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Universal Jurisdiction for International Crimes – A Case Study

European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research

Published online on


There is generally no agreed doctrinal definition of universal jurisdiction in customary and conventional international law. However, this does not preclude any definition, which embodies the essence of the concept as the ability to exercise jurisdiction irrespective of territoriality or nationality. Therefore, the concept of universal jurisdiction applies to a situation where “the nature of (an) act entitles a State to exercise its jurisdiction to apply its laws, even if the act has occurred outside its territory, has been perpetrated by a non-national, and even if (its) nationals have not been harmed by the acts.”