Terrorism and international crimes: Prosecuting atrocities for what they are

Universal Jurisdiction Annual Review 2020

TRIAL International,
European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR),
Federation Internationale de Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH),

This year, the Universal Jurisdiction Annual Review (#UJAR) focuses, as it’s title says, on the risks of confusing the prosecution of international crimes with the fight against terrorism.

With their 6th #UJAR, ECCHR and its partners TRIAL International, the International Federation for Human Rights (fidh) and REDRESS lay out that implications of choosing pragmatism to the detriment of legal principles are substantial, and the consequences potentially grave.

The report highlights cases of 2019 where judges or prosecutors initiated investigations into the most serious international crimes as for example the first trial worldwide on state torture in Syria about start in Germany in spring 2020.

The #UJAR can help juristic actors as a practical tool and thereby to keep up the fight to ensure all mass atrocities, regardless of who committed them and where, are prosecuted for what they are: international crimes. That shall allow the global fight against impunity through Universal Jurisdiction to grow.

The review has been researched and written by Valérie Paulet (TRIAL International), in collaboration with REDRESS, fidh, the International Foundation Baltasar Garzón (FIBGAR) and ECCHR.

It benefited from the generous support of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, the Oak Foundation, the City of Geneva, REDRESS, ECCHR and fidh.

Cover/Caption: A boy walks through a street near his home in Qayyarah (Iraq, 2016) © Nicole Tung