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Universal Jurisdiction: A Pragmatic Strategy In Pursuit Of A Moralist'S Vision

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Chapter Summary

The principle of universality permits any state to prosecute individuals against whom there is serious ground for suspecting that they have committed one of a handful of crimes that are subject to universal jurisdiction, regardless of where the offense took place and the nationality of the alleged perpetrator(s) and victim(s). This chapter explains that Cherif Bassiouni has sharply defined the methodological ground of conflict between proponents of universal jurisdiction, who find expanding support for its exercise in contemporary state practice, and opponents, who discount as evidence of state practice in support of universal jurisdiction prosecutions that are simultaneously based on universal and other types of extra-territorial jurisdiction. In fact, Bassiouni?s interpretive stance leads him to discount the importance of precedents that, author argues, ought to be seen as evidence of expanding state practice in support of universal jurisdiction.

Keywords: Cherif Bassiouni; extra-territorial jurisdiction; perpetrator; prosecute; state practice; universal jurisdiction; victim



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