Make Way for Justice: Universal Jurisdiction Annual Review 2015
Report by ECCHR, FIDH und TRIAL, April 2015
Universal jurisdiction is a key component in the fight against impunity, in addition to a State’s competence to exercise jurisdiction over crimes committed on its territory (territorial jurisdiction), crimes committed by one of its nationals (active personality principle) or against one of its nationals (passive personality principle). This first “Universal Jurisdiction Annual Review: Make way for Justice” is a retrospective of the relevant developments in twelve countries where universal jurisdiction proceedings took place in 2014. Based on 37 case studies the findings in this report demonstrate that despite obstacles to the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes under international law, a significant practice has taken shape globally over the course of 2014. In the majority of the identified countries, civil society, victims and/or lawyers have been the driving force behind universal jurisdiction cases, while, in others, criminal justice authorities pro-actively seek to prevent their territory from being used as a safe haven by suspected perpetrators of international crimes.