SW9
LIMITS OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW: CRITICAL DEBATES ON CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
CONVENOR: NERGIS CANEFE
This workshop will examine the ethical and political limits of the doctrine of universal jurisdiction in international law. Despite normative and doctrinal arguments favoring the desirability of its exercise, critical legal analysis of this extraordinary form of jurisdiction remains largely missing. Yet universal jurisdiction's increased practice by states calls out for such an examination. This workshop will explicates the inherent dilemma of the norm itself: if national or hybrid courts prosecute on grounds of universal jurisdiction, they must rely on the international legal definition contained in customary international law of the universal crimes they adjudicate; otherwise their exercise of universal jurisdiction contradicts the very foundation it purports to rely. Unlike other bases of jurisdiction in international law, the prescriptive substance of universal jurisdiction authorizes and circumscribes universal adjudicative jurisdiction; it defines not only the universal crimes themselves, but also the judicial competence for all courts wishing to exercise universal jurisdiction. However, in reality, the actual practice as observed in the case of crimes against humanity heavily relies upon political will of the societies in question embracing universal jurisdiction.