from Sinan Antoon's "Ave Maria"
- New Texts Out Now: Anthony Alessandrini, Frantz Fanon and the Future of Cultural Politics
- Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (August 19)
- Egypt Media Roundup (August 18)
- بداية ونهاية.. نحن نقص عليكم أسوأ القصص
- Linking Violence In Solidarity: Ferguson, Gaza, and the US State
- Last Week on Jadaliyya (August11-17)
- من كتاب "العالمية الأوروبية: خطاب السلطة" للمفكر وعالم الاجتماع إمانويل ولورستين
- جامعة أميركية توقف تعيين بروفيسور أصوله فلسطينية لانتقاده إسرائيل
- لا أسئلة شائكة في بيت غسّان كنفاني: آني وليلى في نضال الماضي والحاضر
- Egypt: Rab’a Killings Likely Crimes Against Humanity
- Multimedia and Publications Editor Position Now Open
- Persian Translation of Maya Mikdashi's 'Can Palestinian Men be Victims'
- Statement from Free Speech and Constitutional Law Scholars in Support of Steven Salaita
- Chronicles of a Death Foretold: The Kerry Negotiations
- The Terror Metanarrative and the Rabaa Massacre
- On 14 August, A Belated Obituary for Bassem Mohsen
- Press Release: Wear Black to Show Sympathy and Support for the People of Gaza
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
One Year after Raba'a: An Interview with Adam Sabra and Mona El Ghobashy http://t.co/lzpLDG85wo
yesterday at 1:42 PM
Studio Visit with Doa Aly http://t.co/yibmG5EPvi
yesterday at 7:36 AM
BBC News - Syria death toll 'more than 191,000' http://t.co/64At4wsbe9
yesterday at 4:21 AM
BBC News - Gaza crisis: Israel kills three top Hamas commanders http://t.co/yO9tW6AABS
on Thursday 21 August at 07:05 AM
@sakkeh3arja @im_PULSE Hate to break it to قلق but we are working on other matters too, and still addressed all your anger/insults, & more.
on Wednesday 20 August at 10:45 AM