Obstacles before National Courts in Prosecuting International Criminals Based on Universal Jurisdiction

Document Type : Original Article



Regardless of the fact that prosecution of international crimes in national courts has politically, sociologically and practically precedence on international ones, national courts’ decisions can strength the process of fight against impunity and enrich sources of international criminal law. States may exert various territorial and transterritorial criterions in prosecuting international criminals. One of the transterritorial criterions in exerting criminal jurisdiction is “Universal Jurisdiction” application of which contrary to other criterions in this field, needs not a nexus between the proceeding state and the crime or the criminal. This criterion in its absolute meaning, however, was so extensive that it could not find its proper and deserved position among other criterions. Put differently, it faced failure. Although it could revive the hope of prosecution of international criminal in victims’ hearts, after taking some steps it confronted various legal, political and technical obstacles which considerably slowed down or even stopped eye-catching move of national courts in fight against impunity. 


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