Extraterritorial Jurisdiction for International Crimes

Alejandro Chehtman

in The Philosophical Foundations of Extraterritorial Punishment

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199603404
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725173 | DOI:
Extraterritorial Jurisdiction for International Crimes

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This chapter provides a fresh look at the issues of international and universal jurisdiction, i.e., at the theoretical explanation for the scope of the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the proposition that every state should have the right to punish an offender for an international crime. It challenges the standard position that seeks to explain the territorial scope of the ICC's jurisdiction by reference to state consent or delegation of powers and rejects arguments for universal jurisdiction based, e.g., on the pursuit of peace, and the interests of humanity as such. By contrast, it offers an alternative account based on the interests of individuals worldwide in the legal prohibitions of war crimes, crimes against humanity, etc., being in force. It also examines and rejects some of the pressing charges often raised against universal jurisdiction, such as that it criminalizes political decision-making, that it would be liable to political hijacking, or that it ultimately is an expensive taste for Western elites.

Keywords: universal jurisdiction; terra nullius; International Criminal Court; delegation; politics; right to punish; crimes against humanity

Chapter.  14146 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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