Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Adanan, A
2021
November
International Criminal Law Review
United Kingdom Policy Towards Universal Jurisdiction Since the Post-War Period
Published
0 ()
Optional Fields
21
1025
1063
From the 17th century onwards, Britain played a leading role in asserting the application of the universality principle to international piracy, the first crime to which the principle applied. Thereafter, during the quest for abolition, it exercised universality over slave traders at sea. With the exercise of universal jurisdiction over atrocity crimes in the post-War period there was a notable shift in the UK position to the principle. This article traces the history of UK policy towards the application of the universality principle to atrocity crimes since WWII. Using archival research from the UK National Archives and the travaux preparatoires to international treaties, it analyses UK policy towards the inclusion of universal jurisdiction in international treaties concerning atrocity crimes. It argues that historically, the UK supported the application of the principle to atrocity crimes committed during an international armed conflict, as this position supported its interests. The nexus between universal jurisdiction and international armed conflict shielded colonial abuses from prosecution in foreign courts. Once the colonial period had come to an end, there was a shift in UK support for the inclusion of universal jurisdiction in international treaties, which is evident since the negotiation of UNCAT and the Rome Statute.
LEIDEN
1567-536X
10.1163/15718123-BJA10077
Grant Details