Embodiment of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction Essay

Embodiment of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction Essay

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Universal jurisdiction also called the universality principle enables nations to prosecute offenders of certain crimes, even though they don’t have any nexus to the crime, the alleged offender and the victim. As a concept it was historically developed on the maritime legal principle of hostis humani generis (enemy of the humankind) to address the issue of piracy, which caused considerable destruction of international trade. However, today this principle is applied to prosecute perpetrators of crimes against humanity. This principle also operates on the international concept of jus cogens which argues that certain obligations under international law are binding on all states and therefore they cannot be altered by a treaty. The Eichmann Trial and the Pinochet Case both have been very significant points in international legal history emphasizing the universality principle.
In the Eichmann trial, the judiciary in Israel set a substantial and contemporary precedent towards the advancement of universal jurisdiction. The court in a detailed verdict appealed to the idea of the natural law to find universal jurisdiction applied. The accused in this case, Adolf Eichmann was appointed to the Jewish Section of the “Security Services” (SS) in 1934 and later on became extremely involved in Hitler’s’ formulation and operation of the “Final Solution”. At the end of World War II, many top officials of the Nazi Party were tried at Nuremberg Trials. In 1950, Eichmann escaped to Argentina like many other members of the Nazi Party and lived there under assumed name and identity with his wife and children joining him two years later. A decade later in 1960, Mossad, the Israeli Secret Service learned of his presence in Argentina and in May that ye...


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...uman rights under international law". Houston Journal of International Law 5: 1–34.
See statements by Dr. Amadeo (Argentina), and Mrs. Meir (Israel), U.N. Doe. No. S/PV. 865, par. 24, at 5, and No. S/PV. 866, para. 41, at 9.
http://www.usip.org/publications/truth-commission-chile-90
State Immunity Act 1978, s.14(1)(a)
England School of Law, Winter 2001.
Ley Organica del Poder Judicial, art. 23(4) (1985).
Ibid.
Extradition Act 1989 [United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland], 1989 Chapter 33, 27 July 1989
Brody, Reed and Rather, Michael, red., The Pinochet Papers, 2000, p. 257-258
Brody, Reed and Rather, Michael, red., The Pinochet Papers, 2000, p. 127-180
Brody, Reed and Rather, Michael, red., The Pinochet Papers, 2000, p. 12
[1999] 2 WLR 272 [2000] 1 AC 119
Brody, Reed and Rather, Michael, red., The Pinochet Papers, 2000, p. 411-412

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