Practice Relating to Rule 157. Jurisdiction over War Crimes

Note: Only practice related to the right of States to vest universal jurisdiction in their national courts over war crimes is included here. For the establishment of jurisdiction of national courts, other than based on the principle of universal jurisdiction, see Rule 158.
Genocide Convention
Article VI of the 1948 Genocide Convention provides:
Persons charged with genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article III shall be tried by a competent tribunal of the State in the territory of which the act was committed, or by such international penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction with respect to those Contracting Parties which shall have accepted its jurisdiction. 
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 260 A (III), 9 December 1948, Article VI.
Geneva Conventions (1949)
Article 49 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I, Article 50 of the 1949 Geneva Convention II, Article 129 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Article 146 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provide:
The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention defined in the following Article.
Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed [grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions], and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts. It may also, if it prefers, and in accordance with the provisions of its own legislation, hand such persons over for trial to another High Contracting Party concerned, provided such High Contracting Party has made out a prima facie case. 
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 49; Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 50; Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 129; Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 146.
Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property
Article 28 of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property provides:
The High Contracting Parties undertake to take, within the framework of their ordinary criminal jurisdiction, all necessary steps to prosecute and impose penal or disciplinary sanctions upon those persons, of whatever nationality, who commit or order to be committed a breach of the present Convention. 
Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, The Hague, 14 May 1954, Article 28.
Additional Protocol I
Article 85(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I incorporates by reference the provisions set forth in the second paragraph of Article 49 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I, Article 50 of the 1949 Geneva Convention II, Article 129 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Article 146 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 85(1). Article 85 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, p. 291.
Convention against Torture
Article 5 of the 1984 Convention against Torture provides:
Each State Party shall take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the offences referred to in article 4 in the following cases:
(a) When the offences are committed in any territory under its jurisdiction or on board a ship or aircraft registered in that State;
(b) When the alleged offender is a national of that State;
(c) When the victim is a national of that State if that State considers it appropriate.
Each State Party shall likewise take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over such offences in cases where the alleged offender is present in any territory under its jurisdiction and it does not extradite him pursuant to article 8 to any of the States mentioned in paragraph 1 of this article. 
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 39/46, 10 December 1984, Article 5. Similar requirements to prosecute or extradite are also found in Article IV of the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, and numerous conventions for the prevention of terrorism.
Convention on the Safety of UN Personnel
Article 10 of the 1994 Convention on the Safety of UN Personnel provides:
1. Each State Party shall take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the crimes set out in article 9 [Crimes against United Nations and associated personnel] in the following cases:
(a) When the crime is committed in the territory of that State or on board a ship or aircraft registered in that State;
(b) When the alleged offender is a national of that State.
2. A State Party may also establish its jurisdiction over any such crime when it is committed:
(a) By a stateless person whose habitual residence is in that State; or
(b) With respect to a national of that State; or
(c) In an attempt to compel that State to do or to abstain from doing any act.
4. Each State Party shall take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the crimes set out in article 9 [Crimes against United Nations and associated personnel] in cases where the alleged offender is present in its territory and it does not extradite such person pursuant to article 15 [Extradition of alleged offenders] to any of the States Parties which have established their jurisdiction in accordance with paragraph 1 or 2. 
Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 49/59, 9 December 1994, Article 10.
Inter-American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons
Article IV of the 1994 Inter-American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons provides:
The acts constituting the forced disappearance of persons shall be considered offenses in every State Party. Consequently, each State Party shall take measures to establish its jurisdiction over such cases in the following instances:
a. When the forced disappearance of persons or any act constituting such offense was committed within its jurisdiction;
b. When the accused is a national of that state;
c. When the victim is a national of that state and that state sees fit to do so.
Every State Party shall, moreover, take the necessary measures to establish its jurisdiction over the crime described in this Convention when the alleged criminal is within its territory and it does not proceed to extradite him. 
Inter-American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons, adopted by the Twenty-fourth Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly, Res. 1256 (XXIV-O/94), Belém do Pará, 9 June 1994, Article IV.
Inter-American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons
Article 15(2) of the 1994 Inter-American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons states:
This Convention shall not apply to the international armed conflicts governed by the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Protocols, concerning protection of wounded, sick, and shipwrecked members of the armed forces; and prisoners of war and civilians in time of war. 
Inter-American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons, adopted by the Twenty-fourth Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly, Res. 1256 (XXIV-O/94), Belém do Pará, 9 June 1994, Article 15(2).
Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Article 14 of the 1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons provides:
(1) Each High Contracting Party shall take all appropriate steps, including legislative and other measures, to prevent and suppress violations of this Protocol by persons on territory under its jurisdiction and control.
(2) The measures envisaged in paragraph 1 of this Article include appropriate measures to ensure the imposition of penal sanctions against persons who, in relation to an armed conflict and contrary to the provisions of this Protocol, wilfully kill or cause serious injury to civilians and to bring such persons to justice.  
Protocol on Prohibitions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices, as amended, to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, Geneva, 3 May 1996, Article 14.
Ottawa Convention on Anti-Personnel Mines
Article 9 of the 1997 Ottawa Convention on Anti-Personnel Mines provides:
Each State Party shall take all appropriate legal, administrative and other measures, including the imposition of penal sanctions, to prevent and suppress any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention undertaken by persons on territory under its jurisdiction or control. 
Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, Ottawa, 18 September 1997, Article 9.
ICC Statute
The preamble to the 1998 ICC Statute provides:
Affirming that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished and that their effective prosecution must be ensured by taking measures at the national level and by enhancing international co-operation,
Recalling that it is the duty of every State to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, 17 July 1998, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, preamble.
ICC Statute
Article 12 of the 1998 ICC Statute provides:
1. A State which becomes a Party to this Statute thereby accepts the jurisdiction of the Court with respect to the crimes referred to in article 5.
2. In the case of article 13, paragraph (a) or (c), the Court may exercise its jurisdiction if one or more of the following States are Parties to this Statute or have accepted the jurisdiction of the Court in accordance with paragraph 3:
(a) The State on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred or, if the crime was committed on board a vessel or aircraft, the State of registration of that vessel or aircraft;
(b) The State of which the person accused of the crime is a national.
3. If the acceptance of a State which is not a Party to this Statute is required under paragraph 2, that State may, by declaration lodged with the Registrar, accept the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court with respect to the crime in question. The accepting State shall cooperate with the Court without any delay or exception in accordance with Part 9. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, 17 July 1998, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, Article 12.
ICC Statute
Article 13 of the 1998 ICC Statute provides:
The Court may exercise its jurisdiction with respect to a crime referred to in article 5 in accordance with the provisions of this Statute if:
(a) A situation in which one or more of such crimes appears to have been committed is referred to the Prosecutor by a State Party in accordance with article 14;
(b) A situation in which one or more of such crimes appears to have been committed is referred to the Prosecutor by the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations; or
(c) The Prosecutor has initiated an investigation in respect of such a crime in accordance with article 15. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, 17 July 1998, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, Article 13.
Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property
Article 15(2) of the 1999 Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property concerning “Serious violations of this Protocol”, which, according to its Article 22(1), also applies to armed conflicts not of an international character, provides:
Each Party shall adopt such measures as may be necessary to establish as criminal offences under its domestic law the offences set forth in this Article [serious violations of the Protocol] and to make such offences punishable by appropriate penalties. When doing so, Parties shall comply with general principles of law and international law, including the rules extending individual criminal responsibility to persons other than those who directly commit the act. 
Second Protocol for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, The Hague, 26 March 1999, Article 15(2).
Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property
Article 16(1) of the 1999 Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property concerning “Jurisdiction” provides:
Without prejudice to paragraph 2, each Party shall take the necessary legislative measures to establish its jurisdiction over offences set forth in Article 15 in the following cases:
(a) when such an offence is committed in the territory of that State;
(b) when the alleged offender is a national of that State;
(c) in the case of offences set forth in Article 15 sub-paragraphs (a) to (c), when the alleged offender is present in its territory. 
Second Protocol for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, The Hague, 26 March 1999, Article 16(1).
Convention on Enforced Disappearance
The 2006 Convention on Enforced Disappearance provides:
Recalling … relevant international instruments in the fields of human rights, humanitarian law and international criminal law,
Article 9
1. Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to establish its competence to exercise jurisdiction over the offence of enforced disappearance:
(a) When the offence is committed in any territory under its jurisdiction or on board a ship or aircraft registered in that State;
(b) When the alleged offender is one of its nationals;
(c) When the disappeared person is one of its nationals and the State Party considers it appropriate.
2. Each State Party shall likewise take such measures as may be necessary to establish its competence to exercise jurisdiction over the offence of enforced disappearance when the alleged offender is present in any territory under its jurisdiction, unless it extradites or surrenders him or her to another State in accordance with its international obligations or surrenders him or her to an international criminal tribunal whose jurisdiction it has recognized.
3. This Convention does not exclude any additional criminal jurisdiction exercised in accordance with national law. 
International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 61/177, 20 December 2006, Annex, Preamble and Article 9.
ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1996)
Article 8 of the 1996 ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, entitled “Establishment of jurisdiction”, provides:
Without prejudice to the jurisdiction of an international criminal court, each State Party shall take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the crimes set out in articles 17, 18, 19 and 20 [i.e. genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes against UN and associated personnel and war crimes], irrespective of where or by whom those crimes were committed. Jurisdiction over the crime set out in article 16 [i.e. crime of aggression] shall rest with an international criminal court. However, a State referred to in article 16 is not precluded from trying its nationals for the crime set out in that article. 
Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, adopted by the International Law Commission, reprinted in Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-eighth session, 6 May–26 July 1996, UN Doc. A/51/10, 1996, Article 8.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 4 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin provides: “In cases of violations of international humanitarian law, members of the military personnel of a United Nations force are subject to prosecution in their national courts.” 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 4.
Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Violations of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (2000)
Article 5 of the 2000 Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Violations of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law provides:
[To fulfil their duty to prosecute persons alleged to have committed violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law norms that constitute crimes under international law, to punish perpetrators adjudged to have committed these violations, and to cooperate with and assist States and appropriate international judicial organs in the investigation and prosecution of these violations under Article 4 of the same instrument], States shall incorporate within their domestic law appropriate provisions providing for universal jurisdiction over crimes under international law and appropriate legislation to facilitate extradition or surrender of offenders to other States and to international judicial bodies and to provide judicial assistance and other forms of cooperation in the pursuit of international justice, including assistance to and protection of victims and witnesses.  
Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Violations of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, annexed to The Right to Restitution, Compensation and Rehabilitation for Victims of Gross Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms: Final Report of the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights, submitted in accordance with UN Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/33, UN Doc. E/CN.4/2000/62,18 January 2000, Article 5.
UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15
The 2000 UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15 establishes panels with exclusive jurisdiction over serious criminal offences, including genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture. Section 2 provides:
2.1 With regard to the serious criminal offences listed under Section [10(1)(a), (b), (c) and (f)] of UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/11 [i.e. genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture] … the panels shall have universal jurisdiction.
2.2 For purposes of the present regulation, “universal jurisdiction” means jurisdiction irrespective of whether:
(a) the serious criminal offence at issue was committed within the territory of East Timor;
(b) the serious criminal offence was committed by an East Timorese citizen; or
(c) the victim of the serious criminal offence was an East Timorese citizen. 
Regulation on the Establishment of Panels with Exclusive Jurisdiction over Serious Criminal Offences, UN Doc. UNTAET/REG/2000/15, Dili, 6 June 2000, Section 2.
Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of IHL (2005)
Paragraph 5 of the 2005 Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of IHL states:
Where so provided in an applicable treaty or under other international law obligations, States shall incorporate or otherwise implement within their domestic law appropriate provisions for universal jurisdiction. 
Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of IHL, annexed to UN General Assembly resolution 60/147 of 16 December 2005, § 5.
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) states:
War crimes jurisdiction is universal. This means that any nation may prosecute any person who is suspected of committing a major war crime and no statute of limitations applies for such prosecutions. Trial of a suspected war criminal may take place at any time that the individual is located or evidence of a war crimes commission is unearthed. Australia has vested its war crime jurisdiction in the State Supreme Courts …
Where there is widespread evidence of war crimes having been committed, the international community may elect to establish a world forum or war crimes tribunal to conduct trials. The Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes tribunals conducted after [World War II] are examples of this approach. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, §§ 1307–1308.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
The Geneva Conventions introduced a new concept, that of “grave breaches”. These are war crimes of such seriousness as to invoke universal jurisdiction. Universal jurisdiction entitles any nation to exercise jurisdiction over any perpetrator, regardless of their nationality or the place where the offence was committed. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 13.24.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states:
The States signatory to the [1949 Geneva] Conventions undertook to take a series of measures to promote respect thereof.
These measures can be summarized as follows:
3) search for, identification of and prosecution by the national courts of the authors of grave breaches, regardless of their nationality, or delivery (extradition) of those authors to the State asking for them, within the limits of the legislation in force. 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 55.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states:
According to the principle of universal jurisdiction, the obligation to repress grave breaches [of IHL] is independent from the nationality of the author or the victim and the place where the act was committed. [The principle of universal jurisdiction] … stipulates an absolute obligation for all States parties to the humanitarian treaties to effectively punish these crimes. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 118.
The Regulations also states: “The State must exercise universal jurisdiction with respect to the author of a war crime […]; or else it must extradite that person to an interested State under the conditions established by its domestic law.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 119; see also Part I bis, p. 118.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
Universal Jurisdiction
The states that have ratified the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols are obliged to search for and prosecute any person who has committed or ordered to commit grave breaches of the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law, irrespective of their nationality. They are obliged to prosecute or extradite [such persons]. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 296, § 662; see also p. 295 and p. 297, § 663.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states:
If a breach [of the 1949 Geneva Convention III] amounts to a grave breach all persons responsible therefor, or having ordered such acts, shall, regardless of their nationality, be liable to be tried by any party to [the 1949 Geneva Convention III]. They may also be handed over by the latter for trial by any other party to [the 1949 Geneva Convention III] able to prosecute effectively. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 10-6, § 52.
The manual further provides:
The Criminal Code of Canada contains several provisions that allow Canadian courts to assume jurisdiction over and try alleged war criminals in a wide variety of circumstances.
… Any state into whose hands a person who has allegedly committed a grave breach falls is entitled to institute criminal proceedings, even though that state was neutral during the conflict in which the offence was alleged to have been committed. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, pp. 16-5/16-6, §§ 37–38.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of prisoners of war:
Parties to the conflict shall take such measures as may be necessary to suppress and punish all breaches of [the 1949 Geneva Convention III]. If a breach amounts to a grave breach all persons responsible therefore, or having ordered such acts, shall, regardless of nationality, be liable to be tried by any party to [the 1949 Geneva Convention III]. They may also be handed over by the latter for trial by any other party to [the 1949 Geneva Convention III] able to prosecute effectively. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1038.
In its chapter on “War crimes, individual criminal liability and command responsibility”, the manual states:
1616. Canadian law
2. The Criminal Code of Canada contains several provisions that allow Canadian courts to assume jurisdiction over and try alleged war criminals in a wide variety of circumstances …
1617. International law
1. Any state into whose hands a person who has allegedly committed a grave breach falls is entitled to institute criminal proceedings, even though that state was neutral during the conflict in which the offence was alleged to have been committed. Since 1945, it has been generally accepted that if a state is unwilling to institute its own proceedings, it may hand the person over to a claimant state on presentation of prima facie evidence that the alleged offender has committed the offence in question.
2. While International Law authorizes the trial of accused war criminals, the courts are established in accordance with the national law of the state having custody of the accused. Procedure is also left to that state. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, §§ 1616.2 and 1617.1–2.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states: “States are required to seek and punish perpetrators of serious violations, regardless of their nationality (or that of the victims) or of the place where the violation was committed.” 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 109.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states: “International law … provides that belligerent States have the right to punish enemy armed forces personnel and enemy civilians who fall under their control for such offences.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 6.2.5.
France
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000), in a part dealing with “grave breaches of the rules of the law of armed conflict”, states:
On the criminal level, persons charged with [grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions] may be prosecuted before French judicial courts, but also before foreign courts or international criminal courts having jurisdiction over war crimes: today this means the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda for the crimes committed solely on the occasion of these two conflicts; tomorrow, this will mean … the International Criminal Court which will have jurisdiction over all war crimes and crimes against humanity in case of the failure of national tribunals. 
France, Fiche didactique relative au droit des conflits armés, Directive of the Ministry of Defence, 4 January 2000, annexed to the Directive No. 147 of the Ministry of Defence of 4 January 2000, p. 7.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “The full force of the law may be brought to bear against war criminals under their own jurisdiction or under international law.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 41.
The manual further states:
The national courts of law of various countries are competent to arraign individuals for crimes committed within their jurisdiction. There are especially serious crimes, however, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity and others, the perpetration of which is injurious to the human race as a whole, not merely to the national laws of that country. International justice imposes a duty on all countries to act to prevent the commission of such crimes and bring their perpetrators to justice.
To that end, countries are entitled to bring the perpetrators to trial in their own national courts, even if the crime itself was committed outside their jurisdiction. This judicial rule is known as universal jurisdiction.
The internal justice system of a number of countries, including Israel, has provisions covering universal jurisdiction. Thus, for example, Adolf Eichmann was made to stand trial in Israel for an offence that is included in Israel’s main legislation, under ‘The Law for Meting out Justice to Nazis and their Collaborators’, which is tantamount to the enforcement through universal jurisdiction of prohibitions under the rules of war against the commission of crimes against humanity. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, pp. 41–42.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states:
Each country is competent to prosecute and try war crimes, irrespective of the nationality of the perpetrator, or of the country where the war crime was committed or against whose interest it was committed. The rules on extradition of persons suspected of having committed, or ordered the commission of, a war crime are closely connected to the principle of universality …
The Criminal Law in Wartime Act [as amended] has not entirely incorporated the principle of universality as foreseen in the law of war treaties. It requires that the Netherlands be involved in an armed conflict (Article 1). A Dutch judge is not competent in case the Netherlands is neutral or not a party to the conflict. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, pp. IX-8 and IX-9.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “Hostile persons who have committed a war crime and fall into the hands of [our] own troops must be tried.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-45.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands provides:
1137. The Dutch International Criminal Offences Act (Wet internationale misdrijven – WIM) … is a “broad” act which penalizes “the most serious crimes which fill the whole international community with concern.” It then deals with the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity (including torture, Article 4) and war crimes. Article 5 gives detailed descriptions of war crimes in an international armed conflict, Article 6 covers those in an internal armed conflict, while Article 7 contains a “safety-net provision” which makes no distinction concerning the nature of the armed conflict: this ensures that war crimes not specifically described do not go unpunished. International law not only prohibits the committing of international crimes, but also requires States to institute and maintain an effective system of exercising legal power against such crimes. The International Criminal Offences Act establishes a wide extra-territorial jurisdiction for the Dutch courts with regard to such crimes. This is partly based on the principle of universality … The International Criminal Offences Act is applicable under normal circumstances.
1139. To use penal law against violations of the humanitarian law of war, it is important that the Geneva Conventions are based on the principle of universality with regard to these punishable offences. The principle means that each country is authorized to prosecute and judge war crimes, irrespective of the nationality of the perpetrator or of the country or interest against which the war crime was committed.
1140. The universality principle is closely linked to the rule on the transfer of persons suspected of having committed or ordered a war crime. Generally, States are bound to grant each other as much mutual assistance as possible in matters of criminal procedures relating to serious violations. They must cooperate as much as possible in handing over war criminals.
1141. Judicial competence or jurisdiction implies that, by law, a judicial authority is appointed with power to have cognizance of alleged criminal acts committed by a given (categories of) persons. The power of the Public Prosecutor’s Office to undertake investigative work in these matters derives accordingly from this power.
1142. Article 2 of the WIM establishes extraterritorial universal jurisdiction with regard to international crimes. This universal jurisdiction is limited to situations where a suspect is located in the Netherlands. In that situation, the Netherlands should try the suspect or hand him over to another State or legal institution which has established jurisdiction over such crimes (transfer for serious offences is governed by the Act on Transfer for War Crimes; while transfer to the International Criminal Court is governed by the Act Implementing the International Criminal Court). In addition to universal jurisdiction, the Netherlands has also established judicial competence based on the active and passive nationality principle. This means competence for acts committed by or against a Dutch citizen or Dutch legal person outside the Netherlands.
1143. The ordinary penal divisions of the District Court and Court of Justice of The Hague have been appointed as the authorized judicial authorities. The military chambers at the District Court and Court of Justice in Arnhem remain competent at all times for the military.
1144. In addition, a general decree may require particular courts and a Special High Court also to have cognizance of crimes described in the [Dutch] International Criminal Offences Act.
1145. The establishment of universal jurisdiction with regard to international crimes is necessary because, by virtue of its ratification of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute), the Netherlands has to prosecute and judge the crimes mentioned repeatedly above. Before the existence of the WOS, the Netherlands had established no universal jurisdiction for crimes against humanity. The International Criminal Court has jurisdiction which complements national jurisdiction in criminal matters. This means that the International Criminal Court may act only if no State is willing or able actually to conduct the investigation or prosecution. Now that the Netherlands has established jurisdiction over the crimes mentioned in the Rome Statute, Dutch judges may try these matters and, in principle, Dutch citizens do not have to be handed over to the International Criminal Court for trial. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 1137 and 1139–1145.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states:
The [1949 Geneva] Conventions make one further departure of significance. For the first time they provide in treaty form a clear obligation upon States to punish what the Conventions describe as “grave breaches”, even if those States are not parties to the conflict, the offenders and the victims not their nationals, and even though the offences were committed outside the territorial jurisdiction of the State concerned. In other words, the Conventions have introduced the concept of universal jurisdiction in so far as grave breaches are concerned, and if the State in question is unwilling to try an offender found within its territory, it is obliged to hand him over for trial to any party to the Convention making out a prima facie case. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 117.5.
The manual also provides:
Any State into whose hands a person who has allegedly committed a grave breach falls is entitled to institute criminal proceedings, even though the holding State was neutral during the conflict in which the offence was alleged to have been committed. Since 1945, it has been generally accepted that if the holding State is unwilling to institute its own proceedings, it may if it wishes hand the offender over to a claimant State on presentation of prima facie evidence that the alleged offender has committed the offence in question. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1711.1.
In addition, the manual states:
According to customary international law, war crimes, including grave breaches, may be tried by a military tribunal including officers of forces of States other than that establishing the tribunal, provided those forces may claim to be particularly affected or interested in the trial in question …
Such interest would arise if the accused is a member of an allied force, if the victims of the offence are nationals of the State of such force, or if the offence had been committed in the territory of such a State. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1714.1, including footnote 85.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) defines the term aut dedere aut judicare as:
The principle that any State party to the Geneva Conventions is under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, any of the grave breaches defined by the law of armed conflict. Accused persons must be brought before the competent courts and, if found guilty, sentenced by such courts to the penal sanctions provided by law. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, Annex 9, Glossary of Terms.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states:
IHL imposes on States the obligation to search and punish all persons who have committed grave breaches [of IHL], irrespective of the nationality of the perpetrator or the place where they committed the crime. This obligation stems from the principle called UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION … , and includes the obligation to prosecute them or to extradite them. This obligation falls on all States affected by the commission of the crime. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 24, p. 39; see also § 27, pp. 42–43.
In its Glossary of Terms, the manual also states:
Judicare aut dedere: Principle based on which every State Party to the [1949] Geneva Conventions has the obligation to search persons accused of having committed or ordered the commission of any of the grave breaches defined by the law of armed conflict. Accused persons must be brought before the competent courts and, if found guilty, sentenced by such courts to the penal sanctions provided by law. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, p. 407.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s Operational Law Manual (1996) states that not only international tribunals but also national military courts or military committees have jurisdiction to try persons accused of committing war crimes. It adds that war crimes which are not punishable under national law remain punishable under the laws of war. 
Republic of Korea, Operational Law Manual, 1996, p. 193, § 4.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) states: “Signatory States [of the 1949 Geneva Conventions] are required to treat as criminals under domestic law anyone who commits or orders a grave breach [of the 1949 Geneva Conventions].” 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, § 35.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “States have the obligation to search for persons accused of having committed, or having ordered to be committed, grave breaches, being obliged to make them appear before their own tribunals, regardless of their nationality.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, División de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 11.8.b.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states:
Under the Geneva Conventions, States have the right to exercise universal jurisdiction over war crimes in their courts, even when the crime is committed outside their national territory and the accused is not a national of that State. States have a duty to search for those suspected of having committed or having ordered others to commit grave breaches and try them in their own courts, regardless of their nationality. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 11.7.b.
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) states:
Each state is obliged to search for persons accused of committing or ordering a grave breach and shall bring them, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts. A permitted alternative is to hand over the wanted person to another contracting party, provided that this state has an interest in punishing the breach and has made out a prima facie case. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 4.2, p. 93.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides:
1. Violations of the laws and customs of war must be punished. The guilty persons may be brought either before the courts of their own country or before the courts of the injured State, or before an international tribunal.
2. Each Contracting Party is also bound to search for and prosecute in its own courts persons who have committed grave breaches of the provisions of the law of nations in time of war. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 198(1) and (2).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
The Swiss judicial authorities are required to open a criminal procedure against any Swiss citizen or foreign person where the suspect is present in or has a close connection with Switzerland, regardless of whether the offence has taken place in Switzerland or abroad (for the precise rules on the prosecution of war crimes committed by foreign nationals outside Switzerland, see Art. 9 of the Military Criminal Code). 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, § 238.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states:
Those who commit [acts of marauding], whether civilians who have never been lawful combatants, or persons who have belonged to a military unit, an organised resistance movement or a levée en masse, and have deserted and so ceased to be lawful combatants, are liable to be punished as war criminals. They may be tried and sentenced by the courts of either belligerents. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 636.
The manual also provides:
Charges of war crimes are subject to the jurisdiction of military courts, whether national or international, or of such other courts as the belligerent concerned may determine. With regard to the trial of civilians for “grave breaches” of the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions which include the most serious war crimes, jurisdiction can only be conferred upon the ordinary courts of the Power concerned or upon the courts set up by the Occupant. Prisoners of war charged with “grave breaches” and of all other war crimes must be tried by the same courts and in the same manner as in the case of crimes committed whilst in captivity. The courts, whether military or civil, of neutral States may also exercise jurisdiction in respect of war crimes. This jurisdiction is independent of any agreement made between neutral and belligerent States. War crimes are crimes ex jure gentium and are thus triable by the courts of all States … British military courts have jurisdictions outside the United Kingdom over war crimes committed not only by members of the enemy armed forces but also by enemy civilians and other persons of any nationality, including those of British nationality or the nationals of allied or neutral States. It is not necessary that the victim of the war crime be a British subject. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 637.
The manual further emphasizes that “parties [to the 1949 Geneva Conventions] are also bound … regardless of their nationality, to bring [persons alleged to have committed grave breaches] to trial in their own courts”. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 639.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) states: “UK courts are entitled to deal with certain violations of the [1949] Geneva Conventions (wherever occurring) under the Geneva Conventions Act 1957.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 2, p. 5, § 2(a).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
The Geneva Conventions 1949 introduced a new concept, that of “grave breaches”. These are war crimes of such seriousness as to invoke universal jurisdiction. Universal jurisdiction entitles any state to exercise jurisdiction over any perpetrator, regardless of his nationality or the place where the offence was committed. In the case of grave breaches, states are obliged to introduce legislation to this effect. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.23.
The manual further states:
16.30. International law permits any state to try those accused of war crimes, whatever their nationality and wherever the offence was committed. However, the exercise of jurisdiction will depend on whether the particular crime or the particular offender can be tried according to the domestic law of the state concerned. In the case of grave breaches, states have an obligation to enact legislation to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing or ordering the commission of any of the acts or omissions concerned …
16.30.2. The civil courts of the United Kingdom can try persons of any nationality who are accused of committing any grave breach of the Geneva Conventions or of Additional Protocol I.
16.30.3. In addition, the International Criminal Court Act 2001 gives jurisdiction to the civil courts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland to try any United Kingdom national or resident, or any person subject to Service jurisdiction, for any offence listed in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, wherever committed. In respect of persons subject to Service jurisdiction, Service courts will also have jurisdiction over such offences except when they are committed within the United Kingdom. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 16.30 and 16.30.2–3.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides: “War crimes are within the jurisdiction of general courts-martial … military commissions, provost courts, military government courts, and other military tribunals … of the United States, as well as of international tribunals.” 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 505(d).
The manual adds:
Each High Contracting Party [to the 1949 Geneva Conventions] shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, … grave breaches [of the said Conventions] and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts …
[These] principles … are declaratory of the obligations of belligerents under customary international law to take measures for the punishment of war crimes committed by all persons, including members of a belligerent’s own armed forces …
The jurisdiction of United States military tribunals in connection with war crimes is not limited to offenses committed against nationals of the United States but extends also to all offenses of this nature committed against nationals of allies and of cobelligerents and stateless persons …
The United States normally punishes war crimes as such only if they are committed by enemy nationals or by persons serving the interests of the enemy State. Violations of the law of war committed by persons subject to the military law of the United States will usually constitute violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and, if so, will be prosecuted under that Code. Violations of the law of war committed within the United States by other persons will usually constitute violations of federal or state criminal law and preferably will be prosecuted under such law … Commanding officers of United States troops must insure that war crimes committed by members of their forces against enemy personnel are promptly and adequately punished. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, §§ 506(a) and (b) and 507(a) and (b).
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states:
Domestic tribunals have the competence and, under the grave breaches articles of the [1949] Geneva Conventions, the strict obligation to punish certain violations … Ad hoc international tribunals, such as those established in Germany and Japan following World War II, did punish individuals for their personal actions violating the law of armed conflict. However, the importance of criminal responsibility … primarily relates to a state’s own efforts to enforce the law of armed conflict with respect to its own armed forces. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 10-6.
[emphasis in original]
The Pamphlet further states:
Within the [1949] Geneva Conventions system, state responsibility to repress breaches is stressed, and no provision is made for international tribunals within the Conventions …
In the United States, jurisdiction is not limited to offenses against US nationals but extends to offenses against victims of other nationalities. Violations by adversary personnel, when appropriate, are tried as offenses against international law which forms part of the law of the United States. In occupied territories, trials are usually held under occupation law. Trials of such personnel have been held in regular military courts, military commissions, provost courts, military government courts, and other military tribunals of the United States, as well as in international tribunals. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, §§ 15–3(a) and 15-4(a).
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) provides:
3.11.1 … International law generally recognizes five bases for the exercise of criminal jurisdiction: (a) territorial, (b) nationality, (c) passive personality, (d) protective, and (e) universal. It is important to note that international law governs the rights and obligations between nations. While individuals may benefit from the application of that body of law, its alleged violation cannot usually be raised by an individual defendant to defeat a criminal prosecution.
3.11.1.1 Territorial Principle. This principle recognizes the right of a nation to proscribe conduct within its territorial borders, including its internal waters, archipelagic waters, and territorial sea.
3.11.1.1.1 Objective Territorial Principle. This variant of the territorial principle recognizes that a nation may apply its laws to acts committed beyond its territory which have their effect in the territory of that nation …
3.11.1.2 Nationality Principle. This principle is based on the concept that a nation has jurisdiction over objects and persons having the nationality of that nation … Under the nationality principle a nation may apply its laws to its nationals wherever they may be … As a matter of international comity and respect for foreign sovereignty, the United States refrains from exercising that jurisdiction in foreign territory.
3.11.1.3 Passive Personality Principle. Under this principle, jurisdiction is based on the nationality of the victim, irrespective of where the crime occurred or the nationality of the offender …
3.11.1.4 Protective Principle. This principle recognizes the right of a nation to prosecute acts which have a significant adverse impact on its national security or governmental functions …
3.11.1.5 Universal Principle. This principle recognizes that certain offenses are so heinous and so widely condemned that any nation may apprehend, prosecute and punish that offender on behalf of the world community regardless of the nationality of the offender or victim. Piracy and the slave trade have historically fit these criteria. More recently, genocide, certain war crimes, hostage taking, and aircraft hijacking have been added to the list of such universal crimes. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), §§ 3.11.1–3.11.1.5.
The Handbook also states: “International law also provides that belligerents have the right to punish enemy armed forces personnel and enemy civilians who fall under their control for [war crimes].”  
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 6.2.5.
The Handbook further states:
Except for war crimes trials conducted by the Allies after World War II, the majority of prosecutions for violations of the law of armed conflict have been trials of one’s own forces for breaches of military discipline. Violations of the law of armed conflict committed by persons subject to the military law of the United States will usually constitute violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and, if so, will be prosecuted under that Code.
Although jurisdiction extends to enemy personnel, trials have almost exclusively been against unlawful combatants, such as persons who take part in combat operations without distinguishing themselves clearly from the civilian population during battle or those acting without state sanction for private ends.
In the United States, its territories and possessions, jurisdiction is not limited to offenses against U.S. nationals, but extends to offenses against persons of other nationalities. Violations by enemy nationals may be tried as offenses against international law, which forms part of the law of the United States. In occupied territories, trials are usually held under occupation law. Trials of such personnel have been held in military courts, military commissions, provost courts, military government courts, and other military tribunals. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 6.2.5.3.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states:
3.11.1 Jurisdiction to Proscribe
International law generally recognizes five bases for the exercise of criminal jurisdiction: (a) territorial, (b) nationality, (c) passive personality, (d) protective, and (e) universal. It is important to note that international law governs the rights and obligations between nations. While individuals may benefit from the application of that body of law, its alleged violation cannot usually be raised by an individual defendant to defeat a criminal prosecution.
3.11.1.6 Universal Principle
This principle recognizes that certain offenses are so heinous and so widely condemned that any nation may apprehend, prosecute, and punish that offender on behalf of the world community regardless of the nationality of the offender or victim. Piracy and the slave trade have historically fit these criteria. More recently, genocide, certain war crimes, hostage taking, and aircraft hijacking have been added to the list of such universal crimes. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, §§ 3.11.1 and 3.11.1.6.
The Handbook also states:
For offenses committed in the United States, its territories and possessions, jurisdiction is not limited to offenses by U.S. nationals, but also extends to offenses by persons of other nationalities. War crimes committed by enemy nationals may be tried as offenses against international law, which forms part of the law of the United States. Trials of enemy personnel may be held in U.S. federal courts, military courts, and military tribunals or commissions. In occupied territories, trials are usually held under occupation law. Trials of such personnel have been held in military courts, military commissions, provost courts, military government courts, and other military tribunals. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 6.2.6.2.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) provides: “The parties to a conflict have a duty … to call to account and punish perpetrators [of violations of the laws of war], regardless of their nationality.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 18.
The manual adds:
Persons who commit a war crime or other serious violations of the laws of war shall be brought to justice before their own national courts or, if they fall into enemy hands, before its courts. The perpetrators of such criminal acts may also be brought to justice before an international court if such court is established. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 20.
Argentina
Argentina’s Code of Military Justice (1951), as amended in 1984, provides:
When operational troops are on enemy territory, all the inhabitants of the occupied zone are subject to the jurisdiction of the military tribunals, no matter which ordinary crime or offence they are accused of, except if the military authority provides that they are to be prosecuted by the ordinary courts of the occupied zone. 
Argentina, Code of Military Justice, 1951, as amended in 1984, Article 111.
Armenia
Armenia’s Penal Code (2003) provides:
Foreign citizens and stateless persons not permanently residing in the Republic of Armenia, who have committed a crime outside the territory of the Republic of Armenia, are subject to criminal liability under the Penal Code of the Republic of Armenia, if they have committed:
1) such crimes which are provided for in an international treaty of the Republic of Armenia … 
Armenia, Penal Code, 2003, Article 15(3).
Australia
Australia’s War Crimes Act (1945), as amended in 2001, gives the Australian courts jurisdiction over persons accused of certain “serious crimes” and “war crimes” committed either within or outside Australia during the Second World War. However, it states: “A person shall not be charged with an offence against this Act unless he or she is: (a) an Australian citizen; or (b) a resident of Australia or of an external Territory.” 
Australia, War Crimes Act, 1945, as amended in 2001, Sections 6, 7 and 11.
Australia
Australia’s Geneva Conventions Act (1957), as amended in 2002, which provides for the punishment of grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I committed “in Australia or elsewhere”, states: “This section applies to persons regardless of their nationality or citizenship.” 
Australia, Geneva Conventions Act, 1957, as amended in 2002, Section 7(3).
The grave breaches provisions in this Act were removed in 2002 and incorporated into the Criminal Code Act (1995).
Austria
Austria’s Penal Code (1974) provides:
The following crimes committed abroad are punished under Austrian criminal law irrespective of the criminal law of the scene of the crime:
(6) other punishable acts which Austria is under an obligation to punish even when they have been committed abroad, irrespective of the criminal law of the scene of the crime. 
Austria, Penal Code, 1974, Article 64.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Criminal Code (1999) provides:
12.1. Citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic and stateless persons who permanently reside on the territory of Azerbaijan shall be held criminally responsible under the present Code for an act (action or inaction) committed outside the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic, if this act is considered as a crime by the legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic, as well as by the legislation of the foreign state where the crime was committed and if they have not been tried in a foreign State for this crime.
12.2. Foreigners and stateless persons might be held criminally responsible under the present Code in case of the commission of a crime outside the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic against the citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic, against the interests (advantages) of the Azerbaijan Republic, as well as in cases covered by international treaties to which the Azerbaijan Republic is a party and if they have not been tried in a foreign State for this crime.
12.3. Foreigners and stateless persons who have committed crimes against peace and humanity, war crimes, terrorism, hijacking an aircraft, taking hostages, torture, marine piracy, … directing attacks against the persons of international organizations who enjoy international protection, crimes related to radioactive materials, other crimes punishment of which results from the international treaties to which the Azerbaijan Republic is a party, regardless of where the crime was committed, shall be held criminally responsible and punished under the present Code.
12.4. Servicemen of military units of the Armed Forces of the Azerbaijan Republic, being members of the peacekeeping military units, shall be held criminally responsible under the present Code for the crimes committed outside the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic, if not provided for otherwise by the international treaties to which the Azerbaijan Republic is a party. 
Azerbaijan, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 12(1)–(4).
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Criminal Code (1999), as amended to 2007, provides:
12.1. Citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic and stateless persons who permanently reside on the territory of Azerbaijan shall be held criminally responsible under the present Code for an act (action or inaction) committed outside the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic, if this act is considered as a crime by the legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic, as well as by the legislation of the foreign state where the crime was committed and if they have not been tried in a foreign State for this crime.
12.2. Foreigners and stateless persons might be held criminally responsible under the present Code in case of the commission of a crime outside the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic against the citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic, against the interests (advantages) of the Azerbaijan Republic, as well as in cases covered by international treaties to which the Azerbaijan Republic is a party and if they have not been tried in a foreign State for this crime.
12.3. Foreigners and stateless persons who have committed crimes against peace and humanity, war crimes, trafficking, terrorism, financing of terrorism, hijacking an aircraft, taking hostages, torture, marine piracy, … directing attacks against the persons of international organizations who enjoy international protection, crimes related to radioactive materials, other crimes punishment of which results from the international treaties to which the Azerbaijan Republic is a party, regardless of where the crime was committed, shall be held criminally responsible and punished under the present Code.
12.4. Servicemen of military units of the Armed Forces of the Azerbaijan Republic, being members of the peacekeeping military units, shall be held criminally responsible under the present Code for the crimes committed outside the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic, if not provided for otherwise by the international treaties to which the Azerbaijan Republic is a party. 
Azerbaijan, Criminal Code, 1999, as amended to Law 522-11QD dated 25 December 2007, Article 12.1–4.
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) provides:
A Tribunal shall have power to try and punish any person irrespective of his nationality who, being a member of any armed, defence or auxiliary forces commits or has committed in the territory of Bangladesh, whether before or after the commencement of this act, any of the following crimes [crimes against humanity, crimes against peace, genocide, war crimes, “violations of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” or “any other crimes under international law”]. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(1).
Barbados
The Geneva Conventions Act (1980) of Barbados provides:
A person who commits a grave breach of any of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 … may be tried and punished by any court in Barbados that has jurisdiction in respect of similar offences in Barbados as if the grave breach had been committed in Barbados. 
Barbados, Geneva Conventions Act, 1980, Section 3(2).
Belarus
Belarus’s Criminal Code (1999) provides for universal jurisdiction for the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, the use of prohibited means and methods of warfare, violations of the laws and customs of war and grave breaches of IHL, which are included in the special section of the Code, as well as for offences under treaties to which Belarus is a party. 
Belarus, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 6.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law Containing the Preliminary Title of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1878, as amended, provides:
Any Belgian or any person having his principal residence in the territory of the Kingdom who has committed the following offences outside the territory of the Kingdom may be prosecuted in Belgium:
1 bis. a serious violation of international humanitarian law set forth in Book II, Title I, of the Penal Code. 
Belgium, Law Containing the Preliminary Title of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1878, as amended, Article 6, § 1 bis.
The Law further provides:
Apart from the cases referred to in Articles 6 and 7(1), an alien who has committed the following offences outside the territory of the Kingdom may be prosecuted in Belgium:
1 bis. a serious violation of international humanitarian law set forth in Book II, Title I, of the Penal Code, committed against a person holding, at the time of the offence, Belgian nationality (or a person having been recognized as a refugee in Belgium and having there his habitual residence under the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the Additional Protocol thereto), or a person whose effective, habitual and legal residence has been in Belgium for at least three years.
Prosecution, including the inquiry into the facts of a case, may only be instituted at the request of the Federal Prosecutor, who shall assess any complaints. 
Belgium, Law Containing the Preliminary Title of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1878, as amended, Article 10, § 1 bis.
The Law also provides:
Apart from the cases referred to in Articles 6 to 11, Belgian courts shall also have jurisdiction on offences committed outside the territory of the Kingdom and set forth in a rule of treaty or customary international law or in a rule of secondary European Union law by which Belgium is bound, when such a rule requires Belgium, in any way, to submit the matter to its competent authorities for prosecution.
Prosecution, including the inquiry into the facts of a case, may only be instituted at the request of the Federal Prosecutor, who shall assess any complaints. 
Belgium, Law Containing the Preliminary Title of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1878, as amended, Article 12 bis.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law concerning the Repression of Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols (1993), as amended in 1999, which provides for the punishment of genocide (Article 1(1)), crimes against humanity (Article 1(2)) and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and 1977 Additional Protocols (Article 1(3)), states: “The Belgian courts shall be competent to deal with breaches provided for in the present Act, irrespective of where such breaches have been committed.” 
Belgium, Law concerning the Repression of Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, 1993 as amended in 1999, Article 7.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law (1993), as amended in 2003, provides:
Subject to the withdrawal of jurisdiction in the cases provided in the following paragraphs, Belgian courts shall have jurisdiction on the offences set forth in the present law, irrespective of the place where they have been committed and even if the presumed perpetrator is not found in Belgium.
However, public prosecution may only be triggered upon the initiative of the Federal Prosecutor when:
1. the offence has not been committed on the territory of the Kingdom;
2. the presumed perpetrator does not hold Belgian nationality;
3. the presumed perpetrator is not found on the territory of the Kingdom; and
4. the victim does not hold Belgian nationality, nor has he been residing in Belgium for at least three years. 
Belgium, Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law, 1993, as amended on 23 April 2003, Article 7, § 1(1)(2).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (1998) punishes several war crimes and provides:
(1) Criminal legislation of the Federation applies to a foreigner who has committed a criminal offence against the Federation or its citizens in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina or abroad, when the offence in question is some other than the one referred to under Article 131 of this Code, provided that he/she is found on the territory of the Federation or has been extradited.
(2) Criminal legislation of the Federation applies to a foreigner who commits a criminal offence abroad against another country or a foreigner, for which the law of that country prescribes imprisonment for a term of five years or a heavier penalty, provided the perpetrator is found on the territory of the Federation. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federation, Criminal Code, 1998, Articles 133 and 154–166.
The Republika Srpska’s Criminal Code (2000) contains the same provision. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Criminal Code, 2000, Articles 123 and 433–445.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Procedure Code (2003) states:
Notwithstanding the laws of the country where the criminal offence was committed, the Prosecutor may undertake the prosecution if such an act is a criminal offence against the integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina or if that act is considered a criminal offence under the rules of international law. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Procedure Code, 2003, Article 210(3).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003) states:
The criminal legislation of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall apply to anyone who, outside of its territory, perpetrates:
c) A criminal offence which Bosnia and Herzegovina is bound to punish according to the provisions of international law and international treaties or intergovernmental agreements. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 12(c).
Botswana
Botswana’s Geneva Conventions Act (1970) provides:
In the case of an offence under this section [i.e. a grave breach in the meaning of Article 50 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I, Article 51 of the 1949 Geneva Convention II, Article 130 of the 1949 Geneva Convention and Article 147 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV] committed outside Botswana, a person may be proceeded against, indicted, tried and punished therefor in any place in Botswana as if the offence had been committed in that place. 
Botswana, Geneva Conventions Act, 1970, Section 3(2).
Bulgaria
Bulgaria’s Penal Code (1968), as amended in 1999, which contains a section on “Crimes against the Laws and Customs of Waging War” (Articles 410–415), provides:
(1) the Penal Code shall also apply to foreign citizens who have committed abroad crimes against peace and humanity, whereby the interests of another state or foreign citizens have been affected …
(2) the Penal Code shall also apply to other crimes committed by foreign citizens abroad, where this is stipulated in an international agreement, to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party. 
Bulgaria, Penal Code, 1968, as amended in 1999, Articles 6(1)–(2).
Burundi
Burundi’s Penal Code (2009) states:
Any crime committed abroad by a Burundian or a foreigner is, subject to conventions on extradition, punished by the criminal law of Burundi if the perpetrator is present in Burundi … and if the fact is punishable pursuant to the legislation of the country where it was committed.
The jurisdiction of Burundian tribunals over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes is not subject to these crimes being punishable pursuant to the legislation of the country where they were committed, nor is it subject to conventions on extradition. 
Burundi, Penal Code, 2009, Article 10.
Cambodia
Cambodia’s Law on the Establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers (2001), as amended in 2004, provides:
Article 1
The purpose of this law is to bring to trial senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea and those who were most responsible for the crimes and serious violations of Cambodian penal law, international humanitarian law and custom, and international conventions recognized by Cambodia, that were committed during the period from 17 April 1975 to 6 January 1979.
Article 6
The Extraordinary Chambers shall have the power to bring to trial all Suspects who committed or ordered the commission of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, such as the following acts against persons or property protected under provisions of these Conventions, and which were committed during the period 17 April 1975 to 6 January 1979:
• wilful killing;
• torture or inhumane treatment;
• wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health;
• destruction and serious damage to property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly;
• compelling a prisoner of war or a civilian to serve in the forces of a hostile power;
• wilfully depriving a prisoner of war or civilian the rights of fair and regular trial;
• unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a civilian;
• taking civilians as hostages.
Article 7
The Extraordinary Chambers shall have the power to bring to trial all Suspects most responsible for the destruction of cultural property during armed conflict pursuant to the 1954 Hague Convention for Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, and which were committed during the period from 17 April 1975 to 6 January 1979. 
Cambodia, Law on the Establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers, 2001, as amended in 2004, Articles 1 and 6–7.
Canada
Canada’s Geneva Conventions Act (1985), as amended in 2007, which provides for the punishment of grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, provides:
Where a person is alleged to have committed an offence [in the meaning of Article 50 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I, Article 51 of the 1949 Geneva Convention II, Article 130 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III, Article 147 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV or Articles 11 or 85 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I], proceedings in respect of that offence may, whether or not the person is in Canada, be commenced in any territorial division in Canada and that person may be tried and punished in respect of that offence in the same manner as if the offence had been committed in that territorial division.
For greater certainty, any legal requirements that the accused appear at and be present during proceedings and any exceptions to those requirements apply to proceedings commenced in any territorial division pursuant to [the above]. 
Canada, Geneva Conventions Act, 1985, as amended in 2007, Section 3(2) and (3).
Canada
Canada’s Criminal Code (1985) provides:
Every person who … commits an act or omission outside Canada that constitutes a war crime or a crime against humanity and that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence against the laws of Canada in force at the time of the act or omission shall be deemed to commit that act or omission in Canada at the time if,
(a) at the time of the act or omission,
(i) that person is a Canadian citizen or is employed by Canada in a civilian or military capacity,
(ii) that person is a citizen of, or is employed in a civilian or military capacity by, a state that is engaged in an armed conflict against Canada, or
(iii) the victim of the act or omission is a Canadian citizen or a citizen of a state that is allied with Canada in an armed conflict; or
(b) at the time of the act or omission, Canada could, in conformity with international law, exercise jurisdiction over the persons with respect to the act or omission on the basis of the person’s presence in Canada and, subsequent to the time of the act or omission, the person is present in Canada. 
Canada, Criminal Code, 1985, Article 3.71.
Canada
Canada’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000) provides that any person who has committed genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity within or outside Canada may be prosecuted for such offences if:
(a) at the time the offence is alleged to have been committed,
(i) the person was a Canadian citizen or was employed by Canada in a civilian or military capacity,
(ii) the person was a citizen of a state that was engaged in an armed conflict against Canada, or was employed in a civilian or military capacity by such a state,
(iii) the victim of the alleged offence was a Canadian citizen, or
(iv) the victim of the alleged offence was a citizen of a state that was allied with Canada in an armed conflict; or
(b) after the time the offence is alleged to have been committed, the person is present in Canada. 
Canada, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act, 2000, Section 8(a)–(b).
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Penal Procedure Code (2010) states:
The authors or accomplices of offences committed outside of the territory of the [Central African] Republic may be pursued and judged by Central African courts either when Central African law is applicable, in accordance with the provisions of the Penal Code or of any other legislative text, or when an international convention gives Central African courts the competence to do so. 
Central African Republic, Penal Procedure Code, 2010, Article 320.
Chile
Chile’s Code of Military Justice (1925) provides:
The Military Courts of the Republic have jurisdiction over Chileans and foreigners in order to pass judgement on all matters of military jurisdiction which might arise within the national territory. They also have jurisdiction to try the same matters when they arise outside national territory in the following cases:
1. When they occur within a territory which is militarily occupied by the Chilean armed forces;
2. When they concern offences by soldiers in the course of duty or when undertaking military assignments;
3. When they concern offences against the sovereignty of the State and its external or internal security. 
Chile, Code of Military Justice, 1925, Article 3.
Colombia
Colombia’s Penal Code (2000), which criminalizes a number of war crimes under the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocols, provides:
The Colombian Penal Code shall apply to:
6. Any foreigner who has committed an offence outside Colombia against a foreigner, as long as the following conditions are met:
(a) That he is present on Colombian territory;
(b) That the crime is punishable in Colombia by a minimum prison sentence of not less than three years;
(c) That the crime is not a political offence; and
(d) That if extradition has been requested, it has not been granted by the Colombian Government. 
Colombia, Penal Code, 2000, Articles 16(6)(a)–(d) and 135–164.
Colombia
Colombia’s Criminal Procedure Code (2004) states:
Criminal jurisdiction covers the prosecution and adjudication of crimes committed on national territory and of crimes committed abroad in cases in which international treaties which Colombia has signed and ratified and national legislation provide for such jurisdiction. 
Colombia, Criminal Procedure Code, 2004, Article 29.
Cook Islands
The Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols Act (2002) of the Cook Islands, referring to Article 50 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I, Article 51 of the 1949 Geneva Convention II, Article 130 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Article 147 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, as well as to Articles 11(4) and 85(2), (3) and (4) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, provides:
(1) Any person who in the Cook Islands or elsewhere commits, or aids or abets or procures the commission by another person of, a grave breach of any of the Conventions or of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] is guilty of an offence.
(3) This section applies to persons regardless of their nationality or citizenship. 
Cook Islands, Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols Act, 2002, Section 5(1) and (3).
Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Penal Code (1970), as amended in 2002, provides:
Regardless of the regulations in force in the place where the punishable act is committed and of the nationality of the perpetrator, punishment under Costa Rican law shall be applicable to … anyone who commits other punishable acts against human rights covered by treaties signed by Costa Rica or by this Code. 
Costa Rica, Penal Code, 1970, as amended in 2002, Article 7.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Code of Military Penal Procedure (1974) extends the jurisdiction of military courts to:
crimes and offences not justified by the laws and customs of war committed by foreign nationals and their agents during hostilities and anywhere in the territory of the Republic or zone of military operations, and directed against or to the prejudice of Ivorian nationals, soldiers serving under the national flag, stateless persons or refugees. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Code of Military Penal Procedure, 1974, Article 11(1).
Cuba
Cuba’s Penal Code (1987) grants Cuban courts jurisdiction over, inter alia, crimes against humanity, human dignity or collective health or prosecutable under international treaties regardless of the nationality of the accused or the place where the crimes were committed as long as the acts in question also constitute crimes where they were committed. 
Cuba, Penal Code, 1987, Article 5(3).
Cyprus
Cyprus’s Geneva Conventions Act (1966), referring to Article 50 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I, Article 51 of the 1949 Geneva Convention II, Article 130 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Article 147 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, provides for the prosecution and punishment of “any person who, in spite of nationality, commits in the Republic or outside the Republic, any serious violation … of the [1949] Geneva Conventions”. It further states:
In case an offence provided by this Article has been committed outside the Republic, a person may be prosecuted, charged with the offence, be tried and punished anywhere within the territory of the Republic, as if the offence had been committed in this territory; for all purposes relative or relevant to the trial or punishment, the offence is considered being committed in this territory. 
Cyprus, Geneva Conventions Act, 1966, Section 4(1) and (2).
Cyprus
Cyprus’s Additional Protocol I Act (1979) states with respect to “any serious violation of the provisions of the [1977 Additional Protocol I]”:
In case an offence provided by this Article has been committed outside the Republic, a person may be prosecuted, charged with the offence, be tried and punished anywhere within the territory of the Republic as if the offence had been committed in this territory; for all purposes relevant to the trial or punishment, the offence is considered being committed in this territory. 
Cyprus, Additional Protocol I Act, 1979, Section 4(1) and (2).
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Military Judiciary Code (2002) provides:
The military jurisdictions are competent to judge offences committed, since the opening of hostilities, by nationals or agents in the service of the administration or interests of the enemy, on the territory of the Republic or in any zone of war operation:
- either against a Congolese national or a person protected by the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo];
- or to the detriment of the goods of all the persons above or all Congolese legal persons, if these offences, even if committed at the occasion or under the pretext of the state of war, are not justified by the laws and customs of war. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Judiciary Code, 2002, Article 80.
Denmark
Denmark’s Penal Code (1930), as amended to 2008, states:
8.
The following acts committed outside the territory of the Danish State shall also come within Danish criminal jurisdiction, irrespective of the nationality of the perpetrator:
5) where the act is covered by an international convention in pursuance of which Denmark is under an obligation to start legal proceedings; or
6) where transfer of the accused for legal proceedings in another country is rejected, and the act, provided it is committed within the territory recognized by international law as belonging to a foreign State, is punishable according to the law of this State, and provided that according to Danish law the act is punishable with a sentence more severe than one year of imprisonment.
8 a.
Acts committed outside the Danish State are subject to Danish criminal jurisdiction where acts of the kind described fall within the [1998] Statute of the International Criminal Court, provided that any such act was committed by a person who, at the date of the provisional charge was
(1) a Danish national or had his abode or similar habitual residence in Denmark; or
(2) was staying in Denmark. 
Denmark, Penal Code, 1930, as amended to 2008, Articles 8 and 8(a).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
2. Where the punishable act was committed outside the territory of the Danish State, this Act shall also apply.
3. Where offences are committed against foreign defence forces which cooperate with the Danish forces, this Act shall also apply.
5. This Act shall cover service personnel as well as military personnel discharged, in respect of the military obligations which they are subject to after having been discharged.
(2) This Act shall, furthermore, cover foreign military persons who are interned in this country and other persons who, pursuant to an international agreement entered into by Denmark, are entitled to treatment like the former.
6. In time of war this Act shall, furthermore, cover:
1) any person who serves in the military defence or follows a unit thereof;
2) prisoners of war as well as medical troops and chaplains to the forces who are detained to assist these unless otherwise provided under current international agreements;
3) any person who is found guilty of one of the criminal offences mentioned in sections 24–25 and 30–36. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, §§ 2–3 and 5–6.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
1. The present act shall apply to military personnel in active service and discharged military personnel regarding military duties imposed on such personnel after their discharge.
(2) The present act shall also apply to foreign military personnel interned in this country and other persons who are, according to international agreements entered into by Denmark, entitled to treatment as military personnel.
2. In an armed conflict, the present act shall also cover:
1) anybody serving in the armed forces or accompanying a unit thereof, and
2) prisoners of war and medical staff and army chaplains who are retained to assist prisoners of war, provided that there are no stipulations to the contrary in current international agreements, and
3) anybody who is guilty of a violation of §§ 28–34 and 36–38 of the present act.
3. The act shall apply to crimes committed within and outside the Danish state.
4. The act shall also apply to crimes committed against the military forces of other countries cooperating with Danish military forces.
5. Danish penal authority shall, cf. §§ 6–12 of the Penal Code, also cover violations of §§ 28–30 and 32 carried out during armed conflict outside the Danish state regardless of where the offender belongs, unless otherwise provided for in general international law.
(2) Danish penal authority shall furthermore cover violations of §§ 36 and 38 committed outside the Danish state regardless of where the offender belongs, when the violation was committed against Danish military personnel or people covered by § 2 (1) and (2). 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, §§ 1–5.
Denmark
Denmark’s Penal Code (1978) provides:
The following acts committed outside of the territory of the Danish state shall also come within Danish criminal jurisdiction, irrespective of the nationality of the perpetrator:
5) where the act is covered by an international convention in pursuance of which Denmark is under an obligation to start judicial proceedings;
6) where transfer of the accused for legal proceedings in another country is rejected, and the act, provided it is committed within the territory recognized by international law as belonging to a foreign state, is punishable according to the law of this state, and provided that according to Danish law the act is punishable with a sentence more severe than one year of imprisonment. 
Denmark, Penal Code, 1978, Article 8(5) and (6).
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Code of Criminal Procedure (2000) provides that the following persons fall under the jurisdiction of Ecuador: “Ecuadorians or foreign nationals who commit offences against international law or offences under international conventions or treaties which are in force, provided that such persons have not been prosecuted in another State.” 
Ecuador, Code of Criminal Procedure, 2000, Article 18(6).
El Salvador
El Salvador’s Penal Code (1997) provides:
Criminal legislation shall also apply to offences committed by anyone whosoever in a place not subject to Salvadoran jurisdiction, provided that they affect property internationally protected by specific agreements or rules of international law or seriously undermine universally recognized human rights. 
El Salvador, Penal Code, 1997, Article 10.
Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Penal Code (1957) provides with respect to a range of war crimes:
Any person who has committed in a foreign country:
(a) an offence against international law or an international offence specified in Ethiopian legislation, or an international treaty or a convention to which Ethiopia has adhered;
shall be liable to trial in Ethiopia in accordance with the provisions of this Code and subject to the general conditions mentioned hereinafter … unless he has been prosecuted in the foreign country. 
Ethiopia, Penal Code, 1957, Article 17(a).
Ethiopia’s Criminal Code (2004) states:
Sub-section II.- Subsidiary Application
Article 17.-Crimes Committed Outside Ethiopia Against International Law or Universal Order.
(1) Any person who has committed outside Ethiopia:
(a) a crime against international law or an international crime specified in Ethiopian legislation, or an international treaty or a convention to which Ethiopia has adhered …
shall be liable to trial in Ethiopia in accordance with the provisions of this Code and subject to the general conditions mentioned hereinafter (Arts. 19 and 20(2)) unless a final judgment has been given after being prosecuted in the foreign country.
(2) Nothing in this Article shall affect the provisions of Articles 14 and 15(2).
Article 19.- Conditions for Subsidiary Application.
(1) This Code shall apply where:
(a) the complaint by the victim or his dependants was lodged when it is a condition for prosecution under the law of the place of commission of the crime or under Ethiopian law;
(b) the criminal is within the territory of Ethiopia and has not been extradited, or extradition to Ethiopia was obtained by reason of the crime committed; and
(c) the crime was not legally pardoned in the country of commission and that prosecution is not barred either under the law of the country where the crime was committed or under Ethiopian law.
(2) The conditions specified under sub-article 1 (a) and (c) of this Article need not necessarily be satisfied as regards the kinds of crimes provided for under Article 17 and 18(2) of this Code.
(3) The prosecution shall consult with the Minister of Justice before instituting proceedings.
(4) In case of disparity between the punishments prescribed under this Code and the law of the country of commission, the punishment to be imposed shall be the one which is more favourable to the accused.
Article 20.- Effect of Foreign Sentences.
(1) In all cases where Ethiopian courts have a subsidiary jurisdiction only (Arts. 15(1), 17 and 18), the criminal cannot be tried and sentenced in Ethiopia if he was regularly acquitted or discharged for the same act in a foreign country. 
Ethiopia, Criminal Code, 2004, Articles 17 and 19–20(1).
The Criminal Code of 2004 repealed Ethiopia’s Penal Code of 1957.
Fiji
Fiji’s Geneva Conventions Promulgation (2007), as amended to 2009, states:
Punishment of grave breaches of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions, … [of the 1977 Additional] Protocol I [and of the 2005 Additional Protocol III]
In the case of an offence against this section committed outside Republic of Fiji Islands, a person may be proceeded against, indicted, tried and punished therefore in any place in Republic of Fiji Islands as if the offence had been committed in that place, and the offence shall, for all purposes incidental to or consequential on the trial or punishment thereof, be deemed to have been committed in that place. 
Fiji, Geneva Conventions Promulgation, 2007, as amended to 2009, § 3(3).
Finland
Finland’s Revised Penal Code (1995) provides for the punishment of “war crimes”, “aggravated war crimes” and “petty war crimes”. 
Finland, Revised Penal Code, 1995, Chapter 11, Sections 1–3.
The Code further states:
Finnish law shall apply to an offence committed outside of Finland where the punishability of the act, regardless of the law of the place of commission, is based on an international agreement binding on Finland or on another statute or regulation internationally binding on Finland (international offence). 
Finland, Revised Penal Code, 1995, Chapter 11, Section 7.
Finland
Finland’s Criminal Code (1889), as amended in 2008, states:
Section 7 - International offence
(1) Finnish law applies to an offence committed outside of Finland where the punishability of the act, regardless of the law of the place of commission, is based on an international agreement binding on Finland or on another statute or regulation internationally binding on Finland (international offence). Further provisions on the application of this section shall be issued by Decree. 
Finland, Criminal Code, 1889, as amended in 2008, Chapter 1, Section 7(1).
[emphasis in original]
France
Under France’s Code of Military Justice (1982), military tribunals have jurisdiction over acts committed by enemy nationals or any agents in the service of the administration or interests of the enemy on territory under French jurisdiction, or acts committed abroad against French nationals or refugees or stateless persons residing on French territory. 
France, Code of Military Justice, 1982, Article 70.
France
France’s Penal Code (1992) provides:
French criminal law is applicable to any felony committed by a French national outside the territory of the Republic. It is applicable to misdemeanours committed by French nationals outside the territory of the Republic if the conduct is punishable by the legislation of the country where it has been committed. This present article applies even though the accused acquired French nationality subsequent to the conduct imputed to him or her. 
France, Penal Code, 1992, Article 113(6).
France
France’s Code of Criminal Procedure (1994) provides:
The authors of and accomplices in offences committed outside the territory of the Republic may be prosecuted and tried in French courts when, pursuant to the provisions of the Criminal Code, Book 1, or of another legislative instrument, French law is applicable or when an international convention gives French courts jurisdiction to deal with the matter. 
France, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1994, Article 689.
The Code adds:
Pursuant to the international conventions referred to below, any person who renders himself guilty outside the territory of the Republic of any of the offences enumerated in those articles may, if in France, be prosecuted and tried by French courts. 
France, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1994, Article 689(1).
The provisions that follow give jurisdiction over persons who violate certain specific treaties. 
France, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1994, Article 689(2)–(7).
France
France’s Law on Cooperation with the ICTY (1995) provides:
The authors of or accessories to the offences mentioned in Article 1 [serious violations of IHL] can be prosecuted and tried by the French courts, in application of French law, if they are found in France. These provisions apply to attempted offences whenever such attempts are punishable … The international tribunal shall be informed of any ongoing proceedings relating to facts that may be of its competence. 
France, Law on Cooperation with the ICTY, 1995, Article 2.
France’s Law on Cooperation with the ICTR includes a similar provision for the acts of genocide and serious violations of IHL committed in Rwanda. 
France, Law on Cooperation with the ICTR, 1996, Article 2.
France
France’s Code of Military Justice (2006), in a chapter on “jurisdiction … [i]n times of peace and outside the territory of the [French] Republic”, states:
Outside the territory of the [French] Republic and subject to international obligations, the military tribunal recognizes all offences committed by members of the armed forces or persons following the army by virtue of an authorization. 
France, Code of Military Justice, 2006, Article L. 121-1.
In a chapter entitled “In times of war”, the Code of Military Justice also states:
Crimes and delicts committed after the opening of hostilities by enemy nationals or by any agents in the service of the administration or the interests of the enemy, on the territory of the [French] Republic or on territory that is under the authority of France or in any area of war operations, are within the jurisdictional competence of the armed forces:
1° If [committed] against a French national or a person under French protection, [or] against a soldier serving or having served under the French flag, [or] against a stateless person or refugee residing on one of the aforementioned territories;
2° If [committed] to the detriment of the objects of all aforementioned physical persons and of all French moral persons, provided the offences, even if committed at the occasion of or under the pretext of war, are not justified by the laws and customs of war. 
France, Code of Military Justice, 2006, Article L. 122-3.
France
France’s Code of Criminal Procedure (1994), as amended in 2010, states:
Any person who habitually resides in the territory of the [French] Republic and is guilty abroad of one of the crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, in accordance with its statute signed in Rome on 18 July 1998, can be prosecuted and tried by French courts if the conduct is punishable pursuant to the legislation of the State where it was committed or if this State, or the State of the person’s nationality, is a party to the above-mentioned statute.
The prosecution of those crimes may only be exercised by request of the public prosecutor if no international or national court requests the person’s surrender or extradition. For this purpose, the public prosecutor seeks assurance before the International Criminal Court that it expressly declines to exercise its jurisdiction and verifies that no other international tribunal with jurisdiction to try the person has requested the person’s surrender and that no other State has requested the person’s extradition. 
France, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1994, as amended in 2010, Article 689-11.
Germany
Germany’s Criminal Procedure Code (2002), as amended, as foreseen by the Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, states with regard to acts committed outside the territorial field of application of this law:
(1) … The public prosecution office may dispense with prosecuting an offence punishable pursuant to [Article 1] paragraphs 6 to 14 of the [Law Introducing the International Crimes Code] [namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes], if the accused is not present in Germany and such presence is not to be anticipated. If … the accused is a German, this shall however apply only where the offence is being prosecuted before an international court or by a state on whose territory the offence was committed or whose national was harmed by the offence.
(2) … The public prosecution office can, in particular, dispense with prosecuting an offence punishable pursuant to [Article 1] paragraphs 6 to 14 of the [Law Introducing the International Crimes Code], if
1. there is no suspicion of a German having committed such offence,
2. such offence was not committed against a German,
3. no suspect in respect of such offence is present in Germany and such presence is not to be anticipated, and
4. the offence is being prosecuted before an international court or by a state on whose territory the offence was committed, whose national is suspected of its commission or whose national was harmed by the offence.
The same shall apply if a foreigner accused of an offence committed abroad is present in Germany but the requirements pursuant to the first sentence, numbers 2 and 4, have been fulfilled and transfer to an international court or extradition to the prosecuting state is permissible and intended. 
Germany, Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, 2002, Article 3(5); Criminal Procedure Code, 1987, as amended, § 153(f).
Germany
According to Germany’s Penal Code (1998), German courts have jurisdiction to try persons accused of war crimes, even if committed on the territory of a foreign State, because of an international treaty binding on Germany. 
Germany, Penal Code, 1998, § 6(9).
Under the Code, German criminal law also applies to the crime of genocide when committed abroad. 
Germany, Penal Code, 1998, § 6(1).
Germany
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) provides:
This Law shall apply to all criminal offences against international law designated under this Law, to serious criminal offences designated therein even when the offence was committed abroad and bears no relation to Germany. 
Germany, Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, 2002, Article 1(1).
Guatemala
Guatemala’s Penal Code (1973) provides that Guatemalan criminal law applies to “any offence which, by virtue of a treaty or convention, is punishable in Guatemala, even if the offence is not committed in Guatemalan territory”. 
Guatemala, Penal Code, 1973, Article 5(5).
The Code includes several war crimes as crimes under national law. 
Guatemala, Penal Code, 1973, Article 378.
Guatemala
Guatemala’s Code of Criminal Procedure (1992) provides that courts and other authorities responsible for trials must fulfil the obligations imposed on them by international treaties in the matter of respect for human rights. 
Guatemala, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1992, Article 16.
India
India’s Geneva Conventions Act (1960) provides:
When an offence under this chapter [i.e. a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions] is committed by any person outside India, he may be dealt with in respect of such offence as if it had been committed at any place within India at which he may be found. 
India, Geneva Conventions Act, 1960, Section 4.
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides for the punishment of grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I committed by “any person, whatever his or her nationality” and “whether in or outside the State”. It further provides for jurisdiction of Irish courts over “minor breaches” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocols if committed by “any person, whatever his nationality … in the State” or by “any citizen of Ireland … outside the State”. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Sections 3 and 4.
Ireland
Ireland’s International Criminal Court Act (2006) states:
(1) An Irish national who does an act outside the State that, if done within it, would constitute an ICC offence or an offence under section 11(1) [Offences against the administration of justice] is guilty of that offence and liable to the penalty provided for it.
(2) Subsection (1) also applies in relation to a person of any other nationality who does an act outside the State that, if done within it, would constitute both—
(a) a war crime under subparagraph (a) (grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions) or (b) (other specified serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict) of Article 8.2 [of the 1998 ICC Statute], and
(b) an offence under section 3 (grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and Protocol I thereto) of the Geneva Conventions Act 1962. 
Ireland, International Criminal Court Act, 2006, § 12(1) and (2).
Israel
Israel’s Penal Law (1977), as amended in 1994, under Section 16 entitled “Offences against the Law of Nations”, states:
a) The penal laws of Israel shall apply in respect of external offences for the committing of which the State of Israel has undertaken, in multilateral international treaties open to accession, to penalize; this will also apply even where the person committing the offence is not an Israeli citizen or resident, and irrespective of the place of committing of the offence.
b) The qualifications specified in Section 14(b)(2) and (3), and (c), shall also apply in respect of the applicability of the penal laws of Israel under this Section. 
Israel, Penal Law, 1977, as amended in 1994, Section 16.
Section 14 of the Law states:
(b) … (2) A qualification for penal liability under the laws of that State [i.e. another State] does not apply; (3) The person has not yet been acquitted of that offence in that State or, having been convicted, he has not served the sentence imposed on him in respect of that offence. (c) No penalty more grave than what could have been imposed under the laws of the State where the offence was committed shall be imposed in respect of the offence. 
Israel, Penal Law, 1977, as amended in 1994, Section 14.
Kenya
Kenya’s Geneva Conventions Act (1968), which provides for the punishment of grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions committed “whether within or outside Kenya” by “any person, whatever his nationality”, states:
Where an offence under this section is committed outside Kenya, a person may be proceeded against, indicted, tried and punished therefor in any place in Kenya, as if the offence had been committed in that place, and the offence shall, for all purposes incidental to or consequential on the trial or punishment thereof, be deemed to have been committed in that place. 
Kenya, Geneva Conventions Act, 1968, Section 3(2).
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan’s Criminal Code (1997), in an article concerning “Action of Criminal Law with Regard to Persons who have Committed a Crime outside the Borders of the Kyrgyz Republic”, provides:
(1) Citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as stateless persons permanently residing in the Kyrgyz Republic, shall be liable under the present Code if they have not been punished by the judgement of a court of a foreign state.
(2) Citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic who have committed a crime within the territory of another state can not be extradited to this state.
(3) Foreigners and stateless persons who have committed a crime outside the borders of the Kyrgyz Republic and who are within its territory can be extradited to a foreign state to be tried or to serve their sentence in accordance with an international treaty. 
Kyrgyzstan, Criminal Code, 1997, Article 6.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
The Penal Law (1990), as amended to 2005, of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic states:
Lao citizens who commit offences outside the territory of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic shall be charged with and punished for such offences if they are defined [as offences under] 
Square brackets in original.
the Penal Law of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Aliens and [stateless persons] residing in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic who commit offences outside the territory of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic shall also be charged and punished.
Foreign individuals who commit offences outside the territory of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic shall be charged and punished as provided in the Penal Law of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic if such a case is provided for in international conventions. 
Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Penal Law, 1990, as amended to 2005, Article 4.
[footnote in original omitted]
Luxembourg
Luxembourg’s Code of Criminal Investigation (1944) provides:
Every foreigner who outside the territory of the Grand-Duché is responsible, whether as a principal or an accomplice, for the following:
(2) in wartime, abduction of minors; attacks on modesty or rape; prostitution or corruption of youth; murder or intentional bodily injury; attacks on individual liberty committed against a Luxembourg national or a national of an allied country,
can be prosecuted and tried according to the provisions of Luxembourg laws if he is found either in the Grand-Duché, an enemy country or if the government obtains his extradition. 
Luxembourg, Code of Criminal Investigation, 1944, Article 7.
Luxembourg
Luxembourg’s Law on the Repression of War Crimes (1947) provides for the prosecution of non-Luxembourg nationals having committed war crimes
if such infringements have been committed at the occasion or under the pretext of war and if they are not justified by the laws and customs of war, these agents either being found within the Grand-Duché or on enemy territory, or the Government having obtained their extradition. 
Luxembourg, Law on the Repression of War Crimes, 1947, Article 1.
Luxembourg
Luxembourg’s Law on the Punishment of Grave Breaches (1985) provides: “Any individual who has committed an offence under this law outside the territory of the Grand-Duché can be prosecuted in the Grand-Duché even though he may not be present there.” 
Luxembourg, Law on the Punishment of Grave Breaches, 1985, Article 10.
Malawi
Malawi’s Geneva Conventions Act (1967), which provides for the punishment of grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions by “any person, whatever his nationality”, states:
Where an offence under this section is committed without Malawi a person may be proceeded against, tried and punished therefor in any place in Malawi as if the offence had been committed in that place, and the offence shall, for all purposes incidental to or consequential on the trial or punishment thereof, be deemed to have been committed in that place. 
Malawi, Geneva Conventions Act, 1967, Section 4(1) and (2).
Malaysia
Malaysia Geneva Conventions Act (1962), which provides for the punishment of grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions by “any person, whatever his citizenship or nationality”, states:
In the case of an offence under this section committed outside the Federation, a person may be proceeded against, charged, tried and punished therefor in any place in the Federation as if the offence had been committed in that place, and the offence shall, for all purposes incidental to or consequential on the trial or punishment thereof, be deemed to have been committed in that place. 
Malaysia, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, Section 3(1) and (2).
Mauritius
The Geneva Conventions Act (1970) of Mauritius provides for the punishment of grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions committed “in Mauritius or elsewhere” and states: “This section applies to persons regardless of their nationality or citizenship.” 
Mauritius, Geneva Conventions Act, 1970, Section 3.
Mexico
Mexico’s Penal Code (1931), as amended to 2000, provides that offences committed in a foreign territory and against foreigners or Mexicans by a Mexican national, or by a foreigner against Mexican nationals, shall be prosecuted in Mexico provided that the following conditions are met:
I. the accused is in the territory of the Republic;
II. the case was not finally judged in the country where the offence took place; and
III. the offence of which he is accused is an offence in the country where it took place and in the Republic. 
Mexico, Penal Code, 1931, as amended to 2000, Article 4.
Mexico
Mexico’s Penal Code (1931), as amended to 2007, states:
Article 1. This Code applies in the entire Republic to federal crimes.
Article 2. This Code also applies:
I. To crimes which are initiated, prepared or committed abroad if effects are produced or are intended to be produced in the territory of the Republic; or to crimes which are initiated, prepared or committed abroad and for which a treaty binding on Mexico establishes an obligation to extradite or prosecute, if the requirements set out in Article 4 of the present Code are fulfilled and if the person allegedly responsible for such crimes is not extradited to the State which sought his or her extradition, and
II. To crimes committed in Mexican consulates or against their personnel if they have not been prosecuted in the countries were they were committed.
Article 4. The crimes committed abroad by a Mexican against Mexicans or against foreigners or by a foreigner against Mexicans, shall be punished in the Republic according to federal laws if the following requirements are fulfilled:
I. The accused is in the territory of the Republic;
II. The case was not finally judged in the country where the offence took place; and
III. The offence of which he is accused is an offence in the country where it took place and in the Republic. 
Mexico, Penal Code, 1931, as amended to 2007, Articles 1–2 and Article 4.
Netherlands
The Criminal Law in Wartime Act (1952), as amended in 1990, of the Netherlands stipulates that Dutch criminal law shall apply:
(1) to any person who commits an offence described in Articles 4–7 outside the Kingdom but within Europe, if that offence is committed against or in connection with a Dutch citizen or a Dutch legal entity or if any Dutch interest is or may be adversely affected thereby;
(2) to any person who commits an offence described in Articles 131–134 bis, 189 and 416–417 bis of the Penal Code outside the Kingdom but within Europe, if the offence in those Articles is an offence within the meaning of (1) above;
(3) to a Dutch citizen who commits an offence described in Article 1 outside the Kingdom but within Europe. 
Netherlands, Criminal Law in Wartime Act, 1952, as amended in 1990, Article 3.
Netherlands
The International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands provides:
1. Without prejudice to the relevant provisions of the [Penal Code as amended] and the [Military Criminal Law as amended], Dutch criminal law shall apply to:
(a) anyone who commits any of the crimes defined in this Act [genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture] outside the Netherlands, if the suspect is present in the Netherlands;
(b) anyone who commits any of the crimes defined in this Act outside the Netherlands, if the crime is committed against a Dutch national;
(c) a Dutch national who commits any of the crimes defined in this Act outside the Netherlands.
3. Prosecution on the basis of subsection 1 (c) may also take place if the suspect becomes a Dutch national only after committing the crime. 
Netherlands, International Crimes Act, 2003, Article 2.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Geneva Conventions Act (1958), as amended in 1987, which provides for the punishment of grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I committed by “any person … in New Zealand or elsewhere”, states: “This section applies to persons regardless of their nationality or citizenship.” 
New Zealand, Geneva Conventions Act, 1958, as amended in 1987, Section 3(1)–(3).
New Zealand
New Zealand’s International Crimes and ICC Act (2000) provides:
(1) Proceedings may be brought for an offence
(a) against section 9 [genocide] or section 10 [crimes against humanity], if the act constituting the offence charged is alleged to have occurred
(i) on or after the commencement of this section; or
(ii) on or after the applicable date but before the commencement of this section; and would have been an offence under the law of New Zealand in force at the time the act occurred, had it occurred in New Zealand; and
(b) against section 11 [war crimes], if the act constituting the offence charged is alleged to have occurred on or after the commencement of this section; and
(c) against section 9 or section 10 or section 11 regardless of
(i) the nationality or citizenship of the person accused; or
(ii) whether or not any act forming part of the offence occurred in New Zealand; or
(iii) whether or not the person accused was in New Zealand at the time that the act constituting the offence occurred or at the time a decision was made to charge the person with an offence. 
New Zealand, International Crimes and ICC Act, 2000, Part 2, Section 8(1).
Niger
Niger’s Penal Code (1961), as amended in 2003, under a chapter entitled “Crimes against humanity and war crimes” in which it provides for the punishment of a list of offences such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in the meaning of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocols I and II, states:
The courts of Niger have jurisdiction over the crimes set out in this chapter, regardless of the place where these might have been committed. For the crimes committed abroad by a national of Niger against a foreigner, the action of the foreigner or his family or the official notice of the authority of the State where the crime has been committed are not required. 
Niger, Penal Code, 1961, as amended in 2003, Article 208.8.
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Geneva Conventions Act (1960), which provides for the punishment of grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions “whether in or outside the Federation” and committed by “any person, whatever his nationality”, states:
A person may be proceeded against, tried and sentenced in the Federal territory of Lagos for an offence under this section committed outside the Federation as if the offence had been committed in Lagos, and the offence shall, for all purposes incidental to or consequential on the trial or punishment thereof, be deemed to have been committed in Lagos. 
Nigeria, Geneva Conventions Act, 1960, Section 3(1) and (2).
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea’s Geneva Conventions Act (1976), which provides for the punishment of grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions “in Papua New Guinea or elsewhere”, states: “This section [on the “punishment of offenders against the 1949 Geneva Conventions”] applies to persons regardless of their nationality or citizenship.” 
Papua New Guinea, Geneva Conventions Act, 1976, Section 7(2).
Paraguay
Paraguay’s Penal Code (1997), in a section on “Acts against universally protected interests committed in a foreign country”, provides:
Paraguayan penal law shall also be applied to the following acts committed in a foreign country: … other acts that according to an international treaty the Paraguayan State is obliged to prosecute, even if they were committed in a foreign country. 
Paraguay, Penal Code, 1997, Article 8(1).
Peru
Peru’s Military and Police Criminal Code (2010), under the heading “Universal jurisdiction”, states: “Regarding crimes included in the present Title [namely crimes committed in states of emergency and in violation of international humanitarian law], this Code applies also if they were committed abroad and do not have any link to the national territory.” 
Peru, Military and Police Criminal Code, 2010, Article 78.
Poland
Poland’s Penal Code (1997) includes a special section on “Offences against peace and humanity, and war crimes” and provides:
Notwithstanding regulations in force in the place of commission of the offence, the Polish penal law shall be applied to a Polish citizen or an alien, with respect to whom no decision on extradition has been taken, in the case of the commission abroad of an offence which the Republic of Poland is obligated to prosecute under international agreements. 
Poland, Penal Code, 1997, Chapter XVIII, Article 113.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s ICC Act (2007) provides that it “applies to foreigners who are present in the territories of the Republic of Korea after having committed [genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes] outside the territories of the Republic of Korea”. 
Republic of Korea, ICC Act, 2007, Article 2(5)
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Criminal Code (1996) provides:
1. Nationals of the Russian Federation and stateless persons permanently residing in the Russian Federation who have committed a crime outside the borders of the Russian Federation shall incur criminal responsibility under the present Code if the act they have committed is recognized as a crime in the state where it has been committed and if these persons have not been convicted in a foreign state. When convicting such persons the punishment cannot exceed the highest limit of the sanction specified in the law of the foreign state where the crime has been committed.
2. Members of the armed units of the Russian Federation located outside the borders of the Russian Federation for crimes committed within the territory of a foreign state shall incur criminal responsibility under the present Code if not provided for otherwise by an international treaty to which the Russian Federation is a party.
3. Foreigners and stateless persons who are not permanent residents of the Russian Federation who have committed a crime outside the borders of the Russian Federation shall incur criminal responsibility under the present Code in cases when the crime was directed against the interests of the Russian Federation and in cases provided for by an international treaty to which the Russian Federation is a party if they have not been convicted in a foreign state and if criminal proceedings against them are instituted within the territory of the Russian Federation. 
Russian Federation, Criminal Code, 1996, Article 12(1)–(3).
Rwanda
Rwanda’s Law Setting up Gacaca Jurisdictions (2001) was enacted
to organize the putting on trial of persons prosecuted for having, between October 1, 1990 and December 31, 1994, committed acts qualified and punished by the penal code and which constitute … crimes of genocide or crimes against humanity as defined by the [1948 Genocide Convention], by [the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and the 1977 Additional Protocols], as well as in the [1968 UN Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity]. 
Rwanda, Law Setting up Gacaca Jurisdictions, 2001, Article 1(a).
The Law states:
Jurisdictions called on to try, by virtue of this law, offences of genocide and massacres, may try public actions filed against persons who have neither had address nor residence in Rwanda or who are outside Rwanda, when there is conclusive evidence or serious guilt clues, whether or not they have previously been cross-examined. 
Rwanda, Law Setting up Gacaca Jurisdictions, 2001, Article 93.
Rwanda
Rwanda’s Organic Law Determining the Organization, Functioning and Jurisdiction of Courts (2004) provides:
Title 2: Jurisdiction of courts
Chapter 1: Jurisdiction of ordinary courts
Article: 90
The High Court of the Republic shall have jurisdiction to try any person including non-nationals found within the territory of the Republic of Rwanda, alleged to have committed, outside the national boundaries, any crimes falling within the category of international or cross-border crimes, especially the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, terrorism, hostage taking, drug trafficking, money laundering, theft of motor vehicles for sale abroad, human trafficking especially of young girls, slavery and other crimes of similar nature. …
Chapter 2: Competence of specialized jurisdictions
Section 1. Jurisdiction based on subject matter or competence of the court
Sub-section 2: The Military Tribunal
Article: 138
Without prejudice to the provisions of article 139 of this organic law, the Military Tribunal tries in the first instance all offences committed by all Military personnel irrespective of their rank.
It also has powers to try Military personnel accused of the crime of genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda between October 1st 1990 and December 31st 1994, which place them in the first category irrespective of their ranks.
Section 2. Territorial Jurisdiction of the Military Courts
Article: 140
Military Courts shall try all offences committed within and outside the territory of the Republic of Rwanda, provided they were committed by persons over whom the Military Courts have jurisdiction.
Military Courts may hear cases from anywhere within the territory of the Republic of Rwanda if the President of the Court deems it necessary. 
Rwanda, Organic Law Determining the Organization, Functioning and Jurisdiction of Courts, 2004, Articles 90, 138 and 140.
Rwanda
Rwanda’s Code of Criminal Procedure (2004) provides:
Any person, including a foreigner, within the territory of the Republic of Rwanda after having, while abroad, committed international crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, terrorism, taking people as hostages, sale of drugs, money laundering, stealing motor vehicles for sale abroad, trafficking [of human beings] and slavery, can be prosecuted and tried by Rwandan courts. 
Rwanda, Code of Criminal Procedure, 2004, Article 195.
Senegal
Senegal’s Criminal Procedure Code (1965), as amended in 2007, states:
Any foreign national who, outside the territory of the Republic [of Senegal], is accused of perpetrating or acting as an accomplice to one of the crimes mentioned in articles 431-1 to 431-5 [on the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes under international law] of the [1965] Penal Code [as amended in 2007] … or an act mentioned in article[] … 295-1 [on torture] of the [1965] Penal Code [as amended in 1996] may be prosecuted and tried under the provisions of Senegalese law or applying in Senegal, if he is under the jurisdiction of Senegal or if a victim resides on the territory of the Republic of Senegal, or if the Government secures that person’s extradition. 
Senegal, Criminal Procedure Code, 1965, as amended in 2007, Article 669.
The explanatory statement introducing the 2007 Law amending the Criminal Procedure Code states:
The principle of territorial sovereignty, according to which every State has the right to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over its nationals and over foreigners living on its territory, is broken down by the rule of “universal jurisdiction”. This extraterritorial jurisdiction is dictated by Senegal’s obligation to repress grave breaches as defined by the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their [1977] Additional Protocol I and by other international legal instruments, as well as acts of terrorism[,] irrespective of where the breach was committed [and] the nationality of its author, providing that he or the victim reside[s] in Senegal. 
Senegal, Law No. 2007-05 modifying the Criminal Procedure Code, 2007, explanatory statement.
Senegal
Senegal’s Law on the establishment of the Extraordinary African Chambers within the Senegalese courts (2012) states:
Our country has signed an agreement with the African Union concerning the creation of the Extraordinary African Chambers within the Senegalese courts for the prosecution of international crimes committed in Chad during the period 7 June 1982 to 1 December 1990.
Since the African Chambers must be integrated into the existing court system, the Government of Senegal proposes the amendment of Article 1 of Law 84-19 of 2 February 1984 [governing the judicial system] to make this incorporation possible.
These courts, created by the agreement between the African Union and Senegal, are charged with investigating and deciding upon the international crimes committed in Chad between 7 June 1982 and 1 December 1990 and shall be automatically dissolved at the end of their mission. The composition and the operating procedures of these chambers are set out in their statute. 
Senegal, Law on the establishment of the Extraordinary African Chambers within the Senegalese courts, 2012, p. 1.
Senegal
Senegal’s Law Authorizing Ratification of the 2012 Agreement on the Establishment of the African Extraordinary Chambers (2012) states:
Desiring to fully demonstrate the respect it has consistently shown for its international commitments since independence, Senegal has undertaken to organize the trial for crimes and serious violations of international law committed on the territory of Chad during the period 7 June 1982 to 1 December 1990.
The obligation for our country to prosecute and try the person or persons responsible for the above-mentioned breaches of international law derives from Article 7 of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 10 December 1984, ratified by Senegal on 21 August 1986. It was reiterated in Resolutions Doc Assembly/AU/3VID and Doc Assembly/AU/Dec.40 (XVIII), adopted by the African Union Conference of Heads of State and Governments on, respectively, 2 July 2006 in Banjul and 31 January 2012 in Addis Ababa.
In order to assemble the right conditions for organizing the trial, and taking into account the decision on this matter of the ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] Court of Justice on 18 November 2010, the Government of the Republic of Senegal and the African Union signed an Agreement in Dakar on 22 August 2012 concerning the creation of the Extraordinary African Chambers within the Senegalese court system.
This legal instrument should enable our country to tangibly honour our international commitments by facilitating the prosecution of the alleged perpetrators of the aforementioned violations, within the framework of a just and fair trial, taking duly into account the concerns of victims, with strict respect for the right of the defence, in accordance with relevant international requirements.
The Government is therefore committed, within the framework of this Agreement, to adopt the necessary laws, regulations and administrative measures for the purpose of putting in place the aforementioned judicial institutions.
The success of this exercise will surely represent a significant contribution by Senegal to the fight against impunity in the world. 
Senegal, Law Authorizing Ratification of the 2012 Agreement on the Establishment of the African Extraordinary Chambers, 2012, preamble, p. 1.
Seychelles
The Geneva Conventions Act (1985) of the Seychelles, which provides for the prosecution of “any person, whatever his nationality” having committed any grave breach under the 1949 Geneva Conventions “whether in or outside Seychelles”, provides:
Where an offence under this section is committed outside Seychelles, a person may be proceeded against, charged, tried and punished therefor in any place in Seychelles, as if the offence had been committed in that place, and the offence is, for all purposes incidental to or consequential on the trial or punishment thereof, deemed to have been committed in that place. 
Seychelles, Geneva Conventions Act, 1985, Section 3(1) and (2).
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Geneva Conventions Act (2012) states:
2. Grave breaches of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions and the [1977] First [Additional] Protocol.
(1) A person of whatever nationality commits an offence if that person, whether within or outside Sierra Leone[,] commits, aids, abets or procures any other person to commit a grave breach specified in –
(a) article 50 of the First Geneva Convention [on grave breaches];
(b) article 51 of the Second Geneva Convention [on grave breaches];
(c) article 130 of the Third Geneva Convention [on grave breaches];
(d) article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention [on grave breaches];
(e) paragraph 4 of article 11 or paragraph 2, 3, or 4 of Article 85 of the First Protocol [on grave breaches].
(2) A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable on conviction –
(a) in the case of a grave breach which involves the willful killing of a person protected by the relevant Convention or Protocol to imprisonment for life;
(b) in the case of any other grave breach, to imprisonment for a term not less than 10 years and not exceeding twenty five years.
(5) Where a person commits an offence under this section outside Sierra Leone, that person may be tried and punished as if the offence was committed in Sierra Leone.
3. Jurisdiction of Courts
(1) The High Court shall have jurisdiction to try an offence committed under section 2.
(2) Act No. 34 of 1961. A court martial may try a person for an offence which under the Armed Forces of Sierra Leone Act is triable by that court although the offence is also an offence under section 2. 
Sierra Leone, Geneva Conventions Act, 2012, Section 2(1)–(2) and (5) and Section 3.
Singapore
Singapore’s Geneva Conventions Act (1973) provides:
Any person, whatever his citizenship or nationality, who, whether in or outside Singapore, commits, aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of any such grave breach of any [of the 1949 Geneva Conventions] shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and on conviction thereof … [be punished].
In the case of an offence under this section committed outside Singapore, a person may be proceeded against, charged, tried and punished therefor in any place in Singapore as if the offence had been committed in that place, and the offence shall, for the purposes incidental to or consequential on the trail or punishment thereof, be deemed to have been committed in that place. 
Singapore, Geneva Conventions Act, 1973, Section 3(1) and (2).
Slovenia
Slovenia’s Penal Code (1994) criminalizes genocide and war crimes broadly defined and applies to Slovenian nationals who have committed offences abroad; to non-nationals who have committed offences against Slovenian nationals abroad: and to non-nationals who have committed a criminal offence against a third country or any of its citizens abroad. 
Slovenia, Penal Code, 1994, Articles 122 and 123.
Spain
Under Spain’s Law on Judicial Power (1985), Spanish criminal courts have jurisdiction over offences committed by Spanish nationals and foreigners, whether on Spanish territory or abroad, in particular genocide or other offences which according to international treaties or conventions, must be prosecuted in Spain. 
Spain, Law on Judicial Power, 1985, Article 23(4).
Spain
Spain’s Law on Judicial Power (1985), as amended in 2009, states:
4. … Spanish courts have jurisdiction over offences committed by … foreign nationals outside the national territory, which constitute any of the following offences according to Spanish law:
h. Any other [act] that according to international treaties and conventions, in particular those Conventions on international humanitarian law and the protection of human rights, must be prosecuted in Spain.
Without prejudice to that disposed by the treaties and international conventions that Spain is a party to, in order for Spanish tribunals to have jurisdiction over the above-mentioned offences it must be demonstrated … that no other procedure leading to an investigation or effective prosecution, as the case may be, of the same punishable acts has been initiated in another country with jurisdiction or within an international tribunal.
The prosecution initiated before Spanish courts will be temporarily dismissed when it is established that another process on the denounced acts has been initiated in the country or tribunal referred to in the above paragraph.
5. If the prosecution is transferred to Spain according to the conditions in … paragraph 4, paragraph 2(c) of this article will in any case be applicable. 
Spain, Law on Judicial Power, 1985, as amended on 3 November 2009, Article 23(4)(h) and (5). For Article 23(2)(c), see Rule 158.
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Geneva Conventions Act (2006) states:
2. (1) Any person, whether a citizen of Sri Lanka or not, who within or outside Sri Lanka —
(a) commits or attempts to commit; or
(b) aids, abets, conspires or procures the commission by any other person of, a grave breach in terms of the relevant Articles of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions as are set out in Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III and Schedule IV to this Act and are also enumerated in subsection (2) of this section, shall be guilty of an offence.
3. Subject to the provisions of section 6, every prosecution for an offence in terms of section 2 shall be by way of direct indictment filed by the Attorney-General. 
Sri Lanka, Geneva Conventions Act, 2006, Sections 2–3.
The Act includes the following paragraph from the 1949 Geneva Conventions:
The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering the commission of any of the grave breaches. 
Sri Lanka, Geneva Conventions Act, 2006, Schedule I: Article 49, Schedule II: Article 50, Schedule III: Article 129, and Schedule IV: Article 146.
Sweden
Sweden’s Penal Code (1962), as amended in 1998, provides:
Crimes committed outside the Realm shall be adjudged according to Swedish law and by a Swedish court where the crime has been committed:
1. by a Swedish citizen or an alien domiciled in Sweden,
2. by an alien not domiciled in Sweden who, after having committed the crime, has become a Swedish citizen or has acquired domicile in the Realm or who is a Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, or Norwegian citizen and is present in the Realm, or
3. by any other alien, who is present in the Realm, and the crime under Swedish Law can result in imprisonment for more than six months. 
Sweden, Penal Code, 1962, as amended in 1998, Chapter 2, § 2.
The Code further provides:
Even in cases other than those listed in Section 2, crimes committed outside the Realm shall be adjudged according to Swedish Law and by a Swedish court: … if the crime is … a crime against international law, unlawful dealings with chemical weapons, unlawful dealings with mines or false or careless statement before an international court. 
Sweden, Penal Code, 1962, as amended in 1998, Chapter 2, § 3(6).
Moreover, the Code provides:
A person guilty of a serious violation of a treaty or agreement with a foreign power or an infraction of a generally recognised principle or tenet relating to international humanitarian law concerning armed conflicts shall be sentenced for a crime against international law to imprisonment.  
Sweden, Penal Code as amended, 1962, Chapter 22, § 6.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended, gives Swiss military tribunals jurisdiction over violations of IHL, regardless of the international or non-international character of an armed conflict, whether the crime has been committed on Swiss territory or abroad, whether the perpetrator or the victim is of Swiss nationality or of a foreign nationality and whether the perpetrator had military or civil status, even if there exists no link to the Swiss legal system other than the presence of the accused on Swiss territory. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, as amended, Articles 2(1) and (9), 6, 9, 108 and 109.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended in 2007, states:
1. If the personal conditions are fulfilled, the present code applies both to crimes committed in Switzerland and to crimes committed abroad.
1 bis. It applies to persons mentioned in Article 3, Chapter 9, who are foreign nationals and who commit a crime under the law of nations … abroad during armed conflict if they:
a. are located in Switzerland;
b. have a close bond with Switzerland;
c. can neither be extradited nor transferred to an international criminal tribunal. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, as amended in 2007, Article 10(1)–(1 bis).
The Code also states:
[The following persons] are subject to military criminal law:
9. foreign civilians or members of the armed forces who, during armed conflict, become criminally responsible for violations of the law of nations (Articles 108 to 114). 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, as amended in 2007, Article 3(8).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, which also contains a chapter on war crimes, states in the part on general provisions:
Art. 5
1 In times of war, in addition to the persons mentioned in art. 3 and 4, the following are subject to military criminal law:
1. Civilians who make themselves culpable of one of the following offences:
d. … war crimes (Part 2, chapter 6bis and art. 139);
5. foreign military persons who make themselves culpable of … a war crime (Part 2, chapter 6bis and art. 139).
2 The provisions on the punishability of superiors (art. 114a) are applicable to the cases under paragraph 1, number 1(d) and number 5.
Art. 10
1 If the personal conditions are fulfilled, the present code is applicable both to offences committed in Switzerland and to those committed abroad.
1bis The present code applies to persons mentioned in art. 5 [paragraph 1], number 1, letter d and number 5, who have committed abroad one of the acts under … chapter 6bis [war crimes] of Part 2 or art. 114a [punishability of superiors] if they are present in Switzerland, unless they are extradited or transferred to an international criminal court whose jurisdiction is recognized by Switzerland.
1ter Where the victim of the act carried out abroad is not Swiss and the perpetrator is not Swiss, the prosecution, with the exception of measures to secure evidence, may be abandoned or may be dispensed with in the following cases:
a. a foreign authority or an international criminal court whose jurisdiction is recognized by Switzerland is prosecuting the offence and the suspected perpetrator is extradited or delivered to the court;
b. the suspected perpetrator is no longer in Switzerland and is not expected to return there;
c. the necessary evidence cannot be obtained.
1quater The present code applies to persons who have committed abroad, against a Swiss military person, one of the acts under … chapter 6bis [war crimes] of Part 2 or art. 114a [punishability of superiors], if they are present in Switzerland or have been extradited there because of this act, unless they are extradited or transferred to an international criminal court whose jurisdiction is recognized by Switzerland. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 5(1)(1)(d) and (5) and (2) and 10(1)–(1quater). The German language version of Article 10(1ter)(b) notes: “the suspected perpetrator is no longer in Switzerland and is not expected to return there; or”.
[footnotes in original omitted]
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Penal Code (1937), as amended, is applicable also with regard to acts committed abroad which the State is obliged to prosecute by an international treaty, provided that the act is also punishable in the State where it was committed and that the author of the crime is found on the territory of Switzerland and not extradited to another State. 
Switzerland, Penal Code, 1937, as amended, Article 6 bis.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Penal Code (1937), as amended in 2009, states:
Art. 6
1. The present code applies to anyone who commits a crime or delict abroad, which Switzerland is obliged to prosecute by virtue of an international treaty:
a. if the act is also punishable in the State where it was committed or if the place where it was committed is not subject to any criminal jurisdiction; and
b. if the perpetrator is in Switzerland and if he is not extradited.
Art. 7
1 The present code applies to anyone who commits a crime or delict abroad if the conditions stipulated in Articles 4, 5 and 6 are not fulfilled:
a. if the act is also punishable in the State where it was committed or if the place where it was committed is not subject to any criminal jurisdiction;
b. if the perpetrator is in Switzerland or if he is being extradited to Switzerland due to this act; and
c. if, according to Swiss law, the act may give rise to extradition, but the perpetrator is not being extradited.
2. If the perpetrator is not of Swiss nationality and the crime or delict has not been committed against a Swiss citizen, para. 1 applies only if:
a. the demand for extradition has been rejected for reasons other than the nature of the act or
b. the perpetrator has committed a particularly serious crime which is proscribed by the international community. 
Switzerland, Penal Code, 1937, as amended in 2009, Articles 6(1) and 7.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Penal Code (1937), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states in the common provisions under the titles on genocide and crimes against humanity and on war crimes:
Art. 264m
1 A person who carries out an act under Title 12bis and 12ter [on war crimes] or Art. 264k [on the criminal liability of superiors] while abroad is guilty of an offence if he is in Switzerland and is not extradited to another State or delivered to an international criminal court whose jurisdiction is recognised by Switzerland.
2 Where the victim of the act carried out abroad is not Swiss and the perpetrator is not Swiss, the prosecution, with the exception of measures to secure evidence, may be abandoned or may be dispensed with in the following cases:
a. a foreign authority or an international criminal court whose jurisdiction is recognized by Switzerland is prosecuting the offence and the suspected perpetrator is extradited or delivered to the court;
b. the suspected perpetrator is no longer in Switzerland and is not expected to return there.
3 Article 7 paragraphs 4 and 5 [on the principle of ne bis in idem] applies unless the acquittal, or the remission or application of time limits for the execution of the sentence abroad has the aim of protecting the offender from punishment without justification. 
Switzerland, Penal Code, 1937, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Article 264m. The German, Italian and Romansh language versions of Article 264m (2)(a) note: “a foreign authority or an international criminal court whose jurisdiction is recognized by Switzerland is prosecuting the offence and the suspected perpetrator is extradited or delivered to the court; or”.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Criminal Procedure Code (2007), as amended to 2012, which regulates the prosecution and adjudication by the federal and cantonal criminal justice authorities of offences under federal law, including war crimes, states:
Art. 23 Federal jurisdiction in general
1. The following offences in the PC [Penal Code] are subject to federal jurisdiction:
g. the offences in Title … Twelve ter [war crimes] as well as Article 264k [on the criminal liability of superiors][.] 
Switzerland, Criminal Procedure Code, 2007, as amended to 2012, Articles 23(1)(g) and 24(1)(a).
[footnotes in original omitted]
Tajikistan
Tajikistan’s Criminal Code (1998) provides for jurisdiction over stateless permanent residents who commit crimes under Tajikistan law outside the country and over foreigners and stateless persons not resident in Tajikistan who commit crimes under the Code when the crime is prohibited by norms of international law or treaties. 
Tajikistan, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 15.
The Code provides that several war crimes are crimes under national law. 
Tajikistan, Criminal Code, 1998, Articles 397–405.
Uganda
Uganda’s Geneva Conventions Act (1964) provides:
Any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether within or without Uganda commits or aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of any grave breach of any of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions … commits an offence and on conviction thereof [shall be punished].
Where an offence under this section is committed without Uganda a person may be proceeded against, indicted, tried and punished therefor in any place in Uganda as if the offence had been committed in that place, and the offence shall, for all purposes incidental or consequential on the trial or punishment thereof, be deemed to have been committed in that place. 
Uganda, Geneva Conventions Act, 1964, Section 1(1) and (2).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Geneva Conventions Act (1957), as amended in 1995, provides:
Any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether in or outside the United Kingdom, commits, or aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of a grave breach of any of the [1949 Geneva] conventions or the [1977 Additional Protocol I] shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction on indictment [shall be punished]. In the case of an offence under this section committed outside the United Kingdom, a person may be proceeded against, indicted, tried and punished therefor in any place in the United Kingdom as if the offence had been committed in that place, and the offence shall, for all purposes incidental to or consequential on the trial or punishment thereof, be deemed to have been committed in that place. 
United Kingdom, Geneva Conventions Act, 1957, as amended in 1995, Section 1(1) and (2).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK UN Personnel Act (1997) provides: “A person is guilty of an offence under, or by virtue of, section 1 [attacks on UN workers], 2 [attacks in connection with premises and vehicles] or 3 [threats of attacks on UN workers] regardless of his nationality.” 
United Kingdom, UN Personnel Act, 1997, Section 5(3).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK War Crimes Act (1991) states:
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, proceedings for murder, manslaughter or culpable homicide may be brought against a person in the United Kingdom irrespective of his nationality at the time of the alleged offence if that offence –
a) was committed during the period beginning with 1 September 1939 and ending with 5 June 1945 in a place which at the time was part of Germany or under German occupation; and
b) constituted a violation of the laws and customs of war.
(2) No proceedings shall by virtue of this section be brought against any person unless he was on 8 March 1990, or has subsequently become, a British citizen or resident of the United Kingdom. 
United Kingdom, War Crimes Act, 1991, Articles 1 and 2.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK ICC Act (2001) includes as offences under domestic law the acts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined in the 1998 ICC Statute. 
United Kingdom, ICC Act, 2001, Part 5, Section 50.
Thus the Act provides:
(1) It is an offence against the law of England and Wales for a person to commit genocide, a crime against humanity or a war crime.
(2) This section applies to acts committed
(a) in England or Wales, or
(b) outside the United Kingdom by a United Kingdom national, a United Kingdom resident or a person subject to UK service jurisdiction. 
United Kingdom, ICC Act, 2001, Part 5, Section 51.
There is a similar provision for Northern Ireland without the reference to “a person subject to UK service jurisdiction”. 
United Kingdom, ICC Act, 2001, Part 5, Section 58.
United States of America
The US Convention on Genocide Implementation Act (1987) includes the following conditions as a required circumstance for the alleged offences:
(1) the offense is committed within the United States; or
(2) the alleged offender is a national of the United States (as defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101)). 
United States, Convention on Genocide Implementation Act, 1987, Section 1091(d).
United States of America
The US Convention against Torture Implementation Act (1994), which provides for the punishment of acts of torture committed outside the United States, provides:
There is jurisdiction over [acts of torture] if –
(1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or
(2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender. 
United States, Convention against Torture Implementation Act, 1994, Section 2340A(b).
United States of America
The US War Crimes Act (1996) provides:
(a) Offense. – Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.
(b) Circumstances. – The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the person committing such war crime or the victim of such war crime is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or a national of the United States (as defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act). 
United States, War Crimes Act, 1996, Section 2441(a) and (b).
Uruguay
Uruguay’s Law on Cooperation with the ICC (2006) states:
If a person who is suspected of having committed one of the crimes listed in Titles I to IV of Part II of the present law [including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes] is on the territory of the Republic [of Uruguay] or in places subject to its jurisdiction, the Uruguayan State is obliged to take all necessary measures to exercise its jurisdiction with respect to the pertinent crime or offence if it does not receive a request for surrender by the International Criminal Court or requests for extradition. The State of Uruguay must proceed with the prosecution as if the crime or offence was committed on the territory of the Republic, irrespective of the place of commission or the nationality of the suspect or the victims. The suspicion previously referred to in the first part of this paragraph must be based on the existence of prima facie evidence. 
Uruguay, Law on Cooperation with the ICC, 2006, Article 4.2.
Vanuatu
Vanuatu’s Geneva Conventions Act (1982) provides:
Any grave breach of any of the [1949] Geneva Conventions that would, if committed in Vanuatu, be an offence under any provision of the Penal Code Act Cap. 135 or any other law shall be an offence under such provision of the Penal Code or any other law if committed outside Vanuatu.
Where a person has committed an act or omission that is an offence by virtue of [the above], the offence is within the competence of and may be tried and punished by the court having jurisdiction in respect of similar offences in Vanuatu. 
Vanuatu, Geneva Conventions Act, 1982, Sections 4 and 5.
Venezuela
Venezuela’s Penal Code (2005) states:
The following persons shall be subject to trial in Venezuela and shall be punished in conformity with Venezuelan criminal law:
13. Commanders, officers and other members of an army for punishable acts committed against the local population when crossing neutral foreign territory. 
Venezuela, Penal Code, 2005, Article 14(13).
Viet Nam
Viet Nam’s Penal Code (1999) provides:
Foreigners who commit offences outside the territory of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam may be examined for penal liability according to the Penal Code of Viet Nam in circumstances provided for in the international treaties which the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam has signed or acceded to. 
Viet Nam, Penal Code, 1999, § 6.2.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Geneva Conventions Act (1981), as amended in 1996, provides:
Any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether in or outside Zimbabwe, commits any such grave breach of [the 1949 Geneva Conventions or the 1977 Additional Protocol I] … shall be guilty of an offence.
… Where an offence in terms of this section has been committed outside Zimbabwe, the person concerned may be proceeded against, indicted, tried and punished therefore in any place in Zimbabwe as if the offence had been committed in that place and the offence shall, for all purposes incidental to or consequential on the trial or punishment thereof, be deemed to have been committed in that place. 
Zimbabwe, Geneva Conventions Act, 1981, as amended in 1996, Section 3(1) and (3).
Argentina
In his legal opinion in the Schwammberger case before the Cámara Federal de la Plata in 1989, the Attorney-General of Argentina stated:
States that have endured and suffered genocide have the right by means of their laws to assess the extent of the crimes and to punish in their courts of law those accused of participating in such aberrant and cruel behaviour. Neither time, nor borders, nor the laws of any given country shall prevent the just advance of punitive law in the face of such repugnant acts, which are so deeply debasing for mankind and which undermine civilized coexistence. 
Argentina, Cámara Federal de la Plata, Schwammberger case, Legal opinion of the Attorney-General, 30 August 1989, Point V.
Australia
In the Polyukhovich case before Australia’s High Court in 1991 in which the accused was charged with crimes committed during the Second World War, certain judges addressed the question of the customary law obligation to prosecute and extradite persons accused of war crimes committed during the Second World War. Judge Brennan considered that:
As the material drawn from international agreements and [UN General Assembly] resolutions acknowledges, international law recognizes a State to have universal jurisdiction to try suspected war criminals whether or not that State is under an obligation to do so and whether or not there is any international concern that the State should do so. 
Australia, High Court, Polyukhovich case, Legal Reasoning of Judge Brennan, 14 August 1991, § 33.
Judge Brennan further held:
The universal jurisdiction to try war criminals is a jurisdiction to try those alleged to have committed war crimes as defined by international law … But jurisdiction under municipal law to try a municipal law offence which is similar to but not identical with an international crime is not recognized as a jurisdiction conferred or recognized by the law of nations … However, when municipal law adopts the international law definition of a crime as the municipal law definition of the crime, the jurisdiction exercised in applying the municipal law is recognized as an appropriate means of exercising universal jurisdiction under international law. 
Australia, High Court, Polyukhovich case, Legal Reasoning of Judge Brennan, 14 August 1991, §§ 37–38.
Judge Toohey held that the “universality of jurisdiction is in fact a permissive doctrine”. 
Australia, High Court, Polyukhovich case, Legal Reasoning of Judge Toohey, 14 August 1991, § 27.
Judge Toohey further held: “There appears to be general agreement that war crimes and crimes against humanity are now within the category subject to universal jurisdiction.” 
Australia, High Court, Polyukhovich case, Legal Reasoning of Judge Toohey, 14 August 1991, § 28.
Judge Toohey also discussed the relationship between war crimes and universal jurisdiction and held: “The question whether the crimes existed as such at that time is basic. If such conduct amounted, then, to customary international crimes, their very nature leads to the conclusion that they were the subject of universal jurisdiction.” 
Australia, High Court, Polyukhovich case, Legal Reasoning of Judge Toohey, 14 August 1991, § 35.
Austria
In its judgment in the Cvjetković case in 1994, Austria’s Supreme Court held that the Austrian courts were entitled to exercise jurisdiction over the accused under Article 6 of the 1948 Genocide Convention. 
Austria, Supreme Court, Cvjetković case, Judgment, 13 July 1994.
Belgium
In The Four from Butare case in 2001, a Belgian Court found four Rwandans guilty of war crimes during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The accused were arrested under the Law concerning the Repression of Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols as amended and charged with grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, as well as violations of common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Articles 1, 2 and 4 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II. 
Belgium, Cour d’Assises de Bruxelles, The Four from Butare case, Judgment, 7–8 June 2001.
The judgment was confirmed by Belgium’s Court of Cassation in 2002. 
Belgium, Court of Cassation, The Four from Butare case, Judgment, 9 January 2002.
Belgium
In 2003, in the Ariel Sharon & Amos Yaron case, the Second Chamber of Belgium’s Court of Cassation held:
IV.
A.
Whereas, indeed, by virtue of Article 12bis of the law of 17 April 1878, amended by the law of 18 July 2001, a clause which ought to be read in combination with its preceding clause, Belgian courts may equally enjoy jurisdiction to try those offenses committed outside the territory of the Kingdom which are the subject of an international treaty to which Belgium is a party, as long as this treaty imposes upon Belgium, in whatever manner, the duty to submit the matter to its competent authorities for prosecution;
Whereas it follows from the very text of Article 12bis cited above that jurisdiction as conferred upon Belgian courts concerns crimes provided by all treaties ratified by Belgium containing a binding rule for the extension of jurisdiction in derogation from the principle of territoriality under criminal law;
Whereas neither Articles V nor VI of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide [1948 Genocide Convention], nor the Rome Statute [1998 ICC Statute], nor Articles 49-50-129-146 of the four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, contain such a rule;
That crimes of international law as provided by the law of 16 June 1993, amended by the law of 10 February 1999, falling outside the scope of the terms of Chapter II of the Preliminary Title of the Code of Criminal Procedure, do not constitute crimes for which prosecution requires the presence of the accused in Belgium when the crimes in question have been committed outside of the territory;
That, since it holds the opposite, the contested decision is therefore not legally justified. 
Belgium, Court of Cassation, Ariel Sharon & Amos Yaron case, Judgment, 12 February 2003, pp. 5–8, § IV(A).
Belgium
In 2003, in the B.P. et al. case, the Second Chamber of Belgium’s Court of Cassation held:
… the residence condition, as provided in Article 10§1bis of the Preliminary Title of the Code of Criminal Procedure, should be fulfilled by the victim of a grave breach of international humanitarian law , and not by the complainant;
Whereas, alternatively, the complainants invoke the principle of extraterritorial jurisdiction envisaged in Article 12bis of the said Preliminary Title;
… this criterion is not fulfilled, since no existing rule of international humanitarian law requires Belgium to exercise universal jurisdiction by default with regard to the crimes which giving rise to the present case. 
Belgium, Court of Cassation, B.P. et al. case, Judgment, 17 December 2003, p. 2.
Belgium
In 2004, in the TotalFinaElf et al. case, the Second Chamber of Belgium’s Court of Cassation held:
… it follows from the text of Article 12bis of the Preliminary Title of the Code of Criminal Procedure that the jurisdiction it confers upon Belgian courts concerns crimes provided by all treaties ratified by Belgium containing a binding rule for the extension of jurisdiction in derogation from the principle of territoriality under criminal law; … this provision allows the extension of jurisdiction of Belgian courts in case international law so requires, but … presently no international rule exists imposing universal jurisdiction by default upon Belgian courts. 
Belgium, Court of Cassation, TotalFinaElf et al. case, Judgment, 5 May 2004, § III.
Belgium
In 2004, in the K.P. et al. case, the Second Chamber of Belgium’s Court of Cassation held:
… the jurisdiction that Article 12bis of the Preliminary Title of the Code of Criminal Procedure confers upon Belgian courts concerns crimes provided by all treaties ratified by Belgium containing a binding rule for the extension of jurisdiction in derogation from the principle of territoriality under criminal law; … this provision allows the extension of jurisdiction of Belgian courts in case international law so requires, but … presently neither Articles 146 and 147 of Geneva Convention [IV] of 12 August 1949, nor the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 17 July 1998, or the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 10 December 1984, or any other international norm presently imposes universal jurisdiction by default upon Belgian courts. 
Belgium, Court of Cassation, K.P. et al. case, Judgment, 19 May 2004, § III.
Belgium
In 2005, in the Law on grave breaches of international humanitarian law case, Belgium’s Court of Arbitration held:
B.6.2. It rests with the legislator to determine, in conformity with international obligations and with the principles of equality and non-discrimination, the modalities for the exercise of public action in case of grave breaches of international humanitarian law or other grave breaches committed outside the Belgian territory.
The fact that the legislator has opted for universal jurisdiction does not prevent it from reconsidering this option and limit the possibility to bring an action for those crimes which have their source in international law.
B.6.3. … the legislator could reasonably find it necessary to limit extra-territorial criminal jurisdiction for grave breaches of international humanitarian law, and, in particular, to require the perpetrator’s or the victim’s personal attachment to the country. Equally, it could reasonably find it necessary to limit in certain circumstances the possibility of triggering public prosecution, by conferring this power exclusively upon the Federal Prosecutor.
However, the Court has to establish whether, by precluding in certain circumstances the victims from triggering public prosecution through “constitution de partie civile”, the contested provisions have disproportionately infringed upon the rights of the victims concerned.
B.7.4. By conferring the power to initiate proceedings exclusively upon the Federal Prosecutor for the crimes provided for in Articles 10§1bis and 12bis of the Preliminary Title of the Code of Criminal Procedure [grave breaches of international humanitarian law], the contested measure does not infringe disproportionately upon the rights of the victims.
This monopoly on the initiation of proceedings stems from the will to set up a centralization and coordination body for the exercise of public action with regard to these breaches.
Furthermore, the Federal Prosecutor, far from possessing a discretionary competence on the matter, can only decide to discontinue proceedings on any one of the four grounds specifically provided for by the law: a claim is manifestly ill-founded, there is an error of qualification, inadmissibility, or the particular circumstances of the case suggest that another jurisdiction would be more appropriate.
B.7.6. … However, by not allowing under any circumstances for a Federal Prosecutor’s decision to discontinue proceedings to be reviewed by an independent and impartial judge, [the legislator] has adopted a measure which goes beyond the objective it pursues. 
Belgium, Court of Arbitration, Law on grave breaches of international humanitarian law case, Judgment, 23 March 2005, §§ B.6.2, 6.3, 7.4 and 7.6.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In 2007, in the Lučić case, the Panel of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina stated:
According to the universal jurisdiction principle, customary international humanitarian law is obligatory for each state throughout the world, regardless of whether it has ratified the appropriate international legal instruments. Therefore, each state is bound to prosecute or extradite (aut dedere aut judicare) all persons suspected of having violated customary international humanitarian law. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lučić case, Judgment, 19 September 2007, p. 61.
Canada
In the Finta case in 1989, in which the accused was prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Second World War, Canada’s High Court of Justice rejected the defence’s arguments that the law on which the prosecution was based was unlawful inasmuch as it gave the Courts extraterritorial jurisdiction. The Court held that one of the bases of jurisdiction which it considered were applicable to the case in question was the “‘universal principle’ of jurisdiction”. The Court went on to explain that “this principle recognizes that with respect to certain types of international crimes a country has the right to prosecute an offender irrespective of the fact that the offence was not committed on its territory”. 
Canada, High Court of Justice, Finta case, Judgment, 10 July 1989.
In its judgment in 1994, the Supreme Court, with reference to the relevant provision of the Canadian Criminal Code, stated:
Canadian courts have jurisdiction to try individuals living in Canada for crimes which they allegedly committed on foreign soil only when the conditions specified [enumerated within the judgment] are satisfied. The most important of those requirements, for the purposes of the present case, is that the alleged crime must constitute a war crime or a crime against humanity.
The war crimes and crimes against humanity provision stands as an exception to the general rule regarding the territorial ambit of criminal law. Parliament intended to extend the arm of Canada’s criminal law in order to be in a position to prosecute these extraterritorial acts if the alleged perpetrators were discovered here. 
Canada, Supreme Court, Finta case, Judgment, 24 March 1994.
In their dissenting opinion, three of the judges stated:
Extraterritorial prosecution is thus a practical necessity in the case of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Not only is the state where the crime took place unlikely to prosecute; following the cessation of hostilities or other conditions that fostered their commission, there also is a tendency for the individuals who perpetrated them to scatter to the four corners of the earth. Thus, war criminals would be able to elude punishment simply by fleeing the jurisdiction where the crime was committed. The international community has rightly rejected this prospect. 
Canada, Supreme Court, Finta case, Dissenting opinion of Judges La Forest, L’Heureux-Dubé and McLachlim, 24 March 1994.
Canada
In 2007, in the Hape case, Canada’s Supreme Court stated:
This Court recognized the foregoing principles in Terry. At para. 15, McLachlin J. wrote the following on behalf of the Court:
The principle that a state’s law applies only within its boundaries is not absolute: The Case of the S.S. “Lotus” (1927), P.C.I.J. Ser. A, No. 10, at p. 20. States may invoke a jurisdiction to prescribe offences committed elsewhere to deal with special problems, such as those provisions of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C46, pertaining to offences on aircraft (s. 7(1), (2)) and war crimes and other crimes against humanity (s. 7(3.71)). A state may likewise formally consent to permit Canada and other states to enforce their laws within its territory for limited purposes.
The Statute of Westminster, 1931 (U.K.), 22 Geo. 5, c. 4, s. 3, conferred on Canada the authority to make laws having extraterritorial operation and Canada has enacted legislation with extraterritorial effects on several occasions. Some examples can be found in criminal legislation, including the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, S.C. 2000, c. 24, which addresses crimes of universal jurisdiction. Section 6(1) of that statute provides that every person who commits genocide, a crime against humanity or a war crime outside Canada is guilty of an indictable offence. Pursuant to s. 8, such a person may be prosecuted in Canada: (a) if at the time of the offence the person was a Canadian citizen or a citizen of a state engaged in armed conflict against Canada, or the victim was a Canadian citizen or a citizen of a state allied with Canada in an armed conflict; or (b) if, after the time of the offence was committed, the person is present in Canada. These provisions exemplify valid extraterritorial prescriptive jurisdiction, and any trial for such offences would constitute a legitimate exercise of extraterritorial adjudicative jurisdiction. 
Canada, Supreme Court, Hape case, Judgment, 7 June 2007, § 66.
Canada
In 2009, in the Munyaneza case, Canada’s Superior Court of Québec found a Rwandan national who had been residing in Canada guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Rwanda in 1994. The Court held:
II - TRIAL
[8] Mr. Munyaneza was charged under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (the “Act”), adopted by the Canadian Parliament in 2000 (S.C. 2000, c. 24). He is the first to be prosecuted under that legislation in Canada.
IV – THE LAW
3. THE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AND WAR CRIMES ACT (“the Act”)
3.1 History
[58] On June 29, 2000, the Act was assented to and placed in Chapter 24 of the Statutes of Canada for the year 2000. Its complete title is the Act respecting genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and to implement the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.
[59] The Act came into force on October 23, 2000.
[60] It is aimed at implementing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted on July 17, 1998 by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (the “Rome Statute”).
[65] In contrast to all Canadian laws that punish offences committed on Canadian territory, the Act provides that a person who has committed abroad a crime of genocide, a crime against humanity or a war crime can be prosecuted in Canada if he or she resides here.
[66] One of the avowed purposes of the Act is to fight against the impunity of war criminals, like that which existed after the Second World War. 
Canada, Superior Court, Criminal Division, Province of Québec, Munyaneza case, Judgment, 22 May 2009, §§ 8, 58–60 and 65–66.
Colombia
In 2003, in the Constitutional Case No. C-004/03, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
International law has developed the principle of universal jurisdiction, whereby every State has an interest in the punishment of the most serious violations of human rights or international humanitarian law, such as genocide, torture, or enforced disappearances. A person may be tried and sentenced by any State on behalf of the international community for such acts. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-004/03, Judgment of 20 January 2003, § 26.
Colombia
In 2005, in the Constitutional Case No. C-797/05, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court held:
[According to the] the principle of universal jurisdiction … it is in every State’s interest to investigate and punish the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, such as genocide, torture [and] enforced disappearance. Such interest legitimizes any State to exercise its jurisdiction in the name of the international community and investigate, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of such crimes. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-979/05, Judgment of 26 September 2005, § 15.
[footnote in original omitted]
Colombia
In 2007, in the Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
At the international level, the State obligation to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law is found in Article 1 common to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and has acquired customary status.
[T]he general obligation to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law is the foundation for a number of more specific duties such as … the duty to investigate, prosecute, sanction … war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed during internal armed conflicts, a customary duty binding States because it is States through their legitimately established authorities who must effectively determine individual criminal responsibility for the commission of grave breaches of international humanitarian law without prejudice to the principle of universal jurisdiction as applicable in the commission of these type of crimes universally accepted today. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, p. 61.
Denmark
In the Sarić case in 1994, Denmark’s High Court tried a Bosnian Muslim refugee arrested in Denmark on charges of torture of prisoners of war in violation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The accused was convicted and sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment. 
Denmark, High Court, Sarić case, Judgment, 25 November 1994.
Jurisdiction was based on the grave breaches provisions of Articles 129 and 130 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Articles 146 and 147 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV in conjunction with Article 8(5) of the Danish Penal Code, which provides Danish Courts with jurisdiction to try perpetrators of certain crimes when Denmark is bound by a treaty to do so. The verdict was confirmed by the Supreme Court in 1995. 
Denmark, Supreme Court, Sarić case, Judgment, 15 August 1995.
France
In the Javor case before France’s Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris in 1994 and relative to events in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the investigating magistrate at first instance considered that the principles of international cooperation regarding the search and punishment of war criminals referred to in UN General Assembly Resolution 3074 (1973) were binding and were directly applicable in French national law. The investigating magistrate had also considered that he had jurisdiction on the basis of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1984 UN Convention against Torture. 
France, Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris, Javor case, Order establishing partial lack of jurisdiction and the admissibility of civil suit, 6 May 1994.
The Court of Appeal of Paris reversed the decision and held that the investigating magistrate had wrongly considered that the principles of international cooperation provided in UN General Assembly Resolution 3074 were legally binding as a treaty. 
France, Court of Appeal of Paris, Javor case, Judgment, 24 November 1994.
In 1996, the Court of Cassation confirmed the absence of direct applicability of the jurisdictional provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The Court also rejected the jurisdiction in respect of torture because the accused was not on French territory at the time of the alleged acts. 
France, Court of Cassation, Javor case, Judgment, 26 March 1996.
France
In the Munyeshyaka case in 1996, France’s Court of Appeal of Nîmes considered a case concerning a Rwandan priest accused of an alleged role in the 1994 massacres in Kigali and held that there was no basis in French law for universal jurisdiction in respect to the imputed crime of genocide. 
France, Court of Appeal of Nîmes, Munyeshyaka case, Judgment, 20 March 1996.
In 1998, the Court of Cassation reversed the judgment and found that jurisdiction was established on the basis of the Law on Cooperation with the ICTR of 1996, which allowed perpetrators of grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, violations of the laws and customs of war, genocide and crimes against humanity who were present in France to be prosecuted in France by the application of French law. The Court added that the relevant bases in French law could be found in Article 689 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (torture) and Article 211 of the Penal Code (genocide). 
France, Court of Cassation, Munyeshyaka case, Judgment, 6 January 1998.
France
In 2001, in the Kadhafi case, France’s Criminal Law Chamber of the Court of Cassation held:
Finding on the appeal lodged by:
- The Prosecutor General at the Court of Appeal of Paris,
Against the decision of 20 October 2000 of the chambre d’accusation of the said Court of Appeal, which confirmed the order of the investigating judge according to which there are grounds to hold an investigation upon the criminal complaint by the organization S.O.S Attentats and by Béatrice Boëry, against Mouammar Kadhafi, on the count of complicity in the destruction of an object by the effect of an explosive substance which led to the death of another person, in relation to a terrorist enterprise;
Having considered the general principles of international law;
Whereas international custom is opposed to the possibility of incumbent heads of State being the object of prosecutions before the criminal courts of a foreign State, in the absence of international provisions to the contrary binding on the parties concerned;
Whereas the organization S.O.S Attentats and Béatrice Boëry have lodged a criminal complaint, constituting themselves as civil party, on the count of complicity in the destruction of an object by the effect of an explosive substance which led to the death of another person, in relation to a terrorist enterprise, against Mouammar Kaddafi, incumbent head of State of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, whom they reproach with his implication in the attack, committed on 19 September 1989, against the airplane DC 10 of the company UTA, which, by exploding over Niger, caused the death of 170 persons, several among them of French nationality;
Whereas, in order to confirm the order of the investigating judge according to which there are grounds to hold an investigation, notwithstanding requests to the contrary by the office of the public prosecutor, the judges at the second level hold that even if the immunity of foreign heads of State has always been admitted by the international community, including France, no immunity can cover the acts of complicity in the destruction of an object by the effect of an explosive substance which led to the death of another person, in relation to a terrorist enterprise;
But whereas, by pronouncing thus, while under current international law the crime denounced, whatever its gravity, does not raise exceptions to the principle of immunity of incumbent foreign heads of State from jurisdiction, the chambre d’accusation has misread the aforementioned principle;
From which follows that the appeal for cassation is successful; …
Therefore,
[The Court of Cassation d]eclares null and void the decision of the chambre d’accusation of the Court of Appeal of Paris of 20 October 2000 in all its provisions. 
France, Court of Cassation, Kadhafi case, Appeal Nr. 02-85379, Judgment, 13 March 2001.
France
In 2002, in the Ely Ould Dah case, France’s Criminal Law Chamber of the Court of Cassation held:
Whereas it follows from the attacked decision that, during ethnic clashes that arose on the Mauritanian territory in the years 1990 and 1991, Ely X…, while he was a lieutenant in the army and participated, in the capacity of intelligence officer, in a commission charged with the interrogation of soldiers suspected of having instigated a coup d’état, rendered himself guilty of torture or barbaric acts and of complicity in these crimes; whereas the person concerned was questioned on 1 July 1999, at the School of the Commissariat of the Army of Montpellier Ecole du commissariat de l’armée de terre de Montpellier where he was doing a course, following a complaint lodged by the International Federation for Human Rights Fédération internationale des Ligues des droits de l’homme – FIDH] and the Human Rights League [Ligue Française pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen or Ligue des droits de l’Homme – LDH].
Whereas the attacked decision, in order to uphold the competence of the French jurisdiction, notes, first, that Articles 689-1 and 689-2 of the Criminal Procedure Code give the French courts the competence to prosecute and try any person, if in France, who, outside the territory of the Republic, has rendered himself guilty of torture in the sense of Article 1 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted in New York on 10 December 1984 and entered into force in France on 26 June 1987, and second, that, according to Article 689 of the Code cited above, which is in force since 1 March 1994 but whose provisions only take up the earlier law, French law is applicable whenever the French courts have competence; whereas the judges add that the Mauritanian amnesty law of 14 June 1993 cannot be applied since this would risk depriving the principle of universal jurisdiction of any impact;
Whereas, in fact, the exercise of universal jurisdiction by a French court brings with it the competence of the French law, even in the presence of a foreign amnesty law;
From which follows that the ground for appeal must be rejected. 
France, Court of Cassation, Ely Ould Dah case, Appeal Nr. 02-85379, Judgment, 23 October 2002.
France
In 2005, in the Guantánamo case, the Criminal Law Chamber of the Court of Cassation held:
Finding on the appeal lodged by:
- X… Nizar,
- X… X…,
- X… Khedija, wife Y…,
- Z…Mourad,
- Z…Chelali,
- A… Hafsa,
Civil parties,
Against the decision of the investigating chamber of the Court of Appeal of Lyon of 20 May 2003, which confirmed the order of the investigating judge, refusing to hold an investigation upon their criminal complaint for counts of arrest, illegal detention, arbitrary detention, deliberate failure to end arbitrary detention;
Whereas it follows from the decision attacked and from the documents of the proceedings that Nizar X… and Mourad Z…, French nationals detained at the base at Guantánamo, constituted themselves as civil parties, because of illegal arrest, arbitrary detention and failure to end an arbitrary detention; whereas they denounce the fact of, first, having been illegally arrested due to the armed operations carried out in Afghanistan in response to the attacks perpetrated on 11 September 2001, and of, second, having been arbitrarily held in detention;
Whereas, to confirm the order of the investigating judge refusing to hold an investigation of these facts, the attacked decision, after recalling the context in which the arrest of the complainants was carried out, pronounces that the armed intervention by the United States of America “is in connection”, first, with Resolutions Nr. 1368 and 1373, unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council on 12 and 28 September 2001, and, second, Article 51 of the UN Charter; whereas the judges hold that no international convention gives French courts the competence to exercise jurisdiction over the situation complained about by the civil parties, which is the result, under the aegis of the United Nations, of a response to terrorist acts and which therefore cannot be governed by only French law, the denounced breaches moreover not being set out by any international pact or agreement or by French law; whereas they add that it is not for the French courts to exercise jurisdiction over the “military order” signed on 13 November 2001 by the President of the United States of America;
But whereas by deciding thus, by an abstract examination of the complaint only, without researching by way of a prior investigation whether the arrest and the detention conditions of the complainants – which it had to analyse from the point of view, in particular, of Geneva Convention III of 12 August 1949 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 19 December 1966 – fell under the provisions of Article 224-1 of the Penal Code and, as such, because of the French nationality of the said complainants, came under the competence of the French laws and courts, the investigating chamber did not justify its decision;
On these grounds,
[The Court of Cassation r]enders null and void, in all its provisions, the aforementioned decision of the investigating chamber of the Court of Appeal of Lyon of 20 May 2003, and, in order for it to be judged anew, in accordance with the law,
refers the case and the parties to the investigating chamber of the Court of Appeal of Paris. 
France, Court of Cassation, Guantánamo case, Appeal Nr. 03-84652, Judgment, 4 January 2005.
France
In 2007, in the Disappeared of the Beach case, France’s Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation held:
Finding on the appeals lodged by:
- the International Federation for Human Rights [Fédération International des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme – FIDH];
- the French League for the Defence of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen [Ligue Française pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen or Ligue des droits de l’Homme - LDH];
- the association Congolese Observatory of Human Rights [Observatoire Congolais des Droits de l’Homme – OCDH];
- Pascal Miena Youlou,
- Ghislain Matenbele,
- Aubin Mackaya,
- Blanchard Mouele,
- Linot Bardin Duval Tsieno,
- the association The Disappeared of the Beach [Les Disparus du Beach,
- Marcel Touanga,
- the association Survival Survie;
Civil parties,
Against the decision of the first section of the investigating chamber of the Court of Appeal of Paris of 22 November 2004, which, in the investigation upon their complaint against unnamed person on counts of crimes against humanity, acts of torture and abductions of persons, pronounced on a request for annulment of parts of the proceedings;
Considering Articles 689, 689-1, 689-2, 40, 41 and 80 of the Criminal Procedure Code;
Whereas, first, according to the first three of these Articles, French courts can prosecute and try any person, if in France, who, outside the territory of the Republic, has rendered himself guilty of torture in the sense of Article 1 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted in New York on 10 December 1984;
Whereas, second, the Prosecutor of the Republic, from the three latter of these Articles above, receives the right to request the opening of an investigation in view of any information of which he is the recipient, and whereas the introductory submission can only be annulled if its form does not satisfy the essential conditions of its legal existence;
Whereas it follows from the attacked decision that the International Federation for Human Rights, the French League for the Defence of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, and the Congolese Observer of Human Rights have lodged a complaint against Denis Sassou N’Guesso, President of the Republic of the Congo, Pierre Oba, minister of the interior, Norbert Dabira, inspector-general of the armed forces, Blaise Adoua, commander of the Republican Guard, for arbitrary arrests, acts of torture and enforced disappearances, taken place from May to July 1999, concerning displaced persons who returned to the Republic of the Congo via the river port of Brazzaville, called “The Beach”, following an agreement defining a humanitarian corridor under the auspices of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees;
Whereas the Prosecutor of the Republic of Paris transmitted the complaint to the public prosecution department of Meaux, territorially competent due to the known domicile of Norbert Dabira …; whereas, the preliminary investigation having verified the domicile of Norbert Dabira and his family at that address, the Prosecutor of the Republic requested the opening of an investigation on counts of crimes against humanity, acts of torture and abductions of persons;
Whereas, on 5 April 2004, the Prosecutor of the Republic presented a request for the purpose of the annulment of the public acts carried out in relation to Jean-François N’Dengue, Pierre Oba and Blaise Adoua, on the ground that the introductory submission improperly made against unnamed person could, in fact, only envisage Norbert Dabira, the only person likely to have participated in the denounced acts and with regard to whom it was established that he has a domicile on the national territory;
Whereas, in order to annul not only the parts aimed at in the prosecution’s request, but also the introductory submission and the entirety of the subsequent proceedings, the [Court of Appeal’s] decision pronounces in the form of the grounds reproduced in the appeal;
But whereas, by determining thus, while, first, the introductory submission, duly dated and signed by a prosecutor, aimed at annexed preliminary inquiry minutes, and, second, the persons suspected of having committed the acts denounced were designated by name, and, finally, there were, at the moment when the prosecutions began, sufficient elements on the presence of at least one of them in France, Norbert Dabira having his ordinary residence on the French territory where he is settled with his family, the investigating chamber misread the meaning and the impact of the Articles mentioned above and the principles recalled above;
On these grounds:
[The Court of Cassation d]eclares null and void, in all its provisions, the decision noted above of the investigating chamber of the Court of Appeal of Paris of 22 November 2004, and in order for it to be judged anew, in accordance with the law;
refers the case and the parties to the investigating chamber of the Court of Appeal of Versailles. 
France, Court of Cassation (Criminal Chamber), “Disappeared of the Beach” case, Judgment, 10 January 2007.
In 2008, in the same case, France’s Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation rejected the defence ground of appeal for Norbert Debira based on universal jurisdiction as follows:
[W]hereas, on the one hand, the implementation by a State of a universal jurisdiction clause cannot go beyond the provisions of the international convention which have strictly defined the criteria for such jurisdiction; [and] neither the domestic law, nor the investigating chamber could extend the forum de prehensionis criterion beyond its strict domain of application only provided for in the New York Convention [1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment];
[W]hereas, on the other hand, the universal jurisdiction clause, based on the presence of the supposed perpetrator of an offence which is likely to fall within the provisions of the New York Convention … , is strict and cannot be extended to the situation where the interested person has domicile or residence in France but where the condition of physical presence of this person at the commencement of the proceedings is not satisfied;
[F]inally, whereas the universal jurisdiction clause provided for in the New York Convention, considering the presence of the suspect in France, is indivisible from the implementation of the aut dedere, aut judicare principle provided for in articles 5 and 7 of that Convention, according to which the State that would not extradite the suspect is obliged to prosecute him or her; the investigating chamber has thus extended the criterion for the universal jurisdiction of French courts over a situation that the New York Convention would not provide for;
Considering that the investigating chamber justified its decision in relation both to the texts of the conventions referred to in the appeal and to article 689-1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure;
It follows that the appeal should be rejected. 
France, Court of Cassation (Criminal Chamber), “Disappeared of the Beach” case, Judgment, 9 April 2008, pp. 8–10.
The Court also held:
[T]he domestic judge, when he receives a case based on a universal jurisdiction clause, shall ensure that the res judicata which took place abroad does not hinder the prosecution in France … This assessment, which is a condition to the legality of the public prosecution, shall be effective and take place in the preparatory phase of the criminal proceedings established in France … If the investigating chamber fails to proceed with such assessment, the interested parties shall benefit, without discrimination, of a useful and effective remedy to hinder the commencement of the public prosecution. 
France, Court of Cassation (Criminal Chamber), “Disappeared of the Beach” case, Judgment, 9 April 2008, p. 7.
France
In 2007, in the Rumsfeld case, the Prosecutor of the Republic at France’s Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris wrote to the authors of a criminal complaint against former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, which had been based on allegations of torture committed in US custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Abu Ghraib, Iraq:
Further to the criminal complaint dated 25 October 2007, filed on behalf of the organizations International Federation for Human Rights Féderation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme – FIDH], Human Rights League [Ligue Française pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen or Ligue des droits de l’Homme – LDH], CCR [Center for Constitutional Rights] and ECCHR [European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights] against Mister Donald Rumsfeld on the count of acts of torture, I have the honour of informing you that on 26 October 2007 my department seized the serious crime squad [brigade criminelle with the enquiry, in order to establish the fact and the duration of Mister Rumsfeld’s stay in Paris, and in order to verify the existence of a potential diplomatic immunity.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs thus has indicated that, in application of the rules of customary international law, approved by the International Court of Justice, the immunity from criminal jurisdiction of heads of State, heads of government and ministers of foreign affairs continues, after the end of their functions, for acts carried out in their official function, and that, as former secretary of defense, Mister Rumsfeld must benefit, by extension, from the same immunity, for acts carried out in the exercise of his functions.
Furthermore, the stay of the person concerned in France was to end on 27 October 2007.
My department therefore filed these proceedings as closed, under registration number P0729908132. 
France, Prosecutor of the Republic at the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris, Rumsfeld case, Letter to lawyer of authors of criminal complaint, 16 November 2007.
Germany
In the Djajić case in 1997, Germany’s Supreme Court of Bavaria based its jurisdiction on Article 6(9) of the German Penal Code, which extended the jurisdiction of German courts to acts committed abroad by non-nationals if this was provided for in an international treaty binding upon Germany. The Court referred to of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and the grave breaches regime. It stated that Article 6(9) of the Penal Code contained an additional implicit requirement of a link to Germany. This necessary link with Germany, so as not to infringe the principle of non-intervention, was found in the fact that the accused had established his domicile in Germany and had lived in Germany for some time. The Court added that the prosecution of war criminals was “in the interest of the international community as a whole”, and not only in the particular interest of Germany. It further noted: “Article 146 [of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV], in its paragraph 2, obliges each State party to the Convention ‘to search for persons alleged to have committed … such grave breaches’. It had to ‘bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts’.” 
Germany, Supreme Court of Bavaria (Bayerisches Oberstes Landesgericht), Djajić case, Judgment, 23 May 1997.
Germany
In the Jorgić case in 1997, Germany’s Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf based its jurisdiction on Article 6(1) and (9) of the German Penal Code, which provided for the prosecution by German authorities of genocide and other acts for which there is a compulsory prosecution under the terms of an international treaty. The Court stated that the 1949 Geneva Convention IV was a “basis for criminal prosecution” and held that the fact that the accused had lived for many years in Germany, was married to a German citizen and was voluntarily coming back to Germany met the requirement of a “specific link” with Germany. The Court considered the conflict to be an international conflict and the victims to be “protected persons” in the meaning of Article 4 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV. It stated that Article VI of the 1948 Genocide Convention, “according to today’s predominant international opinion, does not contain a prohibition of [applying] the principle of universal jurisdiction to genocide”. According to the Court, its jurisdiction would also result from Article 9(1) of the 1993 ICTY Statute. Moreover, the Court referred to Article 146, second paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV under which, as the Court confirmed, the States party to the 1949 Geneva Convention IV “have engaged to bring persons who are alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, before their own courts, regardless of their nationality”. The accused was found guilty of complicity in genocide, in conjunction with dangerous bodily harm, deprivation of liberty and murder. 
Germany, Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf), Jorgić case, Judgment, 26 September 1997.
In 1999, the Federal Court of Justice upheld the conviction for the most part and confirmed that the relevant provision of the German Penal Code establishing jurisdiction for genocide was in conformity with the 1948 Genocide Convention. The Court agreed with the initial judgment in that there was a sufficient link with Germany. 
Germany, Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof), Jorgić case, Judgment, 30 April 1999.
In its decision in 2000, the Federal Constitutional Court stated:
A norm of international customary law prohibiting the extension of German competence to legislate in criminal matters … was at variance with Art. VI of the [1948] Genocide Convention. With regard to the principle of non-interference recognized in international customary and international treaty law (Art. 2(1) of the United Nations Charter), the Federal Constitutional Court required that jurisdiction over events occurring in the territory of another State and therefore outside German territorial sovereignty be predicated on a meaningful link … Whether such a link exists depends on the subject matter. In criminal law, a meaningful link is constituted not only by the principles of territoriality, protection, active and passive personality, and criminal representation, but also by the principle of universal jurisdiction … The principle of universal jurisdiction applies to conduct deemed to constitute a threat to protected interests of the international community. It therefore differs from the principle of criminal representation, codified in Article 7, para. 2(2) of the German Penal Code, in that the conduct does not need to be punishable by the law of the place where it occurred and no failure to extradite is required. 
Germany, Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht), Jorgić case, Decision, 12 December 2000.
Germany
In the Sokolović case in 1999, Germany’s Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf held that, according to Article 6(9) of the German Penal Code and in connection with the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, German domestic courts had jurisdiction over grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions committed during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. 
Germany, Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf), Sokolović case, Judgment, 29 November 1999.
In its judgment in 2001, the Federal Court of Justice agreed with the qualification of “international armed conflict” given to the 1992 situation in the former Yugoslavia and upheld the initial judgment against the accused, stating:
A duty to prosecute arises from [the 1949 Geneva Convention IV] at least when an international armed conflict takes place and when the criminal offences fulfil the requirements of a “grave breach” in the meaning of Article 147 of [the 1949 Geneva Convention IV]. 
Germany, Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof), Sokolović case, Judgment, 21 February 2001.
Referring to the requirement of a specific link to Germany which had been established in the judgment at first instance, the Court noted that the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf had correctly found such link to be established. However, it stated:
[The Federal Court of Justice] is nevertheless inclined not to require such additional link, in any case with regard to [Article 6 para. 9 of the German Penal Code] … Indeed, the prosecution and punishment in accordance with German penal law by the Federal Republic of Germany, acting in fulfilment of an internationally binding obligation accepted under agreement between States, of an act committed abroad by a foreigner against foreigners, can hardly be said to be an infringement of the principle of non-interference. 
Germany, Federal Court of Justice, Sokolović case (Bundesgerichtshof), Judgment, 21 February 2001.
Germany
In the Kusljić case in 1999, Germany’s Supreme Court of Bavaria tried a Bosnian national for crimes committed in 1992 in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The accused was sentenced to life imprisonment for, inter alia, genocide in conjunction with six counts of murder. The Court found that a specific link to Germany, necessary for the prosecution under German penal law of acts committed abroad by a non-German actor and against non-German victims, was established. 
Germany, Supreme Court of Bavaria (Bayerisches Oberstes Landesgericht), Kusljić case, Judgment, 15 December 1999.
In its revising decision in 2001, the Federal Court of Justice stated that the accused – the specific intentional element to commit genocide not being established – could however be convicted for homicide in six cases committed in 1992 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Referring to its judgment of the same day in the Sokolović case, the Court ruled that German courts, on the ground of Article 6(9) of the German Penal Code, had jurisdiction over grave breaches in the meaning of Articles 146 and 147 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV. 
Germany, Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof), Kusljić case, Decision, 21 February 2001.
Germany
In February 2005, in the Abu Ghraib case, the Federal Prosecutor General at Germany’s Federal Court of Justice issued a press release, which stated:
On 30 November 2004, attorney-at-law …, filed a criminal complaint, on behalf of the Center for Constitutional Rights, … New York, United States of America, as well as four Iraqi citizens.
The complaint, amended on 29 January 2005, is directed against Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense of the United States of America, and 10 named persons as well as further unnamed persons, who are alleged to have participated in criminal offences according to the [German] International Crimes Code …
The criminal complaint alleges that the persons reported therein rendered themselves liable to prosecution as civilian and military superiors of directly acting persons, according to Sections 4, 13, 14 of the International Crimes Code. They allegedly gave instructions to subordinates on the treatment of detainees, which contravene internationally applicable protective provisions, inter alia the UN Torture Convention. Despite knowledge of ill-treatment, they allegedly failed to take measures to prevent further assaults by their subordinates and to repress ill-treatment already committed.
The criminal complaint is not pursued.
It is not necessary to examine whether the matter raised by the initiators of the criminal complaint is capable of giving rise to an initial suspicion which would justify the initiation of criminal investigation proceedings. Likewise, it is not necessary to examine to what extent immunity provisions prevent the initiation of criminal investigation proceedings. The balancing assessment as required by Section 153(f) of the Criminal Procedure Code has the result that in view of the subsidiarity principle there is no room for the German criminal investigation authorities to become active.
It is true, the principle of universal jurisdiction does indeed apply to the crimes threatened with punishment in the International Crimes Code (Section 1 International Crimes Code). Accordingly, no link to [Germany] whatsoever is required for the application of the International Crimes Code. However, the principle of universal jurisdiction does not automatically legitimate an unrestricted criminal prosecution. It is the aim of the International Crimes Code to close gaps in criminal liability and criminal prosecution. This, however, has to take place against the background of non-interference in the affairs of foreign States. This also follows from Article 17 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has to be seen in the regulation context of the International Crimes Code. Accordingly, the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction is subsidiary to the competence of the State where the conduct in question occurred or of which the perpetrator is a national; the International Criminal Court can only act if the national States primarily competent to adjudicate are “unwilling or unable” to carry out the prosecution. For the same reasons, a third State may not review the legal practice of foreign States based on its own standards, correct it in the individual case, or even replace it.
The national legislator of the Federal Republic of Germany has taken subsidiarity into account not by revoking the basic decision for the principle of universal jurisdiction, but with the differentiated procedural regulation of Section 153(f) of the Criminal Procedure Code, which came into force at the same time as the International Crimes Code … The Statute of the International Criminal Court is the guideline in the interpretation and application of Section 153(f) of the Criminal Procedure Code. Accordingly, the obligation to prosecute criminal offences under the International Crimes Code is regulated in tiers:
Primarily, the State in which the conduct in question occurred and the home State of the perpetrator and victim, as well as a competent international court of justice, are competent to prosecute … In contrast, the competence of uninvolved third States is to be understood as a subsidiary competence, which is meant to avoid impunity, but, apart from that, not to push aside inappropriately the primarily competent jurisdictions … Only if criminal prosecution by primarily competent States or an international criminal court is not or cannot be ensured, for example because the perpetrator has absconded from criminal prosecution by fleeing abroad, the subsidiary competence of the German criminal prosecution authorities comes into action. This tiered approach is justified by the special interest in criminal prosecution of the home State of perpetrator and victim and because the primarily competent jurisdictions usually are closer to the evidence …
The conditions of Section 153(f) of the Criminal Procedure Code are fulfilled. Based on these principles, the United States of America as the home State of the persons reported is primarily competent for the criminal prosecution.
The reported acts were committed outside the territorial scope of the Criminal Procedure Code in the sense of Section 153(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code. Also taking into consideration the matters raised by the initiators of the criminal complaint, the Federal Republic of Germany is insofar neither the place where the perpetrator acted nor the place in which the result of the act occurred (Section 9 of the Criminal Code).
There is no indication that a German national participated in the commission of the reported offence as a perpetrator (Section 153(f), paragraph 1, sentence 2, paragraph 2, sentence 1, no. 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code) or that a German national was a victim of the reported offences (Section 153(f), paragraph 2, sentence 1, no. 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code).
The requirement of prosecution elsewhere (Section 153(f), paragraph 2, sentence 1, no. 4 of the Criminal Procedure Code) is fulfilled. The term prosecution of the offence must be interpreted in relation to the complex as a whole and not in relation to an individual suspect and his specific contribution to the offence. According to the wording of the provision, the offence as a whole is decisive. Such an interpretation of the term offence follows from the Rome Statute, which the International Crimes Code implements. Article 14, paragraph 1 of the Statute expressly mentions the term “situation in which one or more crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court appear to have been committed”. In which order and by which means the primarily competent State investigates against an individual within a complex as a whole, must, because of the subsidiarity principle, be left to that State. This is different only if investigations are merely in pretence or are carried out without a genuine will to prosecute …
Here, nothing indicates that the authorities and courts of the United States of America have dispensed with penal law measures regarding the assaults described in the criminal complaint, or will do so. Several proceedings regarding the incidents in Abu Ghraib against participants in the offence … have already been carried out. By what means and at what time investigations against further potential suspects in relation to the assaults described in the criminal complaint are carried out, must be left to the judicial authorities of the United States of America.
This means for the situation reported:
Insofar as the reported persons are not present in the area of application of the International Crimes Code and are not anticipated to be present there, the conditions of Section 153(f), paragraph 1, sentence 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code are fulfilled.
With regard to the reported persons present in the Federal Republic of Germany or anticipated to be present there, the criminal complaint is not to be pursued in accordance with Section 153(f), paragraph 2, sentence 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The reported persons who, according to the criminal complaint …, are present in Germany, are stationed in US army bases in Germany as members of the US army. They are subject to a special duty of obedience towards their employer, also as regards their presence. The United States of America as prosecuting State therefore has unrestricted access to these persons. Even though stationed in Germany, they are therefore at the American judiciary’s disposal just as if they were present in the United States. A gap of criminal responsibility, to be avoided in accordance with the principle of universal jurisdiction, does not exist, which is why there is no room for the subsidiary competence of the German criminal prosecution authorities. This also follows from Section 153(f), paragraph 2, sentence 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code, according to which prosecution can be dispensed with if extradition to the prosecuting State is admissible and intended. This must apply even more if the prosecuting State, like in the present case, has unrestricted access to a suspect, an extradition therefore not being necessary.
Similar considerations apply with regard to a temporarily limited presence to be anticipated in the area of application of the International Crimes Code, if investigations of the complex as a whole are carried out in the State which has priority rights. Also in that case, the reported persons would not be out of reach of a criminal prosecution by the judicial authorities of the United States.
There are no indications, which could justify the initiation of investigations despite the fulfillment of the conditions of Section 153(f) of the Criminal Procedure Code. At the most, due to the subsidiarity principle, only such measures could be considered which the US authorities, primarily competent to examine the incidents, could not take themselves due to factual or legal obstacles. Here, such obstacles are not apparent. 
Germany, Federal Prosecutor General at the Federal Court of Justice, Abu Ghraib case, Press release, 10 February 2005.
In September 2005, the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart dismissed a motion for judicial decision against the Federal Prosecutor General’s decision of February 2005 not to initiate investigations concerning the reported incidents in Abu Ghraib/Iraq. The Higher Regional Court found the motion to be inadmissible, holding that, according to Section 172, paragraph 2, sentence 3 of the Criminal Procedure Code in conjunction with Section 153(f) of the Criminal Procedure Code, proceedings to force criminal prosecution were not admissible against decisions to dispense with prosecuting offences under the International Crimes Code. The conditions for the application of Section 153(f) of the Criminal Procedure Code had been fulfilled, and no legal fault could be found with the way the Federal Prosecutor General had exercised the discretion within the framework of Section 153(f) of the Criminal Procedure Code when deciding to dispense with prosecuting the reported incidents. 
Germany, Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart, Abu Ghraib case, Decision, 13 September 2005, pp. 3–9.
Germany
In 2007, in the Abu Ghraib/Iraq and Guantánamo Bay/Cuba case, the Federal Prosecutor General at Germany’s Federal Court of Justice issued a press release, which stated:
I. On 14 November 2006 – last amended on 28 March 2007 – attorney-at-law …, on behalf of altogether 44 organizations and individuals, filed a criminal complaint against the former Secretary of Defense of the United States of America, Donald H. Rumsfeld, 13 individually named and further unnamed citizens of the United States, based on the suspicion of violations against Sections 4, 8, 13 and 14 of the [German] International Crimes Code and against Sections 211 et seq., 223 et seq., 239 et seq. of the [German] Criminal Code in conjunction with Section 6, No. 9 of the Criminal Code in conjunction with the UN Torture Convention as well as Article 129 of Geneva Convention III on the treatment of prisoners of war.
Already on 30 November 2004, attorney-at-law …, on behalf of the Center for Constitutional Rights and four Iraqi citizens, had filed a criminal complaint against Donald H. Rumsfeld – at that time still the incumbent Secretary of Defense – and further persons, who were alleged to have participated in criminal offences based on the International Crimes Code … By decision of 10 February 2005, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office dispensed with prosecution in accordance with Section 153(f) of the [German] Criminal Procedure Code … An ensuing motion for judicial decision was dismissed by the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart on 13 September 2005.
Object of the current criminal complaint are incidents in the prison complex Abu Ghraib/Iraq and in the detention camp in Guantánamo Bay/Cuba. Insofar as the report concerns incidents in the prison complex Abu Ghraib, the vast majority of them have already been reported on 30 November 2004. Beyond the incidents described at that time, the initiators of the criminal complaint have now additionally reported further incidents, in particular such which allegedly occurred after 8 January 2004. Furthermore, detainees in the US detention camp in Guantánamo Bay/Cuba were allegedly ill-treated.
The reason given for the filing of the criminal complaint in the Federal Republic of Germany is essentially that in the United States of America no criminal prosecution against the reported persons in view of the incidents in Iraq and Guantánamo Bay were taking place, from which one could conclude the unwillingness of the authorities there to carry out criminal law investigations against these persons. Only members of lower military ranks had been held criminally liable for the incidents in Iraq, and had been imposed with, in the view of the initiators of the report, far too “insignificant” sentences or even only with disciplinary punishments. On the other hand, those actually responsible, who had planned, ordered or at least knowingly tolerated und justified a “systematic” ill-treatment of detainees, had all gone unpunished. Prosecutions by the International Criminal Court were out of the question, because the United States of America had withdrawn its signature of the Rome Statute and had excluded a ratification. The legal provisions of the International Crimes Code, in particular the principle of universal jurisdiction enshrined in its Section 1, forced the competent German criminal prosecution authorities to initiate investigation proceedings against the reported persons. The Federal Republic of Germany therefore had to take on the criminal prosecution, acting for the international community of States, in order to prevent the reported acts from going unatoned.
II. The initiation of investigation proceedings is dispensed with in accordance with Section 153(f), paragraph 1, sentence 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Insofar as incidents have been reported which allegedly occurred in Iraq between 15 September 2003 and 8 January 2004, the decision of 10 February 2005 remains applicable.
1. Section 153(f), paragraph 1, sentence 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code allows to dispense with the initiation of investigation proceedings for offences committed abroad in the sense of Section 153(c), paragraph 1, no. 1 and 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code, if a suspect is neither present in Germany, nor is such a presence to be anticipated. This is the case here:
a) Due to a lack of a German place of result or place of action in the sense of Section 2 of the International Crimes Code in conjunction with Section 9 of the Criminal Code, the reported allegations are offences committed abroad.
In none of the reported cases have the acts of which the reported persons are accused caused results of crime elements in the sense of Sections 8 et seq. of the International Crimes Code in Germany. Nothing indicates that persons affected by the acts described in the criminal complaint were transferred from Iraq or Afghanistan via the Federal Republic of Germany to Cuba/Guantánamo – with the consequence of a potential “transit place” in Germany.
Furthermore, there are no facts-based indications of a place of action in Germany.
The mere stationing of US troops is – contrary to the view of the initiators of the criminal complaint – no more a preparation of the reported war crimes than is the guarding of US military installations in Germany by German soldiers with the consequence of US soldiers being available for a deployment in Iraq. The same applies to the training of soldiers for deployment in Iraq. Whether such training has actually taken place in Germany and has been “inadequate” with regard to international humanitarian law, as claimed by the initiators of the criminal complaint, need not be decided. Also an inadequate preparation for the care of prisoners of war is not part of a preparation of criminal actions in the sense of Section 8 of the International Crimes Code. There is no general rule of experience according to which soldiers who are inadequately prepared for military operations and informed of the content of the Geneva Conventions always or even only regularly commit the alleged war crimes. The claim of the initiators of the criminal complaint that it had been conveyed to the US soldiers in Germany later employed in Iraq that the Geneva Conventions could be disregarded is purely speculative. There are no facts indicating this. Granting overflight rights or allowing stopovers on German ground, to which the initiators of the criminal complaint also refer, is no criminal law-regulated preparation of the reported incidents – neither of those in Guantánamo Bay, nor of those in Iraq. The same applies to the employment of German nationals in the training of Iraqis abroad.
Finally, there is nothing concretely indicating that, from Germany, orders for the independent commission of acts contrary to the International Crimes Code were given or concepts on the application of methods of detainee treatment inconsistent with Geneva Convention [III] developed. In this respect, the factor alone that individual reported persons were temporarily stationed in US American facilities in the Federal Republic of Germany does not suffice.
b) Neither the reported persons nor other possible suspects according to the criminal complaint are currently present in the Federal Republic of Germany. Such a presence is also not to be anticipated.
None of the persons noted in the criminal complaint with a place of residence in Germany is still stationed in Germany or resident there. There are no concrete indications that the presence of a reported person or a possible suspect according to the criminal complaint is to be anticipated. Such indications can already be excluded if – like here – on the basis of the data available in Germany no links or relations of a professional, personal or family nature in Germany are known. Contrary to the view of the initiators of the criminal complaint, the merely theoretical possibility of an entry into Germany or a country in which the reported persons are sought on the basis of a European or international arrest warrant is not sufficient. If an obligation to prosecute were already presumed when such a future presence of a foreign suspect merely cannot be excluded, Section 153(f), paragraph 1, sentence 1 and paragraph 2, sentence 1, no. 3 of the Criminal Procedure Code would effectively be void in the majority of cases, because “preliminary investigations” on the current and future travel movements of people living abroad are not very promising. The purpose intended with Section 153(f), paragraph 1, sentence 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code, namely to avoid fruitless investigation in cases which have no link to Germany and therefore do not expect a noteworthy investigation success, could not be realized.
2. The balancing assessment as required by Section 153(f), paragraph 1, sentence 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code has the result that there is no room for the German criminal investigation authorities to become active.
a) It is the purpose of Section 153(f) of the Criminal Procedure Code to take into account the consequences which result for the German justice system from the application of the principle of universal jurisdiction. Speaking in favour of conducting investigations is, as a matter of principle, the consideration that a worldwide criminal prosecution of international law crimes, with as few gaps as possible, is to be ensured. On the other hand, the danger is to be countered that initiators of criminal complaints select certain States as places of prosecution, which have – like Germany here – no direct relation whatsoever with the reported actions, just because of their international law-friendly criminal law (so called “forum shopping”), thereby forcing investigation authorities to conduct extensive but ultimately unproductive investigations. Since, according to Section 1 of the International Crimes Code, every crime under the International Crimes Code falls (also) under German material jurisdiction, Section 153(f) of the Criminal Procedure Code, on a procedural level, provides a corrective for the prosecution authorities to counter overburdening caused by ineffective investigations. Consequently, Section 153(f), paragraph 1, sentence 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code, in particular cases, allows to dispense with the prosecution of offences committed abroad, whether another jurisdiction is prepared to prosecute or not. This applies in particular if there are no prospects of an accused person actually being put to trial in Germany. This purpose must guide the exercise of discretion. The view of the initiators of the criminal complaint that the Federal Republic of Germany must become active in representation of the “world community” and therefore in any case initiate investigations does, in contrast, not hold.
b) Circumstances which could speak for the initiation of investigations, even though the conditions of Section 153(f), paragraph 1, sentence 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code are fulfilled, are not given. They would only be given if, with investigations of the German prosecution authorities, a noteworthy investigation success could be achieved, in order to prepare a criminal prosecution at a later point (be it in Germany or abroad). This is however lacking here.
In order to investigate possible allegations, investigations on-site and in the United States of America would be unavoidable. Since German investigation authorities do not have executive powers abroad, this could only take place by means of international legal assistance. Such requests, however, seem – especially when considering the legal and security situation in Iraq – obviously futile.
A loss of evidence in consequence of the non-action of the German criminal prosecution authorities need not be feared. This is not changed by the circumstance that according to the initiators of the criminal complaint witnesses from the United States of America are prepared to give information to the German investigation authorities. It is not apparent that they could give more information here than they could give through the attorney representing the initiators of the criminal complaint. The circumstance that, in the context of US investigations information by these persons, was not attached the importance wished for by the initiators of the complaint does not compel the initiation of investigation proceedings in Germany. The view that such information nevertheless had to be documented and systematically processed in a German investigation, even though due to the reasons given above neither successful investigation proceedings in Germany nor the reception of international legal assistance requests are to be expected, does not hold. This would in effect result in purely symbolic investigations which by necessity – due to the lack of comprehensive investigation facilities – would have to remain unilateral. Such investigations, however, were – also as regards international law crimes – expressly not wanted by the German legislator, the more so as this would unnecessarily claim the criminal prosecution resources, anyway limited as regards personnel and funds, to the detriment of other, promising criminal prosecutions. The (criminal) law treatment of potential violations of the prohibition on torture in Guantánamo Bay/Cuba or in connection with the Iraq war therefore remains the task of the justice system of the United States of America, responsible and competent to do this. 
Germany, Federal Prosecutor General at the Federal Court of Justice, Abu Ghraib/Iraq and Guantánamo Bay/Cuba case, Press release, 27 April 2007.
Germany
In 2010, in the DRC case, Germany’s Federal Court of Justice was called upon to decide whether to remand in pre-trial custody a national of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who had been living in Germany. The Court summarized the facts of the case as follows:
The subject of the arrest warrant is the allegation that as the president of the paramilitary militia organisation “Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda” [Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda] (hereafter FDLR), which is operating in the provinces North Kivu and South Kivu of the Democratic Republic of [the] Congo … , the accused is criminally liable because he is responsible as superior for crimes against humanity and war crimes and as the ringleader of a terrorist group abroad. 
Germany, Federal Court of Justice, DRC case, Decision, 17 June 2010, § 2.
The Court held:
The particular conditions necessary for extending pre-trial custody beyond the period of six months … are fulfilled. Because of particular difficulties faced by the investigations and due to their sizable scope, it has not yet been possible to reach a judgment and therefore the continuation of pre-trial custody is justified. 
Germany, Federal Court of Justice, DRC case, Decision, 17 June 2010, § 60.
Germany
In 2010, in the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda case, the Federal Prosecutor General at Germany’s Federal Court of Justice issued a press release, which stated:
On 8 December 2010, the Federal Prosecutor General brought charges before the Senate on State Protection of the Higher Regional Court Stuttgart against:
- the 47-year-old Rwandese national Dr. Ignace M. and
- the 49-year-old Rwandese national Straton M.
for crimes against humanity and war crimes as well as membership in a foreign terrorist association “Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda” [Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda] (FDLR); in addition, there is sufficient suspicion that the accused Dr. Ignace M. was gang leader of the FDLR (§ 4, § 7 para. 1 nos. 1, 3, 6, 8 and 9, para. 3, § 8 para. 1 nos. 1 to 5, para. 4 sentence 1, § 9 para. 1 and § 11 para. 1 no. 4 VStGB [International Crimes Code], § 129b para. 1 in connection with § 129a paras. 1 and 4 StGB [Penal Code]).
In the charges, which have now been delivered and which are the first ones brought under the International Crimes Code, essentially the following facts are set out:
The … [FDLR] … is a rebel group mainly comprised of members of the ethnic Hutu group and was originally founded by individuals responsible for the genocide of the Tutsi who had fled from Rwanda in 1994. Its operational base is in the Eastern Democratic Republic of [the] Congo [DRC]. Its objective is to overthrow the current Rwandese government. It seeks to strengthen its power in Eastern Congo by conducting regular and violent assaults against the local civilian population. The means which the FDLR systematically uses to strengthen its unlawful regime of occupation include murder, bodily injury, rape, sexual enslavement, violent land grabbing, robbery, pillage and burning, the unilateral imposition of road tolls and the exploitation of the Congolese natural resources.
Since early 2009, the FDLR has increasingly been put under military pressure by joint offensive of the Rwandese and Congolese armies and the international protection force MONUC [UN Mission in the DRC] (since July 2010: MONUSCO [UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC]). The FDLR reacted with retaliatory measures against the civilian population, thus causing targeted humanitarian catastrophes in the Kivu provinces in Eastern Congo. The FDLR intended to thereby stabilize its power base and to force the Congolese armed forces to give in and the Rwandese government to enter into direct negotiations about power sharing.
The accused Dr. Ignace M. has been president of the FDLR since December 2001. The accused Straton M. has been its first vice president since June 2004. Until their arrest in Germany on 17 November 2009, both accused steered the FDLR’s conduct, strategies and tactics from Germany together with Calixte M., who is residing in France and who has since been detained by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Thus, they could have prevented the systematic commission of violent acts against the civilian population by the FDLR’s militiamen, which were part of the organisation’s strategy. Specifically, the accused are responsible for 26 crimes against humanity and 39 war crimes, which the militiamen under their control committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo between January 2009 and 17 November 2009. These crimes inter alia include the killing of more than 200 people, rape of numerous women, using civilians as human shields against attacks by military opponents and incorporating children into the FDLR militia.
The accused were arrested on 17 November 2009 … and have since been remanded in custody. 
Germany, Federal Prosecutor General, Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda case, Press release, 17 December 2010.
Hungary
In its Decision No. 53/1993, the Constitutional Court of Hungary stated:
A defining characteristic of war crimes and crimes against humanity is that they are punished irrespective whether or not they violated the laws of the country in which they were committed … [W]hether the proclamation of the Geneva Conventions has properly taken place is of no moment, nor whether the obligation assumed by the Hungarian state to implement them had occurred prior to the date designated by the Law as the temporal limit of its scope (October 23, 1956, that is). The criminal liability of the commissioners remains by international law and subsequent domestic legislation may give effect to the full scope of liability. 
Hungary, Constitutional Court of Hungary, Decision No. 53/1993, 13 October 1993, Reasoning, Part V, § 4.
Indonesia
In the Abilio Soares case in 2002, the Ad Hoc Human Rights Tribunal for East Timor stated:
[C]rimes against humanity charged in this case are included as international crimes that come within universal jurisdiction in which each perpetrator may be tried anywhere, without regard to locus tempus delicti, and regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator or the victim. 
Indonesia, Ad Hoc Human Rights Tribunal for East Timor, Abilio Soares case, 7 August 2002, p. 53.
Israel
In its judgment in the Eichmann case in 1961, Israel’s District Court of Jerusalem stated with respect to the acts for which Eichmann was accused:
The abhorrent crimes defined in this Law [Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law of 1950] are not crimes under Israel law alone. These crimes, which struck at the whole of mankind and shocked the conscience of nations, are grave offences against the law of nations itself (delicta juris gentium). Therefore, so far from international law negating or limiting the jurisdiction of countries with respect to such crimes, international law is, in the absence of an International Court, in need of the judicial and legislative organs of every country to give effect to its criminal interdictions and to bring the criminals to trial. The jurisdiction to try crimes under international law is universal.
In view of the repeated affirmation by the United Nations in the resolution of the General Assembly of 1946 and in the Convention of 1948, and also in view of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, there is no doubt that genocide has been recognized as a crime under international law in the full legal meaning of this term, ex tunc; that is to say, the crimes of genocide which were committed against the Jewish people and other peoples during the period of the Hitler régime were crimes under international law. It follows, therefore, in accordance with the accepted principles of international law, that the jurisdiction to try such crimes is universal. 
Israel, District Court of Jerusalem, Eichmann case, Judgment, 12 December 1961, §§ 12 and 19.
[emphasis in original]
With respect to Article VI of the 1948 Genocide Convention, the Court noted:
22. It is clear that Article 6 [of the 1948 Genocide Convention], like all other articles which determine the conventional obligations of the contracting parties, is intended for cases of genocide which will occur in the future after the ratification of the treaty or the adherence thereto by the State or States concerned … It is certain that it [the obligation arising from Article 6 of the 1948 Genocide Convention] constitutes no part of the principles of customary international law, which are also binding outside the conventional application of the Convention.
23. Moreover, even with regard to the conventional application of the Convention, it is not to be assumed that Article 6 is designed to limit the jurisdiction of countries to crimes of genocide by the principle of territoriality.
25. In the [1948 Genocide Convention] the Members of the United Nations … contented themselves with the determination of territorial jurisdiction as a compulsory minimum … But there is nothing … to lead us to deduce any rule against the principle of universal jurisdiction with respect to the crime in question. It is clear that the reference in Article 6 to territorial jurisdiction … is not exhaustive. Every sovereign State may exercise its existing powers within the limits of customary international law. 
Israel, District Court of Jerusalem, Eichmann case, Judgment, 12 December 1961, §§ 22, 23 and 25.
[emphasis in original]
With respect to the provisions of Article 49 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I, Article 50 of the 1949 Geneva Convention II, Article 129 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Article 146 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, the Court stated:
Here the principle of “universality of jurisdiction with respect to war crimes” is laid down as the obligatory jurisdiction of the High Contracting Parties, from which none of them may withdraw and which none of them may waive (as expressly stated in the [1949 Geneva Conventions]). That obligation is binding not only on the belligerents, but also on the neutral parties to the [1949 Geneva] Conventions. 
Israel, District Court of Jerusalem, Eichmann case, Judgment, 12 December 1961, § 24.
Moreover, with respect to the protective principle and a specific territorial link, the Court affirmed the existence of a “linking point” in the case in question, stating:
Indeed, this crime [“the killing of millions of Jews with intent to exterminate the Jewish people”] very deeply concerns the “vital interests” of the State of Israel, and under the “protective principle” this State has the right to punish the criminals. 
Israel, District Court of Jerusalem, Eichmann case, Judgment, 12 December 1961, § 35.
Israel
In the Eichmann case in 1962, Israel’s Supreme Court, dealing with the question of the conformity of Israel’s Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law of 1950 with principles of international law and States’ criminal jurisdiction over acts committed by foreign nationals abroad, quoted parts of the judgment of the Permanent Court of International Justice in the Lotus case and stated:
This argument [of the defendant] is to the effect that the enactment of a criminal law applicable to an act committed in a foreign country by a national conflicts with the principle of territorial sovereignty. But here too we must hold that there is no such rule in customary international law, and that to this day it has not obtained general international agreement. Evidence of this is to be found in the Judgement of the [Permanent Court of International Justice] in the Lotus case …
Our principal object [is] to make it clear … that under international law no prohibition whatsoever falls upon the enactment of the Law of 1950 either because it created ex post facto offences or because such offences are of an extra-territorial character … The two propositions on which we propose to rely will … be as follows:
(1) The crimes created by the Law and of which the appellant was convicted must be deemed today as having always borne the stamp of international crimes, banned by the law of nations and entailing individual responsibility.
(2) It is the peculiarly universal character of these crimes that vests in every State the authority to try and punish anyone who participated in their commission. 
Israel, Supreme Court, Eichmann case, Judgment, 29 May 1962, §§ 9 and 10.
[emphasis in original]
Under a part of the judgment dealing with universal jurisdiction, the Supreme Court further stated:
One of the principles whereby States assume, in one degree or another, the power to try and punish a person for an offence is the principle of universality. Its meaning is substantially that such power is vested in every State regardless of the fact that the offence was committed outside its territory by a person who did not belong to it, provided he is in its custody when brought to trial … But while general agreement exists as to [the offence of piracy], the question of the scope of its application is in dispute.
There is full justification for applying here the principle of universal jurisdiction, since the international character of “crimes against humanity” (in the wide meaning of the term) dealt with in this case is no longer in doubt, while the unprecedented extent of their injurious and murderous effects is not to be disputed at the present time. In other words, the basic reason for which international law recognizes the right of each State to exercise such jurisdiction in piracy offences – notwithstanding the fact that its own sovereignty does not extend to the scene of the commission of the offence (the high seas) and the offender is a national of another State or is stateless – applies with even greater force to the above-mentioned crimes.
The truth is – and this further supports our conclusion – that the application of this principle has for some time been moving beyond the international crime of piracy. We have in mind its application to conventional war crimes as well … Whenever a “belligerent” country tries and punishes a member of the armed forces of the enemy for an act contrary to “the laws and customs of war”, it does so because the matter involves an international crime in the prevention of which the countries of the whole world have an interest. 
Israel, Supreme Court, Eichmann case, Judgment, 29 May 1962, § 12.
Referring to a writer’s opinion concerning the Zyklon B case decided by the British Military Court at Hamburg in 1946, and another British Military Court’s decision in a case where a member of the Japanese army had been tried for unlawfully killing American POWs in what was then French Indo-China, the Supreme Court stated:
Although the fact that the victims of the crimes in these cases were nationals of countries in alliance with the prosecuting State derogates in some degree from the universal character of the jurisdiction exercised, nevertheless, on the other hand, the cases indicate that substantial strides were made towards extending the use of the said principle … Moreover, according to [a writer’s] opinion, even a neutral country has jurisdiction to try a person for a war crime. 
Israel, Supreme Court, Eichmann case, Judgment, 29 May 1962, § 12.
The Supreme Court also discussed “the limitation upon the exercise of universal jurisdiction imposed by most of those who support this principle, namely, that the State which has apprehended the offender must first offer to extradite him to the State in which the offence was committed”, as well as the contention of the appellant that Israel was obliged to offer his extradition to Germany as his country of national origin, and stated:
The requirement of making an offer to extradite the offender to the State of his national origin is supported neither by international law nor by the practice of States … The idea behind the above-mentioned limitation is not that the requirement to offer the offender to the State in which the offence was committed was designed to prevent the violation of its territorial sovereignty. Its basis is rather a purely practical one. Normally, the great majority of the witnesses and the greater part of the evidence are concentrated in that State and it is therefore the most convenient place (forum conveniens) for the conduct of the trial … It is clear … that it is the State of Israel – not the State of Germany – that must be regarded as the forum conveniens for the conduct of the trial … It follows that the aut dedere rule cannot assist the appellant in the circumstances of this case. 
Israel, Supreme Court, Eichmann case, Judgment, 29 May 1962, § 12.
Referring to Article VI of the 1948 Genocide Convention, the Supreme Court held:
Article 6 imposes upon the parties contractual obligations with future effect, that is to say, obligations which bind them to prosecute for crimes of genocide which may be committed within their territories in the future. This obligation, however, has nothing to do with the universal power vested in every State to prosecute for crimes of this type committed in the past – a power which is based on customary international law. 
Israel, Supreme Court, Eichmann case, Judgment, 29 May 1962, § 12.
[emphasis in original]
The Supreme Court concluded that:
We sum up our views on this subject as follows: Not only are all the crimes attributed to the Appellant of an international character, but they are crimes whose evil and murderous effects were so widespread as to shake the stability of the international community to its very foundations. The State of Israel, therefore, was entitled, pursuant to the principle of universal jurisdiction, and acting in the capacity of guardian of international law and agents for its enforcement, to try the Appellant. This being the case, it is immaterial that the State of Israel did not exist at the time the offences were committed.
In regard to the crimes directed against the Jews the District Court found additional support for its jurisdiction in the connecting link between the State of Israel and the Jewish people – including that between the State of Israel and the Jewish victims of the holocaust – and the National Home in Palestine, as is explained in its judgement. It therefore upheld its criminal and penal jurisdiction by virtue also of the “protective” principle and the principle of “passive personality”. It should be made clear that we fully agree with every word said by the Court on this subject. 
Israel, Supreme Court, Eichmann case, Judgment, 29 May 1962, § 12.
Mexico
In the Cavallo extradition case in 2001, on the request of a Spanish judge, a Mexican court decided to allow the extradition of Ricardo Miguel Cavallo, a former Argentinean military officer, charged with genocide and acts of terrorism during the 1976–1983 “dirty war” in Argentina and based its decision on, inter alia, the principle of universal jurisdiction. 
Mexico, Federal Court of the First Circuit, Cavallo case, Decision, 11 January 2001.
Mexico
In 2001, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico issued a directive concerning the Cavallo extradition case stating:
Based on Article 28, part XI, of the Federal Public Administration Law and in conformity with articles 30 of the International Law of Extradition, and articles 1, 9, 14 and 25 of the Treaty of Extradition and Mutual Assistance on Criminal Matters between the United Mexican States and the Kingdom of Spain, it is resolved … to grant the extradition of the individual in question, Ricardo Miguel Cavallo, known as Miguel Angel Cavallo, requested by the government of Spain through its embassy in Mexico, to face charges of genocide. 
Mexico, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Communication No. 021/01, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs grants Spain’s Request to extradite Ricardo Miguel Cavallo, Directive of 2 February 2001, § 2.
Netherlands
In the Ahlbrecht case in 1947, the Special Court of Cassation of the Netherlands quashed the conviction of the accused imposed by the Lower Court on the ground that the latter lacked jurisdiction over war crimes alleged to have been committed by members of the enemy forces. 
Netherlands, Special Court of Cassation, Ahlbrecht case, Judgment, 17 February 1947.
The Court reviewed the practice relating to trials of war criminals since the end of the First World War, including the relevant provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, the Declarations of St. James and Moscow, and the Charters of the International Military Tribunals and concluded that it could no longer be said that the Netherlands lacked jurisdiction over enemy war criminals. It added, however, that it did not follow from this conclusion that in the actual state of legislation in the Netherlands any particular court would automatically have jurisdiction over enemy war criminals. For this, the Court considered, something more was required, such as a directly applicable international convention or national legislation conferring the jurisdiction which the State possessed under international law upon a municipal court. In the absence of such measures, no local courts had the necessary jurisdiction. As a result of the Special Court of Cassation’s decision, an amendment was made to the Extraordinary Penal Law Decree which criminalized war crimes and crimes against humanity as defined in the 1945 IMT Charter (Nuremberg) committed during the Second World War regardless of the nationality of the offender, the victim or the place where the crime was perpetrated. 
Netherlands, Special Court of Cassation, Ahlbrecht case, Judgment, 17 February 1947.
Netherlands
The jurisdiction given to the courts of the Netherlands by the above-mentioned amendment formed the basis of the decision of the Special Court of Cassation in the Rohrig and Others case in 1950. 
Netherlands, Special Court of Cassation, Rohrig and Others case, Judgment, 15 May 1950.
Here, the Court rejected the arguments of the accused that the amendment limited the jurisdiction of the courts to crimes committed on the territory of the Netherlands. The Court also upheld the validity of the amendment on the ground that:
There was a rule of customary international law by which those who violate the rules of war can be punished by those into whose hands they have fallen (the so called theory of detention). This rule has the same universality as that applied internationally in the rule which treats pirates as enemies of mankind. 
Netherlands, Special Court of Cassation, Rohrig and Others case, Judgment, 15 May 1950.
Netherlands
In the Knesević case in 1997 involving a Bosnian Serb accused of having committed war crimes (murder, deportation to a concentration camp, attempted rape) in the territory of the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Herzegovina), the Supreme Court of the Netherlands acknowledged universal criminal jurisdiction irrespective of whether the Netherlands was involved in the conflict. The Court referred to the explanatory memorandum submitted to the Dutch Parliament in the context of the adoption of the Criminal Law in Wartime Act, which interpreted Article 3 of the Act so as to give the Dutch courts competence to try war crimes (including grave breaches and violations of common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions), regardless of where or by whom they had been committed. 
Netherlands, Supreme Court, Knesević case, Judgment, 11 November 1997.
New Zealand
In Wakim v Yaalon in 2006, New Zealand’s District Court at Auckland was requested by the complainant to issue warrants for the arrest of a former Israeli military commander, during his visit to New Zealand, for war crimes allegedly committed in Israel. The Court granted the request stating:
The Al Daraj bombing received world-wide condemnation. It also appears that the State of Israel justified it as a necessary military necessity [sic] and was quite unrepentant at its result. This Court understands that other attempts by the complainants at obtaining judicial remedies in this matter in the State of Israel have been exhausted of frustrated. The complainants feel they have been denied justice. They therefore seek “universal justice” in different jurisdiction.
It is not for this Court to delve into the merits of their complaints. I am satisfied that the Informant in this case is entitled to as a resident of New Zealand to seek warrants for the arrest of Mosche Ya’alon for alleged war crimes in the State of Israel; that he is presently within the jurisdiction of New Zealand Courts and this Court has power to issue such warrants provided other conditions are met. 
New Zealand, District Court at Auckland, Wakim v Ya’alon, Decision, 27 November 2006, p. 4.
Any prosecution would have required the leave of the Attorney-General to proceed. The Attorney-General subsequently filed a warrant staying further proceedings and the District Court then cancelled the arrest warrants. 
New Zealand, District Court at Auckland, Wakim v Ya’alon, Final Decision, 29 November 2006, pp. 3–4.
Philippines
In its judgment in the Kuroda case in 1949, the Supreme Court of the Philippines held that the government had the power to grant the jurisdiction to prosecute Japanese citizens accused of war crimes committed in the Philippines during the Second World War, since “the rules and regulations of the Hague and [the 1949] Geneva Conventions form part and were wholly based on the principles of international law”. 
Philippines, Supreme Court, Kuroda case, Judgment, 26 March 1949.
Senegal
In the Hissène Habré case in 2000, Senegal’s Dakar Regional Court indicted Chad’s exiled former president on charges of torture and crimes against humanity, and placed him under house arrest. 
Senegal, Dakar Regional Court, Hissène Habré case, Indictment, 3 February 2000.
In 2001, however, the Court of Cassation confirmed the ruling of the Dakar Court of Appeal that Habré could not be tried in Senegal for crimes allegedly committed in Chad. It stated that Senegalese courts lacked jurisdiction to prosecute and try aliens present on the territory of Senegal who had allegedly committed acts of torture outside Senegal. The decision was based on the absence of any legislative measure establishing such jurisdiction over torture-related offences, as required by Article 5(2) of the 1984 Convention against Torture, to which Senegal was a party. 
Senegal, Dakar Court of Appeal Hissène Habré case, Judgment on Appeal, 4 July 2000; Court of Cassation (First Chamber for Criminal Matters), Hissène Habré case, Judgment, 20 March 2001.
Spain
In 2007, in the Couso case, which concerned the killing of a Spanish journalist in Baghdad by US troops on 8 April 2003, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Spain overturned the finding of lack of jurisdiction by a lower court. The Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court stated:
[T]his Court’s delimitation in the well-known judgments of 25 February 2003 (RJ 2003/2147) and 20 May 2003 (RJ 2003/3910) (the so-called Guatemala and Peru cases, respectively) … stipulated the need for a legitimate link [in order to exercise jurisdiction] since the absence of such a link could be correctly considered as an excessive broadening of national criminal jurisdiction, in particular if we take into account that our domestic legal framework does not admit the opportunity principle and, at the same time, does admit the possibility of bringing forward a “popular action” [that allows any Spanish citizen to bring to court a criminal case without the need for a connection to the crime].
[T]he intervention of Spanish Courts regarding acts committed outside their territory can undoubtedly cause conflicts from the point of view of Spain’s international relations. This is something which falls under the competence of the Government (see Article 97 of the Constitution) and is thus not part of the judicial function, but which the Courts cannot completely ignore. 
Spain, Supreme Court, Couso case, Judgment, 11 December 2006, § 8.
The Court further held:
The Constitutional Court has stated that “the ultimate basis for … [the] rule granting jurisdiction is the universalization of States’ and state bodies’ jurisdiction over certain acts whose prosecution and punishment is of concern to all States…” [RCL 1985/1578. 2635]. In this respect, it has stated that “Article 23.4 of the Organic Law on the Judiciary [LOPJ] entails, in principle, a very broad understanding of the principle of universal justice, given that the only express limitation included in the law is that of res judicata”. The Court, which has the last word regarding constitutional guarantees (see Art. 123 Constitution), subsequently concluded that “the LOPJ establishes an absolute universal jurisdiction” (cf. STC 237/2005; F 3rd).
In any event, it must be acknowledged that in the present case there is a legitimate link that would justify exercising Spanish extra-territorial jurisdiction in accordance with scholarly opinions included in judgment STS of 25 February 2003 (RJ 2003/2147) [Argument 8, Guatemala Case], given that one of the victims, journalist Rogelio, was a Spanish national. 
Spain, Supreme Court, Couso case, Judgment, 11 December 2006, § 12.
Spain
In 2009, in the Gaza case, the Criminal Chamber of Spain’s National High Court was called upon to decide the appeal of the Prosecution Service on whether Spanish courts have jurisdiction to hear a case concerning a bombing in Gaza in 2002 by the Israeli Air Force on the basis of the principle of universal jurisdiction. The Court noted:
B) With regard to the principle of universal justice, established in Article 23(4) of the L.O.P.J. [Law on Judicial Power (1985)], its applicability is not to be considered absolute, as several legal provisions and jurisprudence have added nuances to it.
a) In the legal framework, Article 23(23.4) of the L.O.P.J. establishes a first limitation, as Spanish courts have jurisdiction over offences committed by … foreign [nationals] outside the national territory, which may constitute acts that, according to international treaties and conventions, must be prosecuted in Spain (Article 23(4)(i)); in the analyzed case [these fall under] offences against the international community under the modality of offences against protected persons and objects in the event of an armed conflict established in Articles 608(3), 611(1) and 613(1)(b) and (e) of the PC [Penal Code (1985)], in relation with 1949 IV Geneva Convention and 1977 Additional Protocol I … However, this is only the case provided that the offender has not been acquitted, pardoned or sentenced abroad or, in the latter case, has not completed his or her sentence or has only completed it partly (Article 23(2)(c) of the L.O.P.J.).
In addition, Article 17 of the [1998] … ICC Statute … offers certain criteria on the admissibility and inadmissibility to hear situations referred to it when certain circumstances are met.
In order to determine the willingness or unwillingness [of a State] to act in a particular case, the Court shall consider, having regard to the principles of due process recognized by international law, whether one or more of the following exist, as applicable: a) The proceedings were or are being undertaken or the national decision was made with the purpose of shielding the concerned person from criminal responsibility for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court; (b) There has been an unjustified delay in the proceedings which in the circumstances is inconsistent with the intention to bring the concerned person to justice; (c) The proceedings were not or are not being conducted independently or impartially, and they were or are being conducted in a manner which, in the circumstances, is inconsistent with the intention to bring the person concerned to justice.
b) In jurisprudence, the principle of universal jurisdiction has also been qualified by important nuances.
a) The S.T.C. 237/05 [Constitutional Court judgment] of 26 September 2005 (Guatemala case) and STC 227/07 [judgment] of 22 October 2007 (Falun Gong case) have established the following criteria on the matter:
1.- On the extension of the principle of universal justice, it is indicated that Article 23(4) of the L.O.P.J. entails, in principle, a very broad understanding of the principle of universal justice, given that the only express limitation included … is … that the offender has not been acquitted, pardoned or sentenced abroad. In other words, in a literal interpretation of the principle … one must conclude that the L.O.P.J. establishes an absolute principle of universal jurisdiction … It adds, however, that this does not definitely imply that the aforementioned is the only canon of interpretation of this principle, … [instead] other regulatory criteria could even restrict its scope of application. …
2.- Concerning the tension between the principle of concurrence and the principle of subsidiary [jurisdiction], it is noted that there are important reasons … that have resulted in the prioritization of the locus delicti, which is part of the body of International Criminal Law. Based on this fact, … it is true that … the principle of subsidiarity should not be seen as a rule opposed to, or diverging from, that which introduces the principle of concurrence as, in view of concurrent jurisdictions and in order to avoid the eventual duplication of processes and the infringement of the principle of ne bis in idem, the introduction of a rule of prioritization is indispensable. The common compromise (at least in principle) of all States being the prosecution of atrocious offences affecting the international community, priority should be granted for procedural, political and penal reasons to the jurisdiction in which the offence was committed.
b) S.T.S. 645/06 [Supreme Court judgment] of 20 June 2006 (Tibet case) … establishes the following:
2.- On the alleged absolute character of the principle of universal justice, the T.S. maintains that it has only been deduced from the fact that the text [of Article 23(4) of the L.O.P.J.] does not mention any express limitations. However, the Constitutional Court affirmed … that this is not the only canon for applying the principle … In other words, it is an “absolute” universal principle that can nonetheless be relativized [by other criteria] in order to “restrict its scope of application”.
3.- The principle of universal jurisdiction must not be understood as an absolute principle that cannot be limited by other principles of International Law. It should be noted that the doctrine of Public International Law, in general, makes the jurisdiction of a State over extraterritorial acts conditional upon the existence of a given connection between the acts and the concerned State. In this sense, it has been specified that there must be a “legitimate”, “substantial” or “authentic link”, a “legitimizing contact” or a “contact so closely connected with the acts that it would be compatible with the principles of non-intervention and proportionality” [to exercise jurisdiction].
These criteria should be taken into account particularly when it concerns the prosecution of acts carried out within the sovereignty of another State. …
c) The STS 1382/04 [Supreme Court judgment] of 15 November 2004 (procedural aspects of the Schilingo Case) … concerning the preference or concurrence of jurisdiction in offences affecting the international community, held with reference to the STS [judgment] of 20 May 2003 that it must be accepted that the exercise of jurisdiction according to the principle of universal justice is excluded when the territorial jurisdiction is effectively prosecuting the offence of a universal character that was committed in its own country. … The application of this principle determines that competence should as a priority be granted to the territorial jurisdiction when there is concurrence between it and another that would be exercised on the basis of the principle of universal justice. This criterion does not exclude the application of what is provided in Article 23(4) of the L.O.P.J. which establishes as an exigency for admitting a dispute based on universal jurisdiction that there is complete confirmation of the inactivity or inefficiency of the criminal prosecution by the territorial jurisdiction. This requirement would effectively devoid the principle of universal prosecution of its significance, as it would be practically impossible to ensure this … In order to admit the complaint, … as with other acts that allegedly constitute universal offences, it is [only] necessary to offer serious and reasonable indications that the denounced grave crimes have not been effectively prosecuted to date by the territorial jurisdiction for whatever reason … Finally, as a complement to the mentioned principles, the jurisprudence of this Chamber recognizes the importance that the existence of a connection with a national interest could have as a legitimizing element in the context of the principle of universal justice [by] modulating the extension [of universal jurisdiction] with criteria of rationality and respect for the principle of non-intervention.
d) Finally, the different Sections that compose the Criminal Chamber of the National High Court have recently had the occasion to pronounce themselves on the controversial matter [and] have granted preference, in several proceedings in which Spanish intervention was being called for by virtue of the legally established principle of universal jurisdiction, to the territorial principle through the application of criteria of rationality, [and] efficiency … In this regard, [one can look to] the order of 19 October 2006 … (Fotea Dimieri case) … ; the order of 4 April 2008 … (Cavallo case) … and the order of 14 January 2009 … (case concerning the agents of the Municipal Police of San Salvador de Ateneo, State of Texcoco, Mexico) …
Fourth.- The absence of the absolute character of the principle of universal jurisdiction in Spain, in which it is generally considered that the criteria of subsidiarity has priority over the criteria of concurrence and that the principle should be modulated in each specific case to the logical rules of rationality, proportionality and self-restraint that will ensure its effective use in those cases where there is a risk of impunity of the alleged detestable offences committed, has been noted … [I]t is now time to examine the documentation produced by [court] orders in order to extract from them how the State of Israel has investigated and is investigating the acts described in the formulated complaint. Such proceedings would definitely deactivate the principle of concurrent jurisdiction in the case currently under analysis …
Fifth … [Through] an overview of the proceedings that have been and are being conducted in Israel for the criminal and civil investigation of the acts that took place … it can be deduced that there has been a genuine and real procedure, first administrative and then judicial, to ascertain the possible commission of an offence. …
It cannot be claimed that an effective criminal investigation did not take place in the State of Israel based on the documentation provided by the Israeli authorities. … [T]here does not seem to be malicious or unjustified procedural delays that could interfere with the legitimate expectations of the parties to a fair and founded decision on the issues submitted to a judicial decision.
In addition, calling into question the impartiality and the organic and functional separation of the Executive Power that the Israeli Military Prosecution Service, Israel’s State Prosecutor and the Investigative Commission named by the Government of Israel, would be to ignore the evidence of the existence of the rule of law …
In relation to the above, … the State of Israel [has the competence] to investigate and … prosecute the acts subject to verification … [b]y virtue of … [the fact that] an offence is committed both where the action originates and is developed (Israel) as well as where it produces a result (Gaza). … Transferring the above … to the current proceeding, it is obvious and evident that it is the Israeli judicial bodies that have been investigating the facts of the complaint. 
Spain, National High Court, Gaza case, Judgment, 9 June 2009, Fundamentos Jurídicos, Tercero a Quinto, pp. 4–11.
The Court reversed the decision of the lower court and decided to “[u]phold the appeal formulated by the Prosecution Service against the order of 4 May 2009, which dismissed the request by the Prosecution Service to declare the incompetency of the Spanish jurisdiction to hear the facts of the case”. 
Spain, National High Court, Gaza case, Judgment, 9 June 2009, Parte Dispositiva, p. 11.
(emphasis in original)
In 2010, Spain’s Supreme Court accepted the reasoning of the National High Court on universal jurisdiction and held that “it would not uphold the appeal formulated by the appellants”. 
Spain, Supreme Court, Gaza case, Judgment, 4 March 2010, Section III, Parte Dispositiva, p. 3.
(emphasis in original)
Switzerland
In the Grabež case in 1997, a person born in the former Yugoslavia was prosecuted by Switzerland’s Military Tribunal at Lausanne for violations of the laws and customs of war under the Swiss Military Criminal Code as amended on charges of beating and injuring civilian prisoners in the camps of Omarska and Keraterm in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Tribunal held that it had jurisdiction under Articles 108(2) and 109 of the Military Criminal Code as amended over violations of the laws and customs of war, grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions III and IV and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and violations of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, but acquitted the accused for lack of sufficient evidence. 
Switzerland, Military Tribunal at Lausanne, Grabež case, Judgment, 18 April 1997.
Switzerland
In the Musema case in 1997, Switzerland agreed to surrender to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda an accused of Rwandan nationality, arrested in Switzerland in 1995 for violations of the laws of war in Rwanda. The decision was taken, inter alia, pursuant to Article 109 of the Swiss Military Criminal Code as amended providing for the punishment of war crimes. 
Switzerland, Federal Court, Musema case, Judgment, 28 April 1997.
Switzerland
In the Niyonteze case in 1999, Switzerland’s Military Tribunal at Lausanne found a Rwandan citizen guilty of murder, incitement to murder and crime by omission in the context of the conflict in Rwanda in 1994. The Tribunal based its decision on Articles 2(9), 108(2) and 109 of the Swiss Military Penal Code as amended. However, the Tribunal refused to consider charges of genocide and crimes against humanity on the grounds that these crimes were not recognized as being subject to universal jurisdiction under Swiss law. 
Switzerland, Military Tribunal at Lausanne, Niyonteze case, Judgment, 30 April 1999.
In its judgment in 2000, the Military Court of Appeals stated:
According to Article 2 § 9 of the Military Penal Code, civilians are subjected to the military criminal law if they are found guilty of violations of public international law during an armed conflict. (Articles 108 to 114 Military Penal Code)
Switzerland adopted Article 2 § 9 of the Military Penal Code in order to meet its international obligations and to allow the application of international law. In this specific context, even if Switzerland is not in a state of war or in danger of imminent war, it engaged in prosecuting individuals, regardless of their nationality, who are found [outside Switzerland] guilty of grave breaches of the [1949] Geneva Conventions. 
Switzerland, Military Court of Appeals (Geneva), Niyonteze case, Judgment, 26 May 2000.
In its relevant parts, the Military Court of Cassation confirmed the judgment of the Military Court of Appeals. 
Switzerland, Military Court of Cassation (Yverdon-les-Bains), Niyonteze case, Judgment, 27 April 2001.
Switzerland
In 2012, in the A. case, Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court rejected an appeal against the order of the Office of the Attorney General of 1 December 2011, whereby the Office declared itself competent to investigate war crimes allegedly committed by the appellant in the context of a non-international armed conflict abroad. The Court stated:
2.1 In his first ground for appeal, the appellant claims that the conditions necessary to exercise Switzerland’s universal jurisdiction for the prosecution of offences referred to in Titles 12bis, 12ter or in Art. 264k of the PC [Penal Code], and more specifically in Art. 264m of the PC are not fulfilled. The OAG [Office of the Attorney General] and the complainants do not share this view.
2.2 On 1 January 2011, a legislative amendment incorporated war crimes in the PC (Title 12ter) and set out common provisions for that title as well as for the one on genocide and crimes against humanity (Title 12quater and Title 12bis of the PC; RO 2010 4963; Message on the amendment of federal legislation in implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 23 April 2008 [hereinafter: Message on the implementation of the Rome Statute]; FF 2008 3461). On that occasion, notably Art. 264m of the PC entitled “Acts carried out abroad” came into force. Art. 264m states:
“A person who carries out an act under Title 12bis and 12ter or Art. 264k while abroad is guilty of an offence if he is in Switzerland and is not extradited to another State or delivered to an international criminal court whose jurisdiction is recognised by Switzerland (para. 1).
Where the victim of the act carried out abroad is not Swiss and the perpetrator is not Swiss, the prosecution, with the exception of measures to secure evidence, may be abandoned or may be dispensed with in the following cases:
a. a foreign authority or an international criminal court whose jurisdiction is recognised by Switzerland is prosecuting the offence and the suspected perpetrator is extradited or delivered to the court;
b. the suspected perpetrator is no longer in Switzerland and is not expected to return there (para. 2).
Article 7 paragraphs 4 and 5 applies unless the acquittal, or the remission or application of time limits for the execution of the sentence abroad has the aim of protecting the offender from punishment without justification (para. 3).”
2.3 Article 264m is a special provision in relation to Article 7 of the CP. Indeed, the latter also allows Switzerland, in application of the principle of subsidiary universal jurisdiction, to prosecute genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. However, Article 7 of the CP stipulates that the act has also to be punishable according to the law of the State where it was committed (…); the principle of the most favourable law (Article 7(3) of the PC) and the principle ne bis in idem (Article 7(4) of the PC) are equally applicable. Yet, submitting the very serious crimes with which we are dealing here to these general rules without restriction would not have been appropriate, for which reason a special rule for crimes against humanity was justified …
3. In his appeal and, in greater detail, in his response … the appellant challenges the conditions of applicability of the above-mentioned norm. In particular, he denies having any close connection with Switzerland, apart from the fact that he was in that country on 20 October 2011, the day of his interrogation. Furthermore, according to him, the impossibility of his extradition is not fulfilled in the case at hand.
3.1 With regard to the close connection with Switzerland, the legislator has effectively made the presence of the presumed perpetrator in our country an essential condition for conducting legal proceedings in Switzerland for an act committed abroad (Art. 264m (1) of the PC …). This condition must be met at the time of the opening of the proceedings. As to whether this presence is required throughout the proceedings, jurisprudence related to Art. 5 and 6 of the PC excluded a judgment in absentia if the perpetrator left Switzerland prior to his trial … As pointed out by legal doctrine, however, this jurisprudence deserves to be put in question in the sense that if the prosecution is initiated while the perpetrator is in Switzerland, his later departure should not automatically exclude the jurisdiction of this country… With regard to the present case, this interpretation appears, for that matter, also to be the one of the letter of Art. 264m of the PC. Indeed, Art. 264m (2b) does not prescribe the immediate abandonment of legal action, but, if neither the offender nor the victim is of Swiss nationality, it gives the prosecuting authority the possibility to decide whether it wants to abandon or dispense with the proceedings if the perpetrator is no longer present in Switzerland and is unlikely to return. What is concerned here is the effectiveness of the prosecution of particularly serious offences, which, by their nature, are committed abroad by foreigners who come to Switzerland only occasionally or only transit through Switzerland. From this perspective, an overly strict interpretation of the condition of presence on Swiss territory would amount to allowing the perpetrator of the offence to decide on its prosecution. This is not what the legislator intended in adapting its national law to allow Switzerland to participate effectively in the international effort to punish human rights violations.
Consequently, the appellant’s presence in Switzerland at the time of his interrogation by the prosecutor is sufficient. The mere fact that he is currently no longer in our country is not sufficient to inhibit the proceedings opened by the OAG.
3.3 The appellant further challenges Switzerland’s jurisdiction by invoking the fact that he has no close link with our country. …
3.3.1 The requirement of a close link between the perpetrator and Switzerland had been introduced in Art. 9 of the MPC [Military Penal Code] on 1 June 2004 … This article remained in force until 31 December 2010. In 2008, during the legislative work concerning the introduction in the PC of the penal provision that allows to base Switzerland’s jurisdiction to prosecute the crimes of genocide, war crimes and [crimes] against humanity on the principle of universal jurisdiction by substitution (limited universal jurisdiction), the legislator gave up that requirement. HENZELIN moreover notes that the criterion of a close link is stipulated neither in the 1948 Genocide Convention … nor in the four [1949] Geneva Conventions and therefore created, while it was applicable, a contradiction between Swiss law and these instruments of international law, for which reason it was not kept in the provisions of the PC in force since 1 January 2011 … This requirement, which is thus not included in Art. 264m of the PC, was abrogated notably for three reasons: legal inaccuracy, excessive limitation of national criminal jurisdiction in the prosecution of crimes of extreme gravity, and too restrictive contours in comparison to the solutions in other countries of Western Europe … In light of the intention clearly expressed by the legislator, the absence of a close link between the appellant and Switzerland must thus not prevent the continuation of the proceedings.
3.3.2 In his reply, the appellant further invokes the fact that if the notion of a close link was not stipulated in the legal texts at the time of the commission of the act he is being accused of, it nonetheless existed in customary law, …
The notion of a close link which was included in Art. 9 of the MPC had been introduced by the Federal Parliament in 2003 … It is clear from the parliamentary debates at the time that the reason for the modification was the situation in Belgium at the time, whose law on war criminals from the years 1993 and 1999 established the principle of universal jurisdiction without subordinating its application to the condition that the suspect was arrested in that country. The consequence of this was that the Belgian justice system was confronted with complaints submitted against foreign leaders, politicians and generals, raising very sensitive questions of jurisdictions and provoking conflicts with other States … It was precisely to avoid a similar situation that the members of the Federal Parliament chose to include the condition of a close link in the law … If there was a need to stipulate this requirement in law, it is because there was no such obligation, under customary law, to take it into consideration to prosecute a foreigner suspected of having committed a war crime … Moreover, KOLB underlines in this regard that the “condition of a close link does not codify long-term practice as it has been suggested; it introduces a new requirement” … Furthermore, the close link criterion is functionally unfamiliar in the area of international crimes. Indeed, in this area stemming from international law the idea is to exercise the criminal jurisdiction in the interest of the international community – in order to ensure a minimum of punishment and to eliminate safe havens … In addition, the requirement of a close link is in contradiction with the 1949 Geneva Conventions, of which Switzerland is the depositary. This requirement could in fact lead to a violation of the treaty obligation to criminally prosecute grave breaches [of the Geneva Conventions] if their perpetrator is present on the territory of a High Contracting Party. …
Finally, as rightly pointed out by the petitioners, … jurisprudence does not appear to have taken into consideration the close link requirement before its inclusion in the MPC in 2004. The judgment of 5 September 1997 of the Military Court of Cassation shows that the Military Court, division 1, never questioned its jurisdiction, although the suspected offender was only passing through Switzerland and had no other link with our country … Similarly, in a decision of 2004, when tasked to assess whether a criminal proceeding for the crime of genocide could be opened against an offender not of Swiss nationality, the Federal Department of Defence did not examine this question apart from considering the requirement of the perpetrator’s presence in Switzerland. It made no reference to another requirement, such as the existence of a close link…
Consequently, the appellant’s argument that there is the need to take into account the existence of a close link under customary law is misguided.
3.4 The appellant subsequently claims that the condition laid down in Art. 264m of the PC concerning the impossibility of the extradition of the offender is not met in the present case.
The Message relating to the implementation of the Rome Statute states in this regard that there cannot be a possibility of extradition of the alleged offender, even though he had committed an extraditable offence. In setting out this condition on persons not having the Swiss nationality, the legislator expresses the preference for criminal proceedings held in the State on whose territory the offence was committed (territoriality principle) or in the State of origin of the perpetrator (personality principle). In cases where extradition may be considered, and subject to other obstacles, the Swiss justice system is thus competent only if the other State explicitly or implicitly renounces opening of criminal proceedings. However, the Message also points out that a request for extradition will also be rejected where there is concrete evidence suggesting that the requesting State is unwilling or unable to genuinely prosecute the perpetrator, or that in case of extradition, the offender will not receive a fair punishment. In such cases, if the State on whose territory the crime was committed does not require extradition, the Swiss authorities may exceptionally waive the obligation to submit an explicit request … These developments reflect and confirm what the Swiss Federal Court had already specified … namely that if there is concrete evidence suggesting that the State where the crime was committed is not willing to seriously prosecute the offender or to impose a fair sentence, if the interests of Swiss victims would thus be left unprotected and if extradition is not requested, the Swiss authorities may exceptionally waive the obligation to submit an express request … As per the jurisprudence relevant for Art. 19 Chapter 4 of the Federal Act on Drugs – to which we may refer … as the article equally refers to the notion of “not being extradited” – the Swiss Federal Court specified that Swiss authorities have jurisdiction when extradition is not possible even if no request has been made by the foreign State. Furthermore, the Swiss Federal Court clarified that the rejection of any extradition request is sufficient to confer on Switzerland the obligation to prosecute and adjudicate the offence as per aut dedere aut judicare … Moreover the Swiss Federal Court noted that, in this context, the expression “not being extradited” shall simply mean that the offender is not transferred, regardless of the reasons behind it … A Swiss judge shall certainly ensure that, where extradition is not excluded, it will not be required … However, in an earlier case, the High Court had also stated that in exceptional circumstances, a judge may waive this obligation if it is not possible to obtain the views of the State concerned within a reasonable time period of time. This principle is therefore not intangible.
Furthermore, applicable treaties determine which is the prevailing principle, prosecution or extradition … The four Geneva Conventions of 1949, to which both Switzerland and Algeria are party, give priority to the prosecution over the transfer or extradition of the offender (Art. 49 GC I, Art. 50 GC II, Art. 129 GC III, Art. 146 GC IV). States Parties to these Conventions therefore verify whether potential war criminals find themselves within their sphere of influence and initiate proceedings against them … It also follows that if a State suspects that a war criminal could be arriving soon on its territory, it must conduct an investigation, even before any request for extradition could be made. It cannot rely on the supposed absence of the person from its territory to a priori deny its jurisdiction …
In this case, Algeria, informed about the interrogation of the appellant on 20 October 2011, approached the [Federal Department of Foreign Affairs] on the same day both in Algiers and in Bern to “express its serious concern” … Since then, as far as this Court is aware, Algeria has not approached the Swiss authorities again. Moreover, the appellant is no longer in Switzerland. In fact, after having been interrogated by the OAG, he left the country to return to Algeria where, as it seems, no legal procedure has been initiated against him. Such a prospect also appears unlikely in the future. Indeed, no action has ever been taken against those who held power during that critical period. Moreover, as per Art. 44 of the Order No. 06-01 dated 27 February 2006 concerning the implementation of the Algerian Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation, Algerian law states that citizens who, through their commitment and determination, helped to save Algeria and preserve the achievements of the country, have acted as patriots. Art. 45 specifies that: “No action may be taken, individually or collectively, against members of the defence and security forces of the Republic, in all components, for actions carried out for the protection of persons and property, the preservation of the country and of the institutions of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria. Any accusation or complaint shall be declared inadmissible by the competent judicial authority”. … In light of these provisions, it appears that no action can be currently taken in Algeria against senior officials who held power during the events that form the basis of the present legal procedure: it would be illegal. A request for extradition by Algeria concerning the appellant is thus impossible. It follows that the OAG had sufficient grounds to believe that no request for the extradition of the appellant would be made to Switzerland.
The condition laid down in Art. 264m of the PC according to which the perpetrator is not extradited, is therefore satisfied.
3.6 Finally, for Art. 264m of the PC to be applicable, the suspected offender must not be handed over to any international criminal tribunal whose jurisdiction is recognized by Switzerland.
In order to hand a suspect over to an international tribunal, it is sufficient that Switzerland recognizes the jurisdiction of the said court and that a request is made … In this case, as pointed out by the OAG, there is no special international tribunal for Algeria. Furthermore, according to Art. 12(2) of the [1998] Rome Statute, the International Criminal Court (hereinafter: ICC) may exercise its jurisdiction only where the State on whose territory the crime of genocide, crime against humanity or war crime was committed, or the country of which the perpetrator is a national, is a party to the Rome Statute. In other words, the ICC has in principle no jurisdiction when a crime has been committed on the territory of a State and by a national of a State that is not party to the Statute … Algeria is not a party to the Rome Statute. Therefore, as the ICC does not have jurisdiction over the present case the last condition for the application of the abovementioned Article is therefore also fulfilled.
3.7 In light of the foregoing considerations, contrary to what the appellant argues, nothing prevents the application of Art. 264m of the PC to the present case. 
Switzerland, Federal Criminal Court, A. case, Judgment, 25 July 2012, §§ 2.1–2.3, 3.1, 3.3–3.4 and 3.6–3.7.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In the Pinochet extradition case in 1999 before the UK House of Lords, Lord Millett stated:
In my opinion, crimes prohibited by international law attract universal jurisdiction under customary international law if two criteria are satisfied. First, they must be contrary to a peremptory norm of international law so as to infringe a jus cogens. Secondly, they must be so serious and on such a scale that they can justly be regarded as an attack on the international legal order. Isolated offences, even if committed by public officials, would not satisfy these criteria.
In my opinion, the systematic use of torture on a large scale and as an instrument of state policy had joined piracy, war crimes and crimes against peace as an international crime of universal jurisdiction well before 1984. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Pinochet extradition case, Opinion of Lord Millett, 24 March 1999.
Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers stated:
It is still an open question whether international law recognises universal jurisdiction in respect of international crimes – that is the right, under international law, of the courts of any state to prosecute for such crimes wherever they occur. In relation to war crimes, such a jurisdiction has been asserted by the State of Israel, notably in the prosecution of Adolf Eichmann, but this assertion of jurisdiction does not reflect any general state practice in relation to international crimes. Rather, states have tended to agree, or attempt to agree, on the creation of international tribunals to try international crimes. They have however, on occasion, agreed by conventions, that their national courts should enjoy jurisdiction to prosecute for a particular category of international crime wherever occurring. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Pinochet extradition case, Opinion of Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, 24 March 1999.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In the Sawoniuk case in 1999, a person was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Old Bailey in London for having murdered in 1942 two Jews in what is now Belarus. The sentence was laid down by virtue of the UK War Crimes Act of 1991. 
United Kingdom, Old Bailey (London), Sawoniuk case, Judgment, 1 April 1999.
In 2000, this judgment was confirmed by the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), which stated, however:
The criminal jurisdiction of the English court is, generally speaking, territorial. Until enactment of the War Crimes Act 1991 the appellant could not be tried here for an offence of murder or manslaughter committed in Belorussia since he has never been a British subject and the exception made by section 9 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 to the ordinary rule of territoriality was confined to offences of murder or manslaughter committed outside the United Kingdom by British subjects. It remains the law that the appellant could not be tried here for acts of violence committed in Belorussia if not causing death. 
United Kingdom, Supreme Court of Judicature, Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), Sawoniuk case, Judgment on Appeal, 10 February 2000.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In the Jones and others case in 2006, the UK House of Lords were called upon to decide whether the crime of aggression was part of the domestic criminal law of England and Wales. The appellants, charged with various criminal offences committed against UK military installations in 2003, contended that their acts were legally justified, for having been intended to prevent the crime of aggression in the form of the invasion of Iraq. The House unanimously dismissed their appeals. Lord Bingham noted, inter alia:
22. While the appellants acknowledged the paucity of authority on the assimilation of customary international law crimes into municipal law … they contended that war crimes earned inclusion in any modern list. It is true that certain practices have, since mediaeval times, been regarded as contrary to the laws and usages of war. After the Second World War some countries provided for the trial of those accused of this crime by statute (as in Australia), or Order in Council under statutory authority (Canada), and the United States appointed military commissions, a practice which pre-dated the Constitution and was recognised but not established by statute: see Rogers, “War Crimes Trials under the Royal Warrant: British Practice 1945−1949” (1990) 39 ICLQ 780, 787. In this country, an enabling statute was discussed (Rogers, op. cit., pp 788−789) but in the event a Royal Warrant was issued under the royal prerogative on 18 June 1945 to provide for the trial in military courts of persons charged with “violations of the laws and usages of war”, which were treated as synonymous with war crimes. Such courts were to take judicial notice of the laws and usages of war. Pursuant to this instrument some 500 trials were held during the years 1945−1949 (Rogers, op. cit., p 795). Re Sandrock and Others (1945) 13 ILR 297, which concerned the summary execution of a prisoner of war, is one reported example. Since, by 1945, the creation of new offences lay out with the royal prerogative, the underlying premise of the Royal Warrant must, I think, have been that war crimes, recognised as such in customary international law, had been assimilated into our domestic law. It was, however, contemplated that an Act of Indemnity should be passed to give retrospective validity to the proceedings (Rogers, op. cit., pp 788−799), which may betray some uncertainty on the point. But history has moved on. In 1950 the International Law Commission, summarising the Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nürnberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, listed war crimes (“Violations of the laws or customs of war”) as crimes under international law. In section 1(1) of the War Crimes Act 1991, jurisdiction was conferred on British courts to try charges of murder, manslaughter or culpable homicide against a person in this country irrespective of his nationality at the time of the alleged offence if that offence was committed between 1 September 1939 and 5 June 1945 in a place which at the time was part of Germany or under German occupation and “constituted a violation of the laws and customs of war”, an expression which it was not thought necessary to define. It would seem to me at least arguable that war crimes, recognised as such in customary international law, would now be triable and punishable under the domestic criminal law of this country irrespective of any domestic statute …
23. I would accordingly accept that a crime recognised in customary international law may be assimilated into the domestic criminal law of this country. The appellants, however, go further and contend that that result follows automatically. The authorities, as I read them, do not support that proposition. Lord Cockburn CJ rejected it in R v Keyn (1876) 2 Ex D 63, 203, when he said:
“Nor, in my opinion, would the clearest proof of unanimous assent on the part of other nations be sufficient to authorize the tribunals of this country to apply, without an Act of Parliament, what would practically amount to a new law. In so doing we should be unjustifiably usurping the province of the legislature. The assent of nations is doubtless sufficient to give the power of parliamentary legislation in a matter otherwise within the sphere of international law; but it would be powerless to confer without such legislation a jurisdiction beyond and unknown to the law, such as that now insisted on, a jurisdiction over foreigners in foreign ships on a portion of the high seas.”
In R v Bow Street Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate, Ex p Pinochet Ugarte (No 3) [2000] 1 AC 147 the issue was whether British courts had jurisdiction, before section 134 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 came into force, to try those accused of torture abroad. But I agree with the observation of Buxton LJ in Hutchinson v Newbury Magistrates Court (2000) 122 ILR 499, 506, where a contention similar to the appellants’ was advanced:
“It is also in my view impossible to reconcile that contention with the debate in Pinochet (No 3) which concluded, illuminatingly subject to the specific dissent on this point of Lord Millett, that although State torture had long been an international crime in the highest sense (to adopt the formulation of Lord Browne-Wilkinson [2000] 1 AC page 198F) and therefore a crime universally in whatsoever territory it occurred, it was only with the passing of Section 134 of the Criminal Justice Act 1998 that the English criminal courts acquired jurisdiction over ‘international’, that is to say extra territorial, torture.”
In the context of genocide, an argument based on automatic assimilation was rejected by a majority of the Federal Court of Australia in Nulyarimma v Thompson (1999) 120 ILR 353. In the context of abduction it was rejected by the Supreme Court of the United States in Sosa v AlvarezMachain et al 542 US 692 (2004). It is, I think, true that “customary international law is applicable in the English courts only where the constitution permits”: O’Keefe, “Customary International Crimes in English Courts” (2001) BYIL 293, 335. I respectfully agree with the observations of Sir Franklin Berman (Asserting Jurisdiction: International and European Legal Perspectives, ed M Evans and S Konstantinidis, 2003, p 11) answering the question whether customary international law is capable of creating a crime directly triable in a national court:
“The first question is open to a myriad of answers, depending on the characteristic features of the particular national legal system in view. Looking at it simply from the point of view of English law, the answer would seem to be no; international law could not create a crime triable directly, without the intervention of Parliament, in an English court. What international law could, however, do is to perform its well-understood validating function, by establishing the legal basis (legal justification) for Parliament to legislate, so far as it purports to exercise control over the conduct of non-nationals abroad. This answer is inevitably tied up with the attitude taken towards the possibility of the creation of new offences under common law. Inasmuch as the reception of customary international law into English law takes place under common law, and inasmuch as the development of new customary international law remains very much the consequence of international behaviour by the Executive, in which neither the Legislature nor the Courts, nor any other branch of the constitution, need have played any part, it would be odd if the Executive could, by means of that kind, acting in concert with other States, amend or modify specifically the criminal law, with all the consequences that flow for the liberty of the individual and rights of personal property. There are, besides, powerful reasons of political accountability, regularity and legal certainty for saying that the power to create crimes should now be regarded as reserved exclusively to Parliament, by Statute.” [emphasis in original]
28. The lack of any statutory incorporation is not, however, a neutral factor, for two main reasons. The first is that there now exists no power in the courts to create new criminal offences, as decided by a unanimous House in Knuller (Publishing, Printing and Promotions) Ltd v Director of Public Prosecutions [1973] AC 435. While old common law offences survive until abolished or superseded by statute, new ones are not created. Statute is now the sole source of new criminal offences. The second reason is that when it is sought to give domestic effect to crimes established in customary international law, the practice is to legislate. Examples may be found in the Geneva Conventions Act 1957 and the Geneva Conventions (Amendment) Act 1995, dealing with breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols of 1977; the Genocide Act 1969, giving effect to the Genocide Convention of 1948; the Criminal Justice Act 1988, s 134, giving effect to the Torture Convention of 1984; the War Crimes Act 1991, giving jurisdiction to try war crimes committed abroad by foreign nationals; the Merchant Shipping and Maritime Security Act 1997, s 26, giving effect to provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 relating to piracy; and sections 51 and 52 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001, giving effect to the Rome Statute by providing for the trial here of persons accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, but not, significantly, the crime of aggression. It would be anomalous if the crime of aggression, excluded (obviously deliberately) from the 2001 Act, were to be treated as a domestic crime, since it would not be subject to the constraints (as to the need for the Attorney General’s consent, the mode of trial, the requisite mens rea, the liability of secondary parties and maximum penalties) applicable to the crimes which were included.
29. These reasons, taken together, are very strong grounds for rejecting the appellants’ contention, since they reflect what has become an important democratic principle in this country: that it is for those representing the people of the country in Parliament, not the executive and not the judges, to decide what conduct should be treated as lying so far outside the bounds of what is acceptable in our society as to attract criminal penalties. One would need very compelling reasons for departing from that principle. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Jones and others case, Judgment, 29 March 2006, §§ 22–23 and 28–29.
United States of America
In its judgment in the Altstötter case (The Justice Trial) in 1947, the US Military Tribunal at Nuremberg stated:
As to the punishment of persons guilty of violating the laws and customs of war (war crimes in the narrow sense), it has always been recognised that tribunals may be established and punishment imposed by the State in whose hands the perpetrators fall. Those rules of international law were recognised as paramount, and jurisdiction to enforce them by the injured belligerent government, whether within the territorial boundaries of the State or in occupied territory, has been unquestioned … However, enforcement of international law has been traditionally subject to practical limitations. Within territorial boundaries of a State having a recognised, functioning government presently in the exercise of sovereign power throughout its territory, a violator of the rules of international law could be punished only by the authority of the officials of that State. The law is universal, but such a State reserves unto itself the exclusive power within its boundaries to apply or withhold sanctions.
Thus, notwithstanding the paramount authority of the substantive rules of common international law the doctrines of national sovereignty have been preserved through the control of enforcement machinery. It must be admitted that Germans were not the only ones who were guilty of committing war crimes; other violators of international law could, no doubt, be tried and punished by the State of which they were nationals, by the offended State if it can secure jurisdiction of the person, or by an International Tribunal if of competent authorised jurisdiction.
Applying these principles, it appears that the power to punish violators of international law in Germany is not solely dependent on the enactment of rules of substantive penal law applicable only in Germany. Nor is the apparent immunity from prosecution of criminals in other States based on the absence there of the rules of international law which we enforce here. Only by giving consideration to the extraordinary and temporary situation in Germany can the procedure here be harmonised with established principles of national sovereignty. In Germany an international body (the Control Council) has assumed and exercised the power to establish judicial machinery for the punishment of those who have violated the rules of common international law, a power which no international authority without consent could assume or exercise within a State having a national government presently in the exercise of its sovereign powers. 
United States, Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Altstötter case (The Justice Trial), Judgment, 4 December 1947.
United States of America
In the Demjanjuk case in 1985, a US Court of Appeals recognized Israel’s right to try a person accused of war crimes on the basis of universal jurisdiction and rejected an appeal to overturn an extradition order. The Court held:
The universality principle is based on the assumption that some crimes are so universally condemned that the perpetrators are the enemies of all people. Therefore, any nation which has custody of the perpetrators may punish them according to its law applicable to such offences … Israel or any other nation … may undertake to vindicate the interest of all nations by seeking to punish the perpetrators of such crimes. 
United States, Court of Appeals, Demjanjuk case, Judgment, 31 October 1985.
United States of America
In 2003, in the Yousef case, involving appeals against judgments of conviction on charges related to involvement in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre and a conspiracy to bomb 12 US commercial aircraft in South-east Asia in 1994, the US Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, held:
The historical restriction of universal jurisdiction to piracy, war crimes, and crimes against humanity demonstrates that universal jurisdiction arises under customary international law only where crimes (1) are universally condemned by the community of nations, and (2) by their nature occur either outside of a State or where there is no State capable of punishing, or competent to punish, the crime (as in a time of war).
Unlike those offenses supporting universal jurisdiction under customary international law – that is, piracy, war crimes, and crimes against humanity – that now have fairly precise definitions and that have achieved universal condemnation, “terrorism” is a term as loosely deployed as it is powerfully charged … Indeed, the nations of the world are so divisively split on the legitimacy of such aggression as to make it impossible to pinpoint an area of harmony or consensus.
We regrettably are no closer now than eighteen years ago to an international consensus on the definition of terrorism or even its proscription. We thus conclude that … terrorism – unlike piracy, war crimes, and crimes against humanity – does not provide a basis for universal jurisdiction. 
United States, Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, Yousef case, Judgment, 4 April 2003.
Australia
In 2009, in a statement before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, made on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand,, the counsellor and legal adviser of Australia stated:
Universal jurisdiction is a long-established principle of international law. It vests in every State the competence to exercise, on behalf of the international community, criminal jurisdiction over those individuals responsible for the most serious crimes of international concern, no matter where those crimes occur. The principle first developed a[s] customary international law in relation to piracy to prevent pirates from enjoying impunity or safe haven. It has since been extended to include genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, slavery and torture.
The nature or exceptional gravity of these crimes renders their suppression a joint concern of all members of the international community. The principle of universal jurisdiction is an important mechanism through which the international community aims to ensure that individuals who commit these crimes do not enjoy safe haven anywhere in the world.
Primary responsibility for investigating and prosecuting serious international crimes, as with all crimes, rests with the State where the crime occurs. Where the territorial State establishes effective legal frameworks to prosecute and punish these crimes, the need for other States to assert jurisdiction is, as a practical matter, diminished. The territorial State is best placed to obtain evidence, secure witnesses and enforce sentences. And perhaps most importantly, it is also well placed to ensure that the “justice message” is delivered to affected communities.
However, it is a fact that many such crimes go unpunished, including through the movement of the accused to another country. Universal jurisdiction assists to cover that jurisdictional gap. With that in mind, we call upon all States to incorporate grave crimes into their domestic laws. We further call upon all States to provide each other with practical assistance to promote the rule of law and develop the capacity of domestic criminal justice systems to prosecute grave crimes. This is the front line in the fight against impunity and it should be our first priority.
Universal jurisdiction has a place in our collective system of criminal justice as a complementary mechanism to ensure an end to impunity.
On the rare occasion where a national court has asserted universal jurisdiction, State practice suggests that this has usually been due to a connecting link between the offence and the forum State, for example the presence of the accused on the territory of the forum State.
The national court should always exercise universal jurisdiction – and indeed all forms of extraterritorial jurisdiction – in good faith and in a manner consistent with other principles and rules of international law. This is essential to ensure that the desire to end impunity does not in itself generate an abuse of the principle.
National courts should at all times observe the minimum fair trial guarantees, including the right of the accused to be tried in his or her presence and without delay. Judicial independence and impartiality must be maintained to ensure that the principle is not manipulated for political ends.
In order to prevent impunity for these crimes, we encourage States, consistent with their international obligations and domestic practices, to cooperate to provide all available means of assistance, including mutual assistance, in order to ensure sufficient evidence for prosecution. By cooperating with national courts in prosecutions involving universal jurisdiction we all further our shared aim to end impunity. 
Australia, Statement by the counsellor and legal adviser of Australia before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, made on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, 20 October 2009.
Belgium
In its oral pleadings before the ICJ in the Arrest Warrant case in 2000, Belgium addressed the issue of compatibility of its law containing the principle of universality with international law as well as universal jurisdiction as such and stated:
Article 7 of the Law enshrines the universal jurisdiction of the Belgian courts. They may deal with the offences referred to in the Law irrespective of the nationality of the perpetrator or where the offence was committed.
This jurisdiction is entirely consistent with the second paragraph of the Article common to the four 1949 Geneva Conventions (Articles 49, 50, 129 and 146 respectively) … The jurisdiction that the State must therefore exercise is a universal jurisdiction, which can today be regarded as generally accepted, as it is found in a number of international criminal law conventions. 
Belgium, Oral pleadings before the ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, 21 November 2000, Verbatim Record CR 2000/33, § I.A (7).
In later pleadings in the same case, Belgium stated that in its contention, “the permissive rules concerning the exercise of universal jurisdiction … in circumstances in which serious violations of international humanitarian law are alleged, permit Belgium to take the course that it has followed”. 
Belgium, Oral pleadings before the ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, 17 October 2001, Verbatim Record CR 2001/8, p. 50.
Referring to Article 49 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I, Article 50 of the 1949 Geneva Convention II, Article 129 of the of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Article 146 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, Belgium further stated that these provisions contained the obligation of States to prosecute the authors of crimes defined by the Conventions, regardless of their nationality and of the place of the crime, as long as they were present on the territory of the State exercising its jurisdiction. According to Belgium, such an obligation also existed as regards crimes against humanity, resulting from customary and treaty law. 
Belgium, Oral pleadings before the ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, 18 October 2001, Verbatim Record CR 2001/9, § 10(6).
Belgium
According to the Report on the Practice of Belgium, it is the opinio juris of Belgium that it has the right to consider “grave breaches” committed also in the context of non-international conflicts as punishable under Belgian penal law, regardless of the nationality of the alleged perpetrator or the victim or of the place where the act was committed, on the basis of universal jurisdiction. 
Report on the Practice of Belgium, 1997, Chapter 6.4.
Belgium
In a meeting with the Human Rights Committee in 2004 to discuss its fourth periodic report submitted in 2003, Belgium stated:
7. … Belgium’s withdrawal of a warrant for the arrest of former Congolese minister Mr. Yerodia Aboulaye Ndombasi following a relevant decision by the International Court of Justice in The Hague indicated its willingness to assume responsibility when found to be contravening provisions of international agreements to which it was a party.
8. The concept of universal jurisdiction drew legitimacy from an interpretation of the Geneva Conventions, by virtue of which offences recognized by the community of nations as of universal concern, such as war crimes, could be prosecuted by individual States. The above-mentioned proceedings instituted against Mr. Ndombasi, had been declared inadmissible owing to the defendant’s immunity and not because of the inapplicability of universal jurisdiction.
9. The Belgian universal jurisdiction law had not been repealed as such. However, in 2003 a series of provisions stipulating the necessity of a link with the prosecuting State had been introduced, which restricted its scope. A question had been raised concerning the legal status of persons whose complaints were no longer admissible under the amended legislation. There had been concern that the new provisions might violate the victim’s right to effective recourse.
10. The majority of complaints that had been declared inadmissible on the basis of the new criteria had concerned cases where the accused enjoyed immunity. By rejecting such cases, Belgium was complying with a relevant decision of the International Court of Justice. 
Belgium, Summary record of meeting with the Human Rights Committee of 13 July 2004 in relation to the fourth periodic report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, UN Doc. CCPR/C/SR.2199, 23 July 2004, §§ 7–10.
Canada
In a report in 1987, the Canadian Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals (“Commission Deschênes”) held: “Neither conventional international law nor customary international law stricto sensu could support the prosecution of [Second World War] war criminals in Canada.” 
Canada, Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals, Report, 1987, p. 132, § 20.
The Commission added:
Prosecution of war criminals can, however, be launched on the basis of customary international law lato sensu inasmuch as war crimes are violations of the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations, which article 11(g) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has enshrined in the Constitution of Canada. 
Canada, Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals, Report, 1987, p. 132, § 21.
Canada
In 1987, in parliamentary debates on the proposed amendment to Canada’s Criminal Code, the Canadian Minister of Justice referred to changes already made in legislation in order to bring Canada in line with its international obligations and stated:
These amendments have also recognized the increasing acceptance in international law of the principle of according universal jurisdiction to the national courts in respect of internationally acknowledged offences. 
Canada, Minister of Justice, Statement in the House of Commons, 12 March 1987, Parliamentary Debates, Vol. VII, 1987, pp. 8265–8266.
Canada
In 2009, in a statement before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, made on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the counsellor and legal adviser of Australia stated:
Universal jurisdiction is a long-established principle of international law. It vests in every State the competence to exercise, on behalf of the international community, criminal jurisdiction over those individuals responsible for the most serious crimes of international concern, no matter where those crimes occur. The principle first developed a[s] customary international law in relation to piracy to prevent pirates from enjoying impunity or safe haven. It has since been extended to include genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, slavery and torture.
The nature or exceptional gravity of these crimes renders their suppression a joint concern of all members of the international community. The principle of universal jurisdiction is an important mechanism through which the international community aims to ensure that individuals who commit these crimes do not enjoy safe haven anywhere in the world.
Primary responsibility for investigating and prosecuting serious international crimes, as with all crimes, rests with the State where the crime occurs. Where the territorial State establishes effective legal frameworks to prosecute and punish these crimes, the need for other States to assert jurisdiction is, as a practical matter, diminished. The territorial State is best placed to obtain evidence, secure witnesses and enforce sentences. And perhaps most importantly, it is also well placed to ensure that the “justice message” is delivered to affected communities.
However, it is a fact that many such crimes go unpunished, including through the movement of the accused to another country. Universal jurisdiction assists to cover that jurisdictional gap. With that in mind, we call upon all States to incorporate grave crimes into their domestic laws. We further call upon all States to provide each other with practical assistance to promote the rule of law and develop the capacity of domestic criminal justice systems to prosecute grave crimes. This is the front line in the fight against impunity and it should be our first priority.
Universal jurisdiction has a place in our collective system of criminal justice as a complementary mechanism to ensure an end to impunity.
On the rare occasion where a national court has asserted universal jurisdiction, State practice suggests that this has usually been due to a connecting link between the offence and the forum State, for example the presence of the accused on the territory of the forum State.
The national court should always exercise universal jurisdiction – and indeed all forms of extraterritorial jurisdiction – in good faith and in a manner consistent with other principles and rules of international law. This is essential to ensure that the desire to end impunity does not in itself generate an abuse of the principle.
National courts should at all times observe the minimum fair trial guarantees, including the right of the accused to be tried in his or her presence and without delay. Judicial independence and impartiality must be maintained to ensure that the principle is not manipulated for political ends.
In order to prevent impunity for these crimes, we encourage States, consistent with their international obligations and domestic practices, to cooperate to provide all available means of assistance, including mutual assistance, in order to ensure sufficient evidence for prosecution. By cooperating with national courts in prosecutions involving universal jurisdiction we all further our shared aim to end impunity.  
Canada, Statement by the counsellor and legal adviser of Australia before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, made on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, 20 October 2009.
Canada
In 2012, in its written replies to the issues raised by the Committee against Torture with regard to Canada’s sixth periodic report, Canada stated:
132. Canada has no policy of resorting to the immigration process to remove or expel individuals instead of prosecuting them for crimes committed in Canada. If a foreign national commits a crime in Canada, he or she will be investigated and prosecuted according to the same process followed for Canadians. With respect to crimes committed wholly outside Canada, Canada can prosecute crimes for which universal jurisdiction exists, including torture, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. For more information regarding the prosecution of such crimes, see the response to Question 17 below. Canada may also have jurisdiction to prosecute certain other offences committed outside Canada where Parliament has specifically established jurisdiction to do so, for example, in relation to certain terrorism offences.
Question 17: Please provide (a) detailed information on how the State party has exercised its universal jurisdiction over persons responsible for acts of torture, wherever they occurred and regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator or victim, and (b) specific examples and texts of any decisions on the subject, including the outcomes of reviews by the Program Coordinating Operations Committee (PCOC) and the two cases referred to in paragraph 49 of the State party’s report. In that regard, please comment on reports before the Committee that Canada has chosen the path of deportation rather than criminal prosecution against perpetrators of international crimes and has failed to take effective measures to exercise its universal jurisdiction over persons responsible for acts of torture, while its law, through provisions in the Criminal Code and the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act, provides for universal jurisdiction and thus allows domestic prosecution.
179. With respect to specific prosecutions under the CAHWCA [the 2000 Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act], the Public Prosecution Service of Canada’s first prosecution under the Act resulted in the conviction of Désiré Munyaneza of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in relation to events that occurred in Rwanda in 1994. Mr. Munyaneza received a life sentence in 2009. An appeal is ongoing. A second case, R. v. Mungwarere, which is ongoing, concerns a Rwandan national residing in Windsor, Ontario, who was charged in 2009 with two counts of genocide. Additional charges of crimes against humanity were added in 2010. A trial date of April 30, 2012, has been set. The accused, Jacques Mungwarere, remains in custody.
180. Canada‟s War Crimes Program is based on the dual underlying purposes of ensuring that Canada will not become a safe haven for persons involved in war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity, as well as making an effective contribution to the global effort to reduce and eventually eliminate impunity for such crimes. A committee composed of members of each department of the War Crimes Program reviews and scrutinises all allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, including torture, to ensure compliance with existing and emerging international obligations to extradite or prosecute. In order for a case to be investigated and/or prosecuted through the criminal justice system, a combination of factors needs to be present:
- the allegation discloses personal involvement or command responsibility:
- the evidence pertaining to the allegation is corroborated; and
- the necessary evidence can be obtained in a reasonably uncomplicated and speedy fashion.
181. While the criminal investigation and prosecution of war crimes committed abroad is resource-intensive and will therefore only be pursued where the above criteria are satisfied, the ability to conduct criminal investigations and to prosecute is an important element of the War Crimes Program. In some cases, a criminal justice response is the most appropriate action and sends a strong message to Canadians and the international community that the Government of Canada does not tolerate impunity for war criminals or for persons who have committed crimes against humanity or genocide. …
183. In some cases it is more desirable to remove an individual suspected of having a role in war crimes and/or crimes against humanity through immigration enforcement means so that they may face justice in their country of citizenship. These instances arise when there has been a change in country conditions and there has been recognition of legal reform (e.g., independence of the judiciary) and capacity building within the justice system, and, as a result, these countries are capable of carrying out efficient and effective prosecutions of suspected criminals. 
Canada, Written replies by the Government of Canada to the Committee against Torture concerning the list of issues to be taken up in connection with the sixth periodic report of Canada, 2012, §§ 132, 179–181 and 183.
Canada
In 2012, during the presentation of Canada’s sixth report to the Committee against Torture, the legal advisor in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada stated:
With respect to the obligation to prosecute crimes of torture and to assist other States in this regard, Canada is committed to the principle that it will not become a safe haven for persons involved in war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity, as well as to making an effective contribution to the global effort to strengthen accountability for such crimes. Canada has demonstrated its commitment in this regard through recent prosecutions of persons accused of having committed genocide and crimes against humanity in Rwanda. Canada also believes that wherever possible, people accused of such terrible crimes should face justice in the countries in which the crimes occurred. In cases where this is not possible, international courts and tribunals and other efforts to hold perpetrators accountable for serious international crimes may be used. 
Canada, Statement by the Legal Advisor at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade entitled “Presentation of Canada’s Sixth Report to the Committee against Torture”, 21 May 2012, p. 3.
Canada
In 2012, in its written replies to the issues raised by the Committee on the Rights of the Child with regard to Canada’s combined third and fourth periodic reports, Canada stated:
Extra-territorial jurisdiction for violations of the provisions of the OPAC [2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict]
186. Canada generally does not extend its jurisdiction to prosecute offences committed by Canadians or permanent residents abroad unless required to do so by treaty obligations. No such justification exists in the case of violations of the provisions of the OPAC.
187. Nevertheless, Canada adopted the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act in 2000 implementing the Rome Statute [1998 ICC Statute], by which authors of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, including that of “conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 years or using them to participate actively in hostilities,” may be prosecuted for that offence if present in Canada after the time the offence is alleged to have been committed. 
Canada, Written replies by the Government of Canada to the Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning the list of issues to be taken up in connection with the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Canada, 21 January 2013, UN Doc. CRC/C/CAN/Q/3-4/Add.1, submitted September 2012, §§ 186–187.
Cuba
According to the Report on the Practice of Cuba, under Cuban law, criminal jurisdiction generally extends to offences committed by Cuban nationals abroad. 
Report on the Practice of Cuba, 1998, Chapter 6.4.
Cuba
In 2010, in a statement before the UN General Assembly on the scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction, the representative of Cuba stated:
Cuba fully supports the statements made by the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and by Chile on behalf of the Rio Group.
Cuba reiterates its concerns about the unilateral exercise of extra-territorial criminal and civil jurisdiction by national courts, not emanating from international treaties or other obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law. In this regard, Cuba condemns the promulgation, at the domestic level, of laws based on political motives and directed against other States.
The 1949 Geneva Conventions introduced the application of universal jurisdiction for violations qualified as grave breaches. In accordance with the relevant article in each [Geneva] Convention States have an obligation to search for persons accused of having committed grave breaches “regardless of their nationality” and to bring such persons before its own courts or hand such persons over for trial to another High Contracting Party. Although the [Geneva] Conventions do not expressly stipulate that their jurisdiction must be exercised no matter where the violation was committed, it is generally understood that they establish universal jurisdiction.
Cuba considers that the regulation of the principle of universal jurisdiction by treaties is essential for its establishment and application. Universal jurisdiction must be supplementary to the national jurisdiction of each State. A statement that the relevant national tribunals are undertaking the prosecution of the perpetrator of such grave breaches should prevent any action on the basis of universal jurisdiction. This would strengthen the principles of collaboration and assistance between States and the Rule of Law at the international level.
Finally, Cuba considers it very important that it is clarified, on the basis of applicable international law, what violations are subject to universal jurisdiction and define the elements for its application. This principle can only be invoked in exceptional circumstances when there is no other way to bring criminal proceedings against those responsible for crimes against humanity, or those the international community decides at the time on the basis of consensus and the establishment of clear rules of international law. 
Cuba, Statement by the representative of Cuba before the UN General Assembly on Item 86: The Scope and Application of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction, 12 October 2010, pp. 1–2.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
In 2000, in its application instituting proceedings in the Arrest Warrant case before the ICJ, the Democratic Republic of the Congo requested that the ICJ “declare that (Belgium) shall annul the international arrest warrant”. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Application instituting proceedings before the ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, 17 October 2000, § II, p. 3.
The arrest warrant had been issued in absentia by a Belgian judge against the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the basis of Belgium’s Law concerning the Repression of Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols as amended. In its application, the Democratic Republic of the Congo criticized the fact that, under the terms of the arrest warrant,
the investigating judge claims jurisdiction in respect of offences purportedly committed on the territory of the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo] by a national of that State, without any allegation that the victims were of Belgian nationality or that these acts constituted violations of the security or dignity of the Kingdom of Belgium. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Application instituting proceedings before the ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, 17 October 2000, § III(A), p. 5.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo further stated that the arrest warrant constituted a “violation of the principle that a State may not exercise [its authority] on the territory of another State and of the principle of sovereign equality among all Members of the United Nations”. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Application instituting proceedings before the ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, 17 October 2000, § IV(A), p. 7.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo went to say:
The universal jurisdiction … contravenes the international jurisprudence established by the judgement of the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ) in the Lotus case … According to the judgement, this principle means that a State may not exercise its authority on the territory of another State. This rule is now corroborated by Article 2, § 1 of the Charter of the United Nations … The only instances in which general international law allows, exceptionally, that a State may prosecute acts committed on the territory of another State by a foreigner are, first, cases involving violation of the security or dignity of the first State and, second, cases involving serious offences committed against its nationals. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Application instituting proceedings before the ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, 17 October 2000, § IV(A)(1), p. 7-9.
In its oral pleadings, the Democratic Republic of the Congo further stated: “Universal jurisdiction – in so far as domestic courts have such jurisdiction – can apply only if the person prosecuted is present on the territory of the prosecuting State. This is a well-established principle.” 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Oral pleadings before the ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, 22 November 2000, Verbatim Record CR 2000/34, § 1.4.
In later pleadings, the Democratic Republic of the Congo made the point that:
The real test of the concept of universal jurisdiction is the genuine universalization of the prosecution of crime. Further, that is precisely the meaning intended by those who drafted Article 146 [of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV]. The idea was not that a single State should take responsibility for prosecuting and trying all international crimes. It was that all States should fulfil their obligation to search for, each on its own territory, the guilty parties, so that there is no territory left where they can escape judgment for their crimes … Yes, States do have an obligation of universal jurisdiction, which arises in response to another obligation, that of contributing to the suppression of international crimes. Naturally, however, there must be identifiable grounds for the latter obligation … We shall merely say that Article 146 [of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV] imposes a clear obligation on all States both to enact appropriate legislation and to search for persons having committed grave breaches of the said Conventions … The DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo] takes note of the fact that Belgium does not claim that it indicted the DRC’s Minister for Foreign Affairs when he was not present in the territory of Belgium as a result of an obligation on Belgium to do so. It is evident that the obligation of States to extend their universal jurisdiction to encompass the punishment of some international crimes does not go so far as to include such an eventuality. Neither legislation nor practice provides grounds for such an extension. Article 146 [of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV] without being fully explicit, would appear to confirm our view … It is therefore indeed the logic of international law which prevents the obligation on a State to establish its universal jurisdiction for the punishment of international crimes from being extended to encompass an obligation to exercise jurisdiction in all cases, including those in which the suspect is not present in its territory … Belgium agrees with the Democratic Republic of the Congo that in the present case universal jurisdiction is a freedom, not an obligation. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Oral pleadings before the ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, 16 October 2001, Verbatim Record CR 2001/6.
In its final oral pleadings, the Democratic Republic of the Congo stated:
When it comes to the international scope of domestic jurisdictions in criminal matters for acts committed abroad by foreigners, in particular in cases of international crimes, their competencies will necessarily run against the sovereignty of another State; such procedure must have a conventional or customary foundation authorising its action … [and that] the extension of such a competence to the hypothesis that the person concerned is not in the territory lacks a confirmed legal basis. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Oral pleadings before the ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, 19 October 2001, Verbatim Record CR 2001/10 (unofficial translation).
Egypt
Upon signature of the 1998 ICC Statute, Egypt declared: “No war criminal shall escape justice or escape prosecution in other legal jurisdictions.” 
Egypt, Declarations made upon signature of the ICC Statute, 26 December 2000, § 5.
El Salvador
In 1999, in its initial report to the Committee against Torture, the Government of El Salvador explained the reasons for universal jurisdiction over persons responsible for human rights violations and stated:
El Salvador accepts the general interest of the international community in seeking and prosecuting criminal offenders who commit acts against property protected internationally by specific agreements or rules of international law or acts seriously undermining universally recognized human rights. It therefore considers it permissible to seek this type of criminal within the national territory, thereby avoiding the difficulties which would ensue were El Salvador to become a country of asylum for criminals from other countries, and to prosecute offences against internationally recognized human rights, as occur in cases of torture when they are committed elsewhere. 
El Salvador, Initial Report to the Committee against Torture of 5 July 1999, UN Doc. CAT/C/37/Add.4, 12 October 1999, § 151.
France
In 1995, in a circular to Directors of Public Prosecution, Senior Public Prosecutors, First Presidents of Appellate Courts, and Presidents of County Courts commenting on the Act related to France’s participation in the repression of the crimes set out in Articles 2 to 5 of the 1993 ICTY statute and France’s cooperation with the ICTY, France’s Minister of Justice stated:
Article 2 of the Act stipulates the universal jurisdiction of the French judiciary with regard to the offences listed in Article 1 of this Act if the perpetrator or accomplice of these acts or omissions is on French territory.
The recognition of this universal jurisdiction, which was not required by the Security Council resolution [establishing the ICTY], constitutes an important innovation. …
It permits the application of French law with regard to any war criminal who tries to seek refuge on our territory, even if this person is not yet sought by the international tribunal. 
France, Circular by the Minister of Justice commenting on Act No. 95-1 of 2 January 1995 adapting French legislation to Security Council Resolution 827 which established the ICTY, 10 February 1995, Journal Officiel de la République Française, 21 February 1995, No. 44, p. 2757.
France
In 1996, in a circular to Directors of Public Prosecution, Senior Public Prosecutors, Public Prosecutors, First Presidents of Appellate Courts, Presidents of County Courts, and Magistrates commenting on the Act related to France’s participation in the repression of the crimes set out in the 1994 ICTR Statute and France’s cooperation with the ICTR, France’s Minister of Justice stated:
As was done by the Act of 2 January 1995 [which adapted French legislation to the establishment of the ICTY], the legislator gave the French judiciary the jurisdiction to adjudicate acts or omissions falling within the competence of the international tribunal for Rwanda (Article 2 of the Act of 22 May 1996) if the author of these acts or omissions is on French territory. 
France, Circular by the Minister of Justice commenting on Act No. 96-432 of 22 July 1995 adapting French legislation to Security Council Resolution 955 which established the ICTR, 22 May 1996, Journal Officiel de la République Française, 31 August 1996, No. 203.
France
In 2009, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of France stated:
Being aware of the practical problems that might be raised by the implementation [of universal jurisdiction] and particularly in light of the experience of certain States which were led to partially reconsider the matter, the senators chose to apply various conditions, in particular the requirement of a habitual residence in France of the perpetrator and for the monopoly of the prosecution by the public prosecutor after verification that no other international or national court requests the interested person’s surrender or extradition. A quasi-universal jurisdiction thus framed was considered acceptable by the government. 
France, Response from the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs to parliamentary written question No. 59178, Journal officiel de la République française, 27 October 2009, p. 10166.
Germany, Federal Republic of
In 1973, during a debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the protection of human rights in times of armed conflict, the Federal Republic of Germany declared: “The principle of universal jurisdiction should be reaffirmed in cases of grave breaches of the international rules applicable in armed conflicts.” 
Germany, Federal Republic of, Statement before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.6/28/SR.1452, 3 December 1973, § 43.
Germany
In 2005, in its Seventh Human Rights Policy Report submitted to the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament), Germany’s Federal Government stated:
On 30 June 2002 the German International Crimes Code (Völkerstrafgesetzbuch – VStGB) came into force. With it, Germany created the preconditions for the prosecution of the gravest human rights crimes also in Germany. Like the Rome Statute [of the International Criminal Court], the VStGB refers to the international law crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity …, as well as war crimes committed in the context of an international or non-international armed conflict. In the form of a comprehensive catalogue of about 70 sub-crimes, substantive German criminal law is adapted both to the Rome Statute and further generally accepted international law.
The principle of universal jurisdiction applies to the crimes of the VStGB (Section 1 VStGB). Accordingly, crimes can be prosecuted also if neither the perpetrator himself is a German national, nor the acts were committed in Germany or against German nationals, nor have any other link to Germany.
The principle of universal jurisdiction is an important element in fighting impunity for the gravest crimes against human rights. This, however, does not mean that Germany wants to take on the prosecution of all international crimes committed somewhere in the world. The principle of universal jurisdiction is rather the last resort, when other options are excluded. Criminal prosecution on the respectively competent national level retains precedence, which is usually also essential for coming to terms with events and reconciliation within a society. Therefore, in the Criminal Procedure Code (StPO) a complementary procedural provision to the VStGB was created (Section 153(f) StPO). This provision, first, in comparison to the general provisions applicable to acts committed abroad, contains additional requirements for the exercise of discretion when dispensing with criminal prosecutions. Second, it allows avoiding an overburdening of the German investigation resources by cases which do not promise any successful investigation. Furthermore, it was clarified that criminal prosecution by an international court or another – primarily competent – State, in particular the State where the crime was committed or the home State of the perpetrator or victim, is an important factor for dispensing with investigation proceedings in Germany. Apart from that, other possibilities to dispense with criminal prosecution or to discontinue proceedings according to the further provisions applicable to all criminal proceedings are retained.
The prosecutor competent for the prosecution of crimes under the International Crimes Code is the Federal Prosecutor General. Until the end of February 2005, 30 reports of alleged crimes under the International Crimes Code have been filed with him, none of which, however, has so far led to the initiation of investigations, because they were mostly committed before the International Crimes Code came into force, making prosecution impossible already because of the prohibition on retroactive application of the law. There were also cases in which the general rules on immunity apply, which especially are relevant with regard to members of governments. As for the rest, the Federal Prosecutor General dispensed with criminal prosecution in application of the complementary procedural provision of Section 153(f) of the Criminal Procedure Code already mentioned, insofar as the reported behaviour did not already obviously lack the capacity to fulfil elements of crimes under the International Crimes Code. 
Germany, Federal Government, Seventh Human Rights Policy Report, 17 June 2005, pp. 94–95.
Germany
In 2006, in a written reply to a question by a Member of the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament), a Parliamentary State Secretary of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Justice stated:
Since entry into force of the International Crimes Code Völkerstrafgesetzbuch – VStGB] on 30 June 2002, overall 58 (as of: 30 August 2006) reports of criminal conduct were filed with the Office of the Federal Prosecutor General … and examination proceedings initiated ex officio. The facts on which the reports were based concerned: in 19 cases the Iraq war (including incidents in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo), in 16 cases the Israel-Palestine conflict, in ten cases Chinese authorities (persecution of Falun Gong) as well as African, Caucasus-region and other States for reasons of persecution of own nationals.
So far, the Office of the Federal Prosecutor General has initiated investigation proceedings in one case, which concerns potential crimes in connection with the organization FDLR (Front Démocratique pour la Libération du Rwanda) in the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo]. In the other cases, an initiation of investigation proceedings was dispensed with. The reasons for this were, in essence, the inapplicability of the VStGB to events which took place before the VStGB entered into force, immunity of reported persons under international law, as well as the application of the complementary criminal procedure provision in Section 153 (f) of the Criminal Procedure Code with regard to acts purely committed abroad and no foreseeable chance of success of German investigation actions. 
Germany, Bundestag, Written questions with the replies by the Federal Government received in the week of 18 September 2006, Reply by Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, 15 September 2006, BT-Drs. 16/2692, 22 September 2006, p. 11.
Germany
In 2006, in a written reply to a question by a Member of the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament), a Parliamentary State Secretary of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Justice stated:
Until 15 November 2006, the Office of the Federal Prosecutor General has initiated two investigation proceedings because of the suspicion of crimes according to the International Crimes Code. The investigation proceedings in one case concern potential crimes in connection with the organization FDLR (Front Démocratique pour la Libération du Rwanda) in the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo]. The further investigation proceedings, initiated following the filing of a report of criminal conduct after the Federal Ministry of Justice had replied to the [earlier] written question conduct, concern the alleged detention and torture of persons not members of the army in the central US Military Confinement Center in Mannheim until the beginning of September 2006. 
Germany, Bundestag, Written questions with the replies by the Federal Government received in the week of 27 November 2006, Reply by Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, 23 November 2006, BT-Drs. 16/3710, 1 December 2006, pp. 13–14.
Germany
In 2007, in a written reply to a minor interpellation in the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament) entitled “Application of the International Crimes Code”, Germany’s Federal Government stated:
Preliminary remark by the Federal Government
As regards the provisions on the prosecution of international crimes created by the Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, two different regulation levels must be distinguished. Section 1 of the International Crimes Code [Völkerstrafgesetzbuch – VStGB] deals with the material application of the International Crimes Code, regardless of whether the offence was committed in Germany or has a link to Germany. On the level of procedural law, this principle of universal jurisdiction anchored in Section 1 of the International Crimes Code is flanked by the provision of Section 153 (f) of the Criminal Procedure Code [Strafprozessordnung – StPO].
Insofar as a foreign national accused of an offence committed abroad is not present in Germany and such a presence is not to be anticipated, a criminal prosecution in Germany will often not be very promising. In this case, Section 153 (f), paragraph 1, sentence 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code in principle leaves it to the discretion of the public prosecutor to conduct the criminal prosecution as far as possible or to dispense with it … Different criteria apply only if the suspect is a German national and a criminal prosecution has not been initiated by a primarily competent jurisdiction (Section 153 (f), paragraph 1, sentence 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code). If the offence has no link to Germany, if no suspect is present in Germany, if this is also not to be anticipated, and if the International Criminal Court or a directly and therefore primarily concerned State has taken on the prosecution, criminal prosecution in Germany can, according to the principle of subsidiarity, generally be dispensed with (Section 153 (f), paragraph 2, sentence 1 Criminal Procedure Code). This is different if, as regards an offence with no link to Germany and no prosecutions by a primarily competent jurisdiction, a future criminal prosecution (be it in Germany or abroad) could be prepared by measures serving the preservation of evidence.
Whether the conditions for initiating investigation proceedings or for preferring public charges are fulfilled, can, on the basis of these provisions, only be decided in the individual case.
This must be based on the requirements of national procedural law. The German Criminal Procedure Code provides, for example, that judicial criminal trials may, in principle, only be held with the accused present. A requirement for preferring public charges is therefore that the German criminal prosecution authorities can get hold of an accused. Furthermore, the International Crimes Code must be applicable ratione temporis to the offence and there must be no legal grounds hindering proceedings, such as for example immunity.
It needs to be pointed out that the aim of anchoring the principle of universal jurisdiction in the International Crimes Code is to deprive perpetrators of safe havens or to provide anticipatory legal assistance as regards criminal proceedings which can be conducted in a directly concerned State (cf. Kreß, Juristenzeitung 2006, pp. 982, 989). When creating the International Crimes Code, Germany by no means intended to presume the competence to prosecute international law crimes of the whole world (Kreß, l.c.).
In the situations relevant under international criminal law so far reported and examined, the conditions for the initiation of investigation proceedings predominantly were not fulfilled because either the International Crimes Code was not yet in force when the offence was committed, or there were legal grounds hindering proceedings, or the requirements of Section 153 (f) of the Criminal Procedure Code were given. 
Germany, Bundestag, Reply by the Federal Government to the Minor Interpellation by the Members Wolfgang Wieland, Jerzy Montag, Volker Beck (Cologne), further Members and the Parliamentary Group BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN – BT-Drs. 16/4099, Application of the International Crimes Code, BT-Drs. 16/4267, 5 February 2007, pp. 2–3.
Germany
In 2008, a representative of Germany stated before the Committee on the Rights of the Child during the consideration of the initial report of Germany under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict: “In accordance with the Code of Crimes against International Law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Germany recognized extraterritorial jurisdiction for the war crime of recruitment of children under the age of 15.” 
Germany, Statement by the delegation of Germany before the Committee on the Rights of the Child during the consideration of the initial report of Germany under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 24 January 2008, § 7.
Germany
In 2010, in reply to a Minor Interpellation in the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament) entitled “‘Goldstone Report’ on alleged war crimes during the Gaza war”, Germany’s Federal Government wrote:
11. How does the Federal Government evaluate the likelihood of criminal proceedings in case the Israeli and Palestinian authorities refuse to conduct independent investigations:
a) in European States based on the universality principle?,
b) based on a referral by the UN Security Council to the International Criminal Court?,
c) based on a declaration by the Palestinian authorities under Art. 12 paragraph 3 of the [1998] Rome Statute?
… [N]ational investigations are not being refused. 
Germany, Lower House of Federal Parliament (Bundestag), Reply by the Federal Government to the Minor Interpellation by the Members Annette Groth, Jan van Aken, Dr. Diether Dehm, further Members and the Parliamentary Group DIE LINKE, BT-Drs. 17/1361, 12 April 2010, p. 6.
Germany
In 2010, in its report on German human rights policy in the context of foreign relations and other policy areas between 1 March 2008 and 28 February 2010, which was submitted to the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament), Germany’s Federal Government stated:
Eight years after the entry into force of the VStGB [International Crimes Code], there is no general need to reform the law. § 1 of the Code establishes the universal application of its elements of crimes. Crimes can thus be prosecuted even if the offence was committed abroad and bears no relation to Germany. This does not mean, however, that Germany wishes to prosecute all offences committed somewhere in the world. Rather, the territorial State, State of origin of perpetrator and victim or an international tribunal willing to exercise jurisdiction should be given priority, as regulated in a special procedural rule (§ 153f Criminal Procedure Code StPO). This will also prevent that German investigation authorities are overwhelmed with cases which bear no relation to Germany and in which the initiation of investigation proceedings by German authorities does not promise to deliver any noteworthy results. 
Germany, Report by the Federal Government on its Human Rights Policy in the Context of Foreign Relations and in Other Policy Areas, 26 August 2010, p. 45.
The Federal Government further stated:
Based on an arrest warrant by the investigation judge at the Federal Court of Justice, the office of the federal prosecutor has had two Rwandese nationals arrested on 17 November 2009 who are strongly suspected of being criminally responsible for crimes against humanity and war crimes as members of the foreign terrorist group Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda [Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda] (FDLR). 
Germany, Report by the Federal Government on its Human Rights Policy in the Context of Foreign Relations and in Other Policy Areas, 26 August 2010, p. 46.
Germany
In 2010, in its report on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on “Women, Peace and Security” between July 2007 and July 2010 submitted to the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament), Germany’s Federal Government stated:
Resolution 1325 emphasizes that all States are responsible for ending impunity and for prosecuting those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, including in the context of sexual and other forms of violence against women and girls. Since 2002, the International Crimes code (VStGB) has been forming the criminal law basis in Germany for the protection of women and girls from genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, including sexual and other forms of violence against women and girls. The crimes listed in the VStGB can thus also be prosecuted if they were committed abroad and do not have any link to Germany. 
Germany, Report by the Federal Government on Measures to Implement Security Council Resolution 1325 “Women, Peace and Security”, 3 December 2010, p. 9.
Netherlands
In an explanatory memorandum on ratification of the 1984 Convention against Torture presented during the 1986–1987 Session of the Dutch Parliament, the Ministers of Justice and of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands declared that the mere fact that very severe offences that caused indignation and anxiety were involved could not in themselves justify the application of the principle of universal jurisdiction to such offences. Repression of these violations should be left to the States that had a tie with the person or the place where the crime was committed. If not, a tendency to interfere could emerge and criminal law was not considered to be the most suitable instrument to resolve political conflicts. 
Netherlands, Lower House of Parliament, Explanatory memorandum by the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the ratification of the 1984 Convention against Torture, 1986–1987 Session, Doc. 20 042, No. 3, pp. 5 and 6.
Netherlands
In 1999, in its third periodic report to the Committee against Torture, the Netherlands referred to its Criminal Law in Wartime Act as amended and to the 1997 ruling of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in the Knesevic case, and stated:
Anyone in the Netherlands who is suspected of war crimes can be prosecuted [there]. A special National War Criminals Investigation Team – the NOVO – has been set up to target not only crimes under the Criminal Law in Wartime Act, but other crimes against humanity as well, such as torture. 
Netherlands, Third periodic report to the Committee against Torture, 5 January 2000, UN Doc. CAT/C/44/Add.8, submitted 27 December 1999, § 15.
New Zealand
In 2009, in a statement before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, made on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the counsellor and legal adviser of Australia stated:
Universal jurisdiction is a long-established principle of international law. It vests in every State the competence to exercise, on behalf of the international community, criminal jurisdiction over those individuals responsible for the most serious crimes of international concern, no matter where those crimes occur. The principle first developed a[s] customary international law in relation to piracy to prevent pirates from enjoying impunity or safe haven. It has since been extended to include genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, slavery and torture.
The nature or exceptional gravity of these crimes renders their suppression a joint concern of all members of the international community. The principle of universal jurisdiction is an important mechanism through which the international community aims to ensure that individuals who commit these crimes do not enjoy safe haven anywhere in the world.
Primary responsibility for investigating and prosecuting serious international crimes, as with all crimes, rests with the State where the crime occurs. Where the territorial State establishes effective legal frameworks to prosecute and punish these crimes, the need for other States to assert jurisdiction is, as a practical matter, diminished. The territorial State is best placed to obtain evidence, secure witnesses and enforce sentences. And perhaps most importantly, it is also well placed to ensure that the “justice message” is delivered to affected communities.
However, it is a fact that many such crimes go unpunished, including through the movement of the accused to another country. Universal jurisdiction assists to cover that jurisdictional gap. With that in mind, we call upon all States to incorporate grave crimes into their domestic laws. We further call upon all States to provide each other with practical assistance to promote the rule of law and develop the capacity of domestic criminal justice systems to prosecute grave crimes. This is the front line in the fight against impunity and it should be our first priority.
Universal jurisdiction has a place in our collective system of criminal justice as a complementary mechanism to ensure an end to impunity.
On the rare occasion where a national court has asserted universal jurisdiction, State practice suggests that this has usually been due to a connecting link between the offence and the forum State, for example the presence of the accused on the territory of the forum State.
The national court should always exercise universal jurisdiction – and indeed all forms of extraterritorial jurisdiction – in good faith and in a manner consistent with other principles and rules of international law. This is essential to ensure that the desire to end impunity does not in itself generate an abuse of the principle.
National courts should at all times observe the minimum fair trial guarantees, including the right of the accused to be tried in his or her presence and without delay. Judicial independence and impartiality must be maintained to ensure that the principle is not manipulated for political ends.
In order to prevent impunity for these crimes, we encourage States, consistent with their international obligations and domestic practices, to cooperate to provide all available means of assistance, including mutual assistance, in order to ensure sufficient evidence for prosecution. By cooperating with national courts in prosecutions involving universal jurisdiction we all further our shared aim to end impunity. 
New Zealand, Statement by the counsellor and legal adviser of Australia before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, made on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, 20 October 2009.
Poland
In 2009, in its written replies to the Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning its initial report under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Poland stated:
Please provide information as to whether Poland assumes extraterritorial jurisdiction over the war crime of conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 into the armed forces or using them to participate actively in hostilities. Also in relation to extraterritorial jurisdiction, please indicate whether Polish courts can establish their jurisdiction in case of forced recruitment or involvement in hostilities of a person under 18 if committed outside Poland, by or against a Polish citizen. …
Poland also applies the principle of so-called universal jurisdiction. This principle is reflected in art. 113 of the Penal Code [Pc], that states that regardless of [the] regulations valid … [in the place where the] offence [was] committed, Polish penal law shall apply to … [any] foreigner who … [it has been decided will not] be extradited, in [the event that] … he commits an offence abroad that Poland is obliged to prosecute under international agreements.
In the light of current Polish penal regulations (art. 124 Pc), the forcing – against International law – of persons covered by international protection to join enemy armed forces, is considered a war crime. … In this case, the principle of universal jurisdiction should apply, because Poland is obliged to prosecute this crime by the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The provision in question would only apply to the cases of enlisting the children mentioned in the question, into enemy armed forces. It would not apply to recruitment of persons under 15 to own army. …
Regarding the second part of the question, it should be said that the possibility of exercising jurisdiction by Polish judiciary organs over offences (offences stated in the question included) … results from … [article] 1102 Pc, and the principle of universal jurisdiction.  
Poland, Written replies by the Government of Poland to the Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning the list of issues raised in connection with the initial report of Poland under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 17 September 2009, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/POL/Q/1/Add.1, § 7.
Senegal
In 2001, during a meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Senegal, in exercise of its right to reply, stated with regard to the Hissène Habré case:
Mr. Habré, who was in Senegal as a refugee, had been arrested and charged on 3 February 2000. He had been released, however, and the prosecution had not been pursued because it was found that the Senegalese courts were not competent to deal with the matter. The acts with which Mr. Habré was charged had been committed abroad and [the relevant provision of Senegalese criminal law] did not apply when an act was committed by a foreigner abroad, except where certain conditions were fulfilled. In the case in question, none of those conditions was fulfilled … The case in question did not … fall under article 5, paragraph 1, of [the 1984 Convention against Torture]. The [1968] Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity … was inapplicable to Senegal, which had not ratified it. The Indictment Division had withdrawn the prosecution on the basis of [the relevant provisions of Senegalese criminal law] according to which the national courts were not competent. That judgement had been confirmed by the Court of Cassation. 
Senegal, Statement of 6 April 2001 before the UN Commission on Human Rights, UN Doc. E/CN.4/2001/SR.43, 17 April 2001, §§ 78–79.
Senegal
In 2011, in its third periodic report to the Committee against Torture, Senegal stated:
I. Information on new measures and new developments relating to the implementation of the [1984] Convention [against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment]
Article 2 of the Convention
93. New legislative measures have been adopted to strengthen the law in this respect:
- Act No. 2007-02 of 12 February 2007 incorporated articles 431-1, 431-2, 431-3, 431-4 and 431-5 into the [1965 Penal] Code. These articles deal with the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes under international law, such as those covered by the Hague Conventions of 1954, 1976 and 1980, which had not previously been specified in the Code.
Article 5 of the Convention
Paragraph 2
114. By adopting Act No. 2007-05 of 12 February 2007, which amends the [1965] Code of Criminal Procedure, the State of Senegal has taken the necessary measures to establish the competency of the Senegalese criminal courts to try all acts of torture in cases where the alleged offenders are present in Senegalese territory if no order for their extradition has been issued.
115. In line with this law, any foreigner who has been accused of committing or aiding in the commission of any of the crimes mentioned in article 295-1 of the [Penal] Code [on the prohibition of torture and the acts that qualify as such] outside Senegalese territory may be tried under Senegalese law or laws applicable in Senegal if he or she is under Senegalese jurisdiction or if one of the victims resides in the territory of Senegal, or if the Government secures the alleged offender’s extradition.
II. Implementation of the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee
A. Compliance with the Committee’s conclusions and recommendations
178. The Committee had identified the following factors and difficulties impeding the application of the provisions of the Convention:
- At the normative level, the Committee notes the absence of regulations to ensure the effective implementation of the Convention
182. [T]here are some provisions of the Convention that, despite their immediate applicability, require the State party to adopt prior legislative or regulatory measures. Indeed, these provisions cannot be effectively implemented in the absence of measures to enforce them under domestic law. This was what led the Senegalese Court of Cassation to rule that no procedural text confers universal jurisdiction upon Senegalese courts to try presumed perpetrators of or accomplices to acts of torture who are found on Senegalese territory when those acts have been committed by foreigners outside Senegal.
183. Senegal has found a fitting solution to this problem by amending its legislation and incorporating certain provisions into the Code of Criminal Procedure. The universal jurisdiction of Senegalese courts regarding acts of torture is now recognized. (The aforementioned legislative reforms have been set out in extenso in the first part of this report.)
B. Compliance with the Committee’s decision concerning communication No. 181/2001
Recapitulation of facts and procedures
237. Mr. Hissène Habré, who was the President of the Republic of Chad from 1982 until 1990, was ousted on 1 December 1990. Following a stay in Cameroon, he moved to Senegal, where he has been ever since.
238. In January 2000, … and others submitted a complaint together with an application for indemnification to the senior examining judge of the Dakar special regional court …
239. On 3 February 2000, the senior examining judge indicted Mr. Hissène Habré …
241. On 4 July 2001, the Indictment Division dismissed the charges, thereby putting an end to the legal proceedings against him, on the grounds that the judge dealing with the case lacked jurisdiction.
242. On 20 November 2001, the Court of Cassation rejected the appeal lodged by the complainants on 7 July 2001 against the Indictment Division’s ruling of 4 July 2001, thus reaffirming that decision.
243. The Court of Cassation advanced the following reasoning for its decision:
Article 5, paragraph 2, of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted in New York on 10 December 1984, provides that each State party shall take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the offences set out in article 4 in cases where the alleged offender is present in any territory under its jurisdiction and it does not extradite him or her;
Consequently, article 79 of the Constitution cannot be applied since the implementation of the Convention requires Senegal to adopt prior legislative measures;
No procedural text confers universal jurisdiction upon Senegalese courts to try presumed perpetrators of or accomplices to acts covered by the legislation of 28 August 1996, which aligned Senegalese law with article 4 of the Convention, in cases where such persons are found on Senegalese territory if the acts in question were committed outside Senegal.
244. Subsequently, the victims brought the same case before the Belgian courts. On 19 September 2005, the Belgian examining judge, after an investigation that lasted for years, issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Habré. On the same day, Belgium sent an extradition request to Senegal.
245. On 25 November 2005, the Indictment Division of the Dakar Court of Appeal, in response to the request to extradite Mr. Hissène Habré to Belgium, concluded that it was not competent to do so for the following reasons.
246. “Article 101 of the Constitution of Senegal and the High Court of Justice Organization Act of 14 February 2002 instituted exceptional legal proceedings in respect of any proceedings against the President of the Republic.
247. The Indictment Division, as an ordinary court, cannot extend its jurisdiction to investigating and prosecuting a Head of State for acts allegedly committed during his or her time in office.
248. Therefore, the lack of jurisdiction must also exist in respect of the extradition request, since legal proceedings can only be instituted after basic inquiries have been made, which include having the accused appear in court and be questioned. … Mr. Hissène Habré’s immunity does not exempt him from criminal responsibility, however, but is merely procedural in nature, as in the case of the arrest warrant issued for Yoro Abdoulaye Ndombassi on 14 February 2002 by the International Court of Justice in the case involving the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Belgium.
249. This immunity remains in place even after a president ceases to hold office, regardless of his or her nationality or of the existence of any mutual assistance treaty.
250. It may be inferred from these comments that the Indictment Division lacks jurisdiction over cases concerning the legality of proceedings against a Head of State or the validity of an arrest warrant issued for a Head of State.”
251. In the light of that decision, Senegal referred the case to the African Union, which, on 2 July 2006, pursuant to the recommendations of a committee of eminent African jurists appointed in January 2006, requested Senegal to try Mr. Hissène Habré on behalf of Africa.
252. The request of the African Union was set forth in its decision 127(VII) (Doc.Assembly/AU/3), which states that it:
- “Consider[ed] 
Square brackets in original.
the Hissène Habré case as falling within the competence of the African Union
- Mandates the Republic of Senegal to prosecute and ensure that Mr. Hissène Habré is tried, on behalf of Africa, by a competent Senegalese court with guarantees for [a] 
Square brackets in original.
fair trial
- Further mandates the Chairperson of the Union, in consultation with the Chairperson of the Commission, to provide Senegal with the necessary assistance for the effective conduct of the trial
- Requests all the Member States to cooperate with the Government of Senegal on this matter
- Calls upon the international community to avail its support to the Government of Senegal”
253. Prior to the African Union’s adoption of this position, the complainants who had referred the case to the senior examining judge of the Dakar special regional court had, on 18 April 2001, also submitted a complaint to the Committee against Torture under article 22, paragraph 7, of the Convention against Torture. The Committee submitted its recommendations to the Government of Senegal on 17 May 2006.
259. In addition, the Committee, acting under article 22, paragraph 7, of the Convention, found that “the State party has violated article 5, paragraph 2, and article 7 of the Convention”.
260. It also noted that: “In accordance with article 5, paragraph 2, of the Convention, the State party is obliged to adopt the necessary measures, including legislative measures, to establish its jurisdiction over the acts referred to in the present communication.”
264. The State of Senegal has taken note of the decision.
265. Following the decision of the African Union, President Abdoulaye Wade made a solemn vow before his peers to have Mr. Hissène Habré prosecuted in Senegal.
266. This strong political commitment reaffirms the legal obligations entailed by the Convention against Torture, which Senegal ratified on 21 August 1987 and which is the legal basis for the proceedings against Mr. Hissène Habré.
267. On 23 November 2006, the Minister of Justice set up a committee to examine the matter and to propose the necessary legislative and institutional reforms.
268. Furthermore, the President of the Republic reiterated this undertaking at the official inauguration of the new judicial year on 10 January 2007.
269. All the necessary substantive and procedural legislative amendments have now been made to give full effect to the provisions of the Convention and to ensure that Mr. Hissène Habré can have a just, fair and speedy trial in Senegalese courts presided over by Senegalese judges.
Legislative reforms (see the first part of the present report for details)
270. Various pieces of legislation have been passed which amend, introduce and repeal certain provisions of the [Penal] Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure.
271. Act No. 2007-02 of 12 February 2007 incorporated articles 431-1, 431-2, 431-3, 431-4 and 431-5 into our [Penal] Code. These articles deal with genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes under international law, such as those mentioned in the Hague Conventions of 1954, 1976 and 1980, which had not previously been specified in the Code. …
273. Article 669 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been amended to read as follows: “Any foreign national who, outside the territory of the Senegal, is accused of perpetrating or acting as an accomplice to one of the crimes mentioned in articles 431-1 to 431-5 or a crime or offence mentioned in articles 279-1 to 279-3 or 295 of the [Penal] Code may be tried under Senegalese law or laws applying in Senegal, or if the Government secures that person’s extradition.” 
Senegal, Third periodic report to the Committee against Torture, 5 October 2011, UN Doc. CAT/C/SEN/3, submitted 9 February 2011, §§ 93, 114–115, 178, 182–183, 237–239, 241–253, 259–260, 264–271 and 273.
Switzerland
In 2005, in a report in response to a parliamentary postulate on private security and military companies, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
The [1949] Geneva Conventions and the [1984] UN Convention on Torture oblige the States Parties to prosecute serious infringements against both conventions. This obligation is based on the principle of universal jurisdiction and thus applies if the crime takes place in another country and is not against or by a national of that state.
Accordingly, under certain conditions, Swiss legislation considers cases of grave violations against the Geneva Conventions, genocide, other war crimes and torture as falling under Swiss criminal jurisdiction on the basis of the principle of universal jurisdiction. 
Switzerland, Report by the Swiss Federal Council on Private Security and Military Companies, 2 December 2005, Section 5.5.2.3, pp. 49–50; see also Section 4.5.3.1 pp. 33–35, Section 5.3.3, p. 46 and Section 6.1.4 pp. 54–55.
[footnotes in original omitted; emphasis in original]
Switzerland
In 2008, in its sixth periodic report to the Committee against Torture, Switzerland stated:
E. Universal jurisdiction
The military justice system has had occasion, on the basis of article 3 (1), sect. 9, and articles 108 to 114 of the Military Criminal Code, to prosecute and try alleged war criminals (violation of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949). During the reporting period, the military courts handled 25 such cases. Of the 14 cases concerning the former Yugoslavia, 11 were filed, one was dropped for lack of evidence, one went to trial and resulted in an acquittal in 1997 and one is still pending. Of the six cases concerning Rwanda, three were filed, two were transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and one ended in a conviction. Of the two cases concerning Sierra Leone, one was filed and the other was the subject of reciprocal judicial assistance. Three other cases concern two more countries (Congo and Côte d’Ivoire). 
Switzerland, Sixth periodic report to the Committee against Torture, 18 March 2009, UN Doc. CAT/C/CHE/6, submitted 2 July 2008, § 110.
Switzerland
In 2012, in its Report on Foreign Policy 2011, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
To increase its ability to prosecute perpetrators of the most serious crimes, [Switzerland] has proceeded to modifications of its penal code, which entered into force on 1 January 2011. The main modifications are … a more precise definition of war crimes … and the suppression of the condition of a “close link” concerning the exercise of universal jurisdiction for war crimes. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on Foreign Policy 2011, 18 January 2012, p. 2738.
[footnote in original omitted]
Switzerland
In 2012, in its combined second, third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Switzerland stated:
536. … As there were many objections to the criterion of a “close link”, the Federal Council decided to remove it when the laws on the implementation of the [1998] Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court were revised. A limited principle of universality has been established for prosecutions of war crimes, under which the suspected perpetrator must be present in Switzerland and there must be no prospect of extraditing him or her. Subsidiary procedural law measures must guarantee that Switzerland can suspend or terminate proceedings by default where there is no link with our country and no chance of success. There must, however, be a possibility of taking steps to preserve evidence so as to ensure that Switzerland does not give war criminals safe haven. The revision of article 10, paragraph 1bis to 1quater, of the Military Criminal Code was approved by the National Council with minor modifications in spring 2009 and entered into force on 1 January 2011. 
Switzerland, Combined second, third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 30 October 2013, UN Doc. CRC/C/CHE/2-4, submitted 19 July 2012, pp. 117–118.
[footnote in original omitted]
Switzerland
In 2012, in a statement during the opening session of the International Conference on the Protection of Cultural Property, the ambassador of Switzerland stated:
[O]ne of the main challenges – in all likelihood the main challenge – of international humanitarian law is lack of respect. As seen on many occasions, in times of armed conflicts, respect for the law is often weak. We firmly believe that in order to prevent future violations, there must be accountability for violations. Perpetrators of serious crimes must not go unpunished. Therefore, it was a primary objective of the Swiss delegation to include the principle of universal jurisdiction for grave breaches of provisions protecting cultural property in the draft of the Second Protocol. 
Switzerland, Statement by the ambassador of Switzerland during the opening session of the International Conference on the Protection of Cultural Property, Bern, 1 October 2012, p. 3.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1990, during a debate in the House of Commons on the subject of Cambodia, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs stated:
Under the auspices of the United Nations, a tribunal could be established [to try the Khmer Rouge] … Alternatively, Pol Pot and others could be brought to trial under the genocide convention, but the only courts with jurisdiction under that convention would be the Cambodian courts. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Hansard, 26 October 1990, Vol. 178, col. 690.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1991, during a debate in the House of Commons on the prosecution of crimes committed during the Gulf War, the UK Minister of State, Home Office, stated:
All the states involved in the Gulf conflict are parties to the Geneva convention of 1949. We took that convention into our own law in 1957. So we have a wide jurisdiction over war crimes committed anywhere in the world after 1957 under international law. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Statement by the Minister of State, Home Office, Hansard, 18 March 1991, Vol. 188, col. 112.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1991, during a debate in the House of Commons on the Middle East, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs stated:
Anyone who breaks the provisions of the Geneva conventions may be held liable … Machinery already exists under [the Geneva Conventions Act as amended (1957)] for prosecuting grave breaches of them. The three avenues are: first, a trial before Iraqi courts; secondly, extradition for trial before courts of another party to the conventions, including other Arab states; and thirdly, the possibility of special international tribunals. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Statement by the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Hansard, 28 March 1991, Vol. 188, col. 1100.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1993, in a written reply to a question in the House of Commons on the subject of the possibility of a war crimes tribunal or special genocide commission to investigate the actions of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs stated:
In the absence of an international tribunal with jurisdiction to try Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge for genocide, Pol Pot and his associates would have to be brought before a competent Cambodian court. It is therefore for the new Cambodian Government to decide whether to bring them to trial. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Reply to a question by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Hansard, 5 May 1993, Vol. 224, Written Answers, cols. 138–139.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2004, in a written answer to a question concerning, inter alia, the occupation of Iraq and compliance with international humanitarian law, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated:
Members of the United Kingdom Armed Forces and contractors are liable under both UK and international law for their conduct while on operations in Iraq …
Any breaches in the law are usually also offences against service law, and are tried under service discipline Acts, but may also be tried under ordinary criminal law, which includes the Geneva Convention Act 1957 and the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (which gives effect to the torture convention). Likewise, contractors would also be tried under ordinary criminal law if they were found to have abused Iraqis. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 30 June 2004, Vol. 663, Written Answers, col. WA35.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2008, in its written replies to the issues raised by the Committee on the Rights of the Child with regard to the UK’s initial report under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, the UK stated:
Under the [1949] Geneva Conventions, States Parties are obliged to bring before their domestic courts persons alleged to have committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, regardless of nationality. Section 1 of the [UK] Geneva Conventions Act 1957, as amended, provides that a person may be guilty of an offence, whatever his nationality, if they commit a grave breach of any of the scheduled Geneva Conventions or [the 1977] First Additional Protocol, whether in or outside the UK. 
United Kingdom, Written replies from the Government of the United Kingdom to the Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning the list of issues to be taken up in connection with the initial report of the United Kingdom under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 4 September 2008, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/GBR/Q/1/Add.1, submitted 1 September 2008, § 27.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2010, during a debate in the House of Commons, the UK Solicitor-General stated:
The criminal law in England and Wales is primarily territorial. That is to say, it applies to acts committed by people of any nationality who are in England and Wales, not ordinarily extending to offences committed outside its borders, even when committed by British citizens. There are exceptions, which are drawn case by case by Parliament. …
Exceptionally, some offences go further and apply to persons whatever their nationality and wherever the act was committed – for example, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions Act 1957, torture, and the taking of hostages. As a general principle, that exceptional jurisdiction is the result of international treaty obligations. This is universal jurisdiction. It is a vital part of our law, to which we are 100 per cent committed. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Statement by the Solicitor-General, Hansard, 28 January 2010, Vol. 504, Debates, col. 1019.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1946 on extradition and punishment of war criminals, the UN General Assembly recommended that:
Members of the United Nations forthwith take all the necessary measures to cause the arrest of those war criminals who have been responsible for or have taken a consenting part in [war crimes], and to cause them to be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done, in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of those countries. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3 (I), 13 February 1946, adopted without a vote.
The General Assembly called upon:
the governments of States which are not Members of the United Nations also to take all necessary measures for the apprehension of such criminals in their respective territories with a view to their immediate removal to the countries in which the crimes were committed for the purpose of trial and punishment according to the laws of those countries. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3 (I), 13 February 1946, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1970 on the question of the punishment of war criminals and of persons who have committed crimes against humanity, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all States to take measures, in accordance with recognized principles of international law, to arrest such persons and extradite them to the countries where they have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, so that they can be brought to trail and punished in accordance with the laws of those countries. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 2712 (XXV), 15 December 1970, § 2, voting record: 55-4-33-35.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1973 on principles of international cooperation in the detection, arrest, extradition and punishment of persons guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the UN General Assembly proclaimed that “persons against whom there is evidence that they have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity shall be subject to trial and, if found guilty, to punishment, as a general rule in the countries in which they have committed those crimes”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3074 (XXVIII), 3 December 1973, § 5, voting record: 94-0-29-12.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed “the obligation of the States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention under articles 146, 147 and 148 with regard to penal sanctions, grave breaches and responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/124, 10 December 2004, preamble, voting record: 149-7-22-13.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed “the obligation of the States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention under articles 146, 147 and 148 with regard to penal sanctions, grave breaches and responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/107, 8 December 2005, preamble, voting record: 148-7-17-19.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Acknowledging the fact that the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which entered into force on 1 July 2002, includes the most serious crimes of international concern under international humanitarian law, and that the Statute, while recalling that it is the duty of every State to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for such crimes, shows the determination of the international community to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of such crimes and thus to contribute to their prevention. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/30, 4 December 2006, preamble, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed “the obligation of the States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention under articles 146, 147 and 148 with regard to penal sanctions, grave breaches and responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/119, 14 December 2006, preamble, voting record: 157-9-14-12.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed “the obligation of the States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention under articles 146, 147 and 148 with regard to penal sanctions, grave breaches and responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/109, 17 December 2007, preamble, voting record: 156-7-11-18.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the elimination of rape and other forms of sexual violence in all their manifestations, including in conflict, the UN General Assembly:
Affirming the need for States to ensure that perpetrators of rape or other forms of sexual violence committed on their territory do not operate with impunity and that the perpetrators of such acts are brought to justice as provided for by national law and obligations under international law, and also affirming the need to penalize persons in authority found guilty of sexually assaulting victims. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/134, 18 December 2007, preamble, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on the situation of human rights in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and theFederal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), the UN Commission on Human Rights expressed its concern over:
Continuing unauthorized arrests by all parties of persons suspected of serious violations of international humanitarian law, despite the parties’ agreement in Rome on 18 February 1996 that such arrests would be made only after the [ICTY] had reviewed and approved orders of arrest as consistent with international legal standards. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1996/71, 23 April 1996, § 3(c), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1999 on the situation in Sierra Leone, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Reminds all factions and forces in Sierra Leone that in any armed conflict, including an armed conflict not of an international character, the taking of hostages, wilful killing and torture or inhuman treatment of persons taking no active part in the hostilities constitute grave breaches of international humanitarian law, and that all countries are under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches and to bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before their own courts. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1999/1, 6 April 1999, § 2, adopted without a vote.
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on Rwanda, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights deplored the fact that the efforts of the international community were still inadequate, “whereas the duty of trying those responsible for the genocide and war crimes does not devolve solely on the Government of Rwanda”.  
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1995/5, 18 August 1995, § 3.
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on Rwanda, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights urged all States in whose territory there were persons allegedly responsible for acts of genocide to arrest those persons so that they could be tried by their own competent courts or extradited at the request of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda or the Rwandan authorities. 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1996/3, 19 August 1996, § 6.
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2000 on the role of universal or extraterritorial competence in preventive action against impunity, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights recalled “the principle of universal jurisdiction for crimes against humanity and for war crimes as recognized in international law and practice”. 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2000/24, 18 August 2000, preamble.
UN Secretary-General
In 1999, in a report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the UN Secretary-General recommended that the UN Security Council urge member States
to adopt national legislation for the prosecution of individuals responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Member States should initiate prosecution of persons under their authority or on their territory for grave breaches of international humanitarian law on the basis of the principle of universal jurisdiction and report thereon to the Security Council. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, UN Doc. S/1999/957, 8 September 1999, § 6.
UN Secretary-General
In 2001, in a report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the UN Secretary-General pointed out that “a growing number of States have started to apply the principle of universal jurisdiction”. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, UN Doc. S/2001/331, 30 March 2001, § 12.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
In 1998, in the conclusions and recommendations of his report on the question of the human rights of all persons subjected to any form of detention or imprisonment, in particular, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights on Torture stated:
229. … In respect of the crimes under consideration, such as torture, universal jurisdiction is applicable, that is, jurisdiction exercised on the basis simply of custody.
230. As regards grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and acts of torture committed in a State party to the [1984 Convention against Torture], States are required to bring to justice any perpetrators they find within their jurisdiction, regardless of their nationality or that of their victim(s) or of where they committed the crime, if they do not extradite them to another country wishing to exercise jurisdiction.
231. In respect of other pertinent crimes under international law, States are in any event permitted to exercise such jurisdiction …
232. The Special Rapporteur, therefore, urges all States to review their legislation with a view to ensuring that they can exercise criminal jurisdiction over any person in their hands suspected of torture or, indeed, of any crime falling within the notions of war crimes or crimes against humanity as understood above. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on Torture, Fifth report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1998/38, 24 December 1997, §§ 229–232.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
In 1996, in a presentation to the sessional Working Group of the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights on the Administration of Justice and the Question of Compensation, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights on the (then still draft) Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Violations of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law stated:
The notion of and term “universal jurisdiction” contained in principle 5 related to crimes under international law, namely crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Relevant instruments provided for universal jurisdiction. 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Sessional Working Group on the Administration of Justice and the Question of Compensation, Report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1996/16, 13 August 1996, § 28.
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992)
In 1994, in its final report on grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of IHL committed in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992) stated:
42. … In general, unless the parties to an internal armed conflict agree otherwise, the only offences committed in internal armed conflict for which universal jurisdiction exists are “crimes against humanity” and genocide, which apply irrespective of the conflict’s classification.
45. “Grave breaches” are specified major violations of international humanitarian law which may be punished by any State on the basis of universal jurisdiction. Grave breaches are listed in article 50 [of the 1949 Geneva Convention I], article 51 [of the 1949 Geneva Convention II], article 130 [of the 1949 Geneva Convention III], and article 147 [of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV]. Grave breaches are also listed in articles 11, paragraph 4, and 85 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol I]. 
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), Final report, UN Doc. S/1994/674, 27 May 1994, §§ 42 and 45.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a resolution on enforced disappearances adopted in 1984, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly called on the governments of member States to support the preparation and adoption by the UN of a declaration on enforced disappearances setting forth the following principle: “Persons responsible for enforced disappearance may be prosecuted not only in the country in which the offence was committed, but in any country in which they have been arrested.” 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Res. 828, 26 September 1984, § 13.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a recommendation adopted in 1999 concerning respect for IHL in Europe, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly stated:
No international tribunal can take the place of states in meeting their obligation to ensure the proper enforcement of international humanitarian law in regard to persons committing violations of that law, ordering others to commit them or condoning these actions, wherever they take place and irrespective of the nationality of their author. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rec. 1427, 23 September 1999, § 6.
No data.
International Court of Justice
In its decision in the Arrest Warrant case in 2002, the ICJ did not rule on the issue of universal jurisdiction as such in the operative part of the judgment because of the final form of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s submissions and because Belgium had referred to the non ultra petita principle. 
ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, Judgment, 14 February 2002, § 43.
However, in various separate and dissenting opinions and declarations, judges of the Court expressed their own views on the matter. As far as universal jurisdiction in absentia for war crimes and crimes against humanity was concerned, except for the question of possible immunities, five of the judges giving a separate or dissenting opinion thereby clearly expressing themselves in favour of the right of States to prosecute persons even if they were not present on their territory. 
ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, Judgment, 14 February 2002, Separate opinion of Judge Koroma, §§ 7 and 9; Joint separate opinion of Judges Higgins, Kooijmans and Buergenthal, §§ 52 and 61; Dissenting opinion of Judge ad hoc Van den Wyngaert, § 51.
Four others took the view that a right of States to exercise such a universal jurisdiction without any territorial link did not (yet) exist. 
ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, Judgment, 14 February 2002, Separate opinion of President Guillaume, §§ 9 and 12; Declaration of Judge Ranjeva, §§ 5 and 9; Separate opinion of Judge Rezek, § 6; Separate opinion of Judge ad hoc Bula-Bula, § 74.
In his separate opinion, President Guillaume stated that “universal jurisdiction in absentia is unknown to international conventional law” and that the same would be true for international customary law. 
ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, Judgment, 14 February 2002, Separate opinion of President Guillaume, §§ 9 and 12.
In his declaration, Judge Ranjeva stated that, even if the text of the judgment left the question open, it did not seem to him that the law permitted the exercise of universal jurisdiction in the absence of a territorial or personal active or passive connection. However, he also stated:
Without any doubt, the evolution in the contemporary world of political ideas and conditions were favourable to the weakening of the territorial approach to the jurisdiction and to the emergence of a more functional approach in the meaning of serving a superior common goal. 
ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, Judgment, 14 February 2002, Declaration of Judge Ranjeva, §§ 2, 5 and 9.
In his separate opinion, Judge Rezek stated that universal jurisdiction without any territorial link was not authorized by today’s international law. He stated that there would be no customary law “in formation” deriving from the isolated action of one State. 
ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, Judgment, 14 February 2002, Separate opinion of Judge Rezek, § 6.
Judge ad hoc Bula-Bula, while stating that the principle of so-called universal jurisdiction could not seriously be contested in the terms of the relevant provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, was of the same opinion and furthermore found that Article 129, second paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III did not envisage jurisdiction in absentia. 
ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, Judgment, 14 February 2002, Separate opinion of Judge ad hoc Bula-Bula, §§ 74 and 75.
In his dissenting opinion, Judge Oda stated:
It is one fundamental principle that a State cannot exercise its jurisdiction outside its territory. However, the past few decades have seen a gradual widening in the scope of the jurisdiction to prescribe law … The scope of extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction has been expanded over the past few decades … Belgium is known for taking the lead in this field and its [Law concerning the Repression of Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols as amended (1993)] may well be at the forefront of a trend. There is some national case law and some treaty-made law evidencing such a trend.
Judge Oda stated, however, that “the law is not sufficiently developed”. 
ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, Judgment, 14 February 2002, Dissenting opinion of Judge Oda, §§ 12 and 13.
In their joint separate opinion, Judges Higgins, Kooijmans and Buergenthal stated:
There are … certain indications that a universal criminal jurisdiction for certain international crimes is clearly not regarded as unlawful. The duty to prosecute under those treaties which contain the aut dedere aut prosequi provisions opens the door to a jurisdiction based on the heinous nature of the crime rather than on links of territoriality or nationality (whether as perpetrator or victim). The 1949 Geneva Conventions lend support to this possibility, and are widely regarded today as reflecting customary international law. 
ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, Judgment, 14 February 2002, Joint separate opinion of Judges Higgins, Kooijmans and Buergenthal, § 46.
These judges also found that the ICJ judgment in the Lotus case supported the lawfulness of the exercise of universal jurisdiction in absentia. However, they found that it was necessary that “universal criminal jurisdiction be exercised only over those crimes regarded as the most heinous by the international community”. Besides piracy, “war crimes … may be added to the list”. 
ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, Judgment, 14 February 2002, Joint separate opinion of Judges Higgins, Kooijmans and Buergenthal, §§ 49 and 60–61.
In addition, the judges considered that crimes against humanity as defined in the 1996 ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind fell within this “small category [of acts] in respect of which an exercise of universal jurisdiction is not precluded under international law”. 
ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, Judgment, 14 February 2002, Joint separate opinion of Judges Higgins, Kooijmans and Buergenthal, § 65.
Judge Koroma, in his separate opinion, stated that “the judgement implies that while Belgium can initiate criminal proceedings in its jurisdiction against anyone”, it would have to abide by the rules on immunities. He further stated: “In my considered opinion, today, together with piracy, universal jurisdiction is available for certain crimes, such as war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the slave trade and genocide.” 
ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, Judgment, 14 February 2002, Separate opinion of Judge Koroma, §§ 7 and 9.
Judge ad hoc Van den Wyngaert stated in her dissenting opinion: “It follows from the “Lotus” case that a State has the right to provide extraterritorial jurisdiction on its territory unless there is a prohibition under international law.” She stated that neither conventional nor customary law prohibited the exercise of universal jurisdiction in absentia and concluded:
International law clearly permits universal jurisdiction for war crimes and crimes against humanity … For crimes against humanity, there is no clear treaty provision on the subject but it is accepted that, at least in the case of genocide, States are entitled to assert extraterritorial jurisdiction. In the case of war crimes, however, there is specific conventional international law in support of the proposition that States are entitled to assert jurisdiction over acts committed abroad: the relevant provision is Article 146 [of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV], which lays down the principle aut dedere aut judicare for war crimes committed against civilians. 
ICJ, Arrest Warrant case, Judgment, 14 February 2002, Dissenting opinion of Judge ad hoc Van den Wyngaert, §§ 51–59.
[emphasis in original]
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Furundžija case in 1998, the ICTY Trial Chamber held:
Furthermore, at the individual level, that is, that of criminal liability, it would seem that one of the consequences of the jus cogens character bestowed by the international community upon the prohibition of torture is that every State is entitled to investigate, prosecute and punish or extradite individuals accused of torture, who are present in a territory under its jurisdiction. Indeed, it would be inconsistent on the one hand to prohibit torture to such an extent as to restrict the normally unfettered treaty-making power of sovereign States, and on the other hand bar States from prosecuting and punishing those torturers who have engaged in this odious practice abroad. This legal basis for States’ universal jurisdiction over torture bears out and strengthens the legal foundation for such jurisdiction found by other courts in the inherently universal character of the crime. It has been held that international crimes being universally condemned wherever they occur, every State has the right to prosecute and punish the authors of such crimes. 
ICTY, Furundžija case, Judgment, 10 December 1998, § 156.
ICRC
In 1997, in a statement before the Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, the ICRC stated:
Under the existing principle of universal jurisdiction, any State has the right to prosecute persons alleged to have committed war crimes and no consent is required from any other States. This principle simply reaffirms the fundamental notion that war criminals are not immune from prosecution; those responsible for the commission of war crimes are accountable for their acts and must be brought to justice. 
ICRC, Statement before the Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, New York, 4–15 August 1997.
American Law Institute
The Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States, adopted and promulgated by the American Law Institute in 1986, provides:
A state has jurisdiction to define and prescribe punishment for certain offenses recognized by the community of nations as of universal concern, such as piracy, slave trade, attacks on or hijacking of aircraft, genocide, war crimes, and perhaps certain acts of terrorism, even where none of the bases of jurisdiction indicated in § 402 [Bases of Jurisdiction to Prescribe] is present. 
The American Law Institute, Restatement Third. Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States, American Law Institute Publishers, St. Paul, 1987, § 404.
Human Rights Watch
In 1993, in a Memorandum on the War Crimes Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, Human Rights Watch considered that the establishment of the ad hoc international tribunal solely on the basis of the UN Security Council’s mandate and not on universal jurisdiction would undermine the recognition of the tribunal in the future. 
Human Rights Watch, Memorandum on the War Crimes Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, New York, 26 April 1993, pp. 5 and 6.
Hague Appeal for Peace Conference
The Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21st Century, adopted at the Hague Appeal for Peace Conference in 1999, states:
15. … It is now generally recognized that war crimes, crimes against the peace and violations of universally recognized human rights principles are matters of global rather than merely national concern … Civil society and domestic courts must do their part, as those of Spain are endeavoring to do in the case of Pinochet. The Hague Appeal will call upon national legislative and judicial systems worldwide to incorporate the principle of universal jurisdiction for such crimes as well as torts into their laws in order to ensure that serious violations of human rights, especially against children, are not treated with impunity.
20. Recent trends in national and regional litigation and prosecution make it possible for victims of gross human rights and humanitarian law violations to hold abusers accountable. This right exists in some domestic courts and regional tribunals, including the European and Inter-American Courts of Human Rights, and has led to litigation against members of the private sector, such as mercenaries and arms manufacturing and other corporations. The Hague Appeal for Peace will advocate for the extension of this right throughout the international legal order.  
Hague Appeal for Peace Conference, Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21st Century, May 1999, Points 15 and 20.
Human Rights Watch
In 2000, in a report entitled “The Pinochet Precedent. How Victims Can Pursue Human Rights Criminals Abroad”, Human Rights Watch identified the crimes in respect of which international law recognized universal jurisdiction. In its discussion of war crimes, the report stated:
Serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, even if not considered “grave breaches” of the [1949] Geneva Conventions, probably also give rise to universal jurisdiction, allowing but not always requiring a state to prosecute those responsible … In recent years, the concept of war crimes has been extended to internal conflicts as well, giving third states the right (but not necessarily the duty) to exercise universal jurisdiction. 
Human Rights Watch, The Pinochet Precedent: How Victims Can Pursue Human Rights Criminals Abroad, New York, March 2000, p. 7.
Institute of International Law
In a resolution adopted at its Berlin Session in 1999, the Institute of International Law stated:
The competent authorities of a State on the territory of which is found a person against whom is alleged a serious violation of international humanitarian law committed in a non-international armed conflict are entitled to prosecute and try such a person before their courts; they are urged to do so. 
Institute of International Law, Berlin Session, Resolution on the Application of International Humanitarian Law and Fundamental Human Rights in Armed Conflicts in which Non-State Entities are Parties, 25 August 1999, § VIII.
International Law Association
In 2000, in its Final Report on the Exercise of Universal Jurisdiction in Respect of Gross Human Rights Offences, the International Law Association’s Committee on International Human Rights Law and Practice stated:
Parties to the Geneva Conventions are required to enact legislation to enable them to try persons alleged to have committed such offences, regardless of their nationality, to search for and prosecute such offenders and to assist each other in criminal proceedings in connection with these offences. The exercise of universal jurisdiction is not permissive but clearly mandatory … [Serious violations of Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed conflicts not of an international character] have traditionally not been considered as criminal offences that are subject to universal jurisdiction. However, there is increasing support for the view that this position is no longer tenable. The atrocities committed during the armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda have obviously contributed to this shift … It is difficult to see why domestic courts would not have the competence to try these same offences on the basis of universal jurisdiction … It is fair to assume … that [Article 8 of the 1998 ICC Statute] will also be regarded as an authoritative pronouncement on the violations of the law of war that qualify as war crimes under customary international law. A corollary then is that these offences are covered by the principle of universal jurisdiction. 
International Law Association, Committee on International Human Rights Law and Practice, Final Report on the Exercise of Universal Jurisdiction in Respect of Gross Human Rights Offences, Report of the 69th Conference, London, 25–29 July 2000, pp. 408–409.
Princeton Principles on Universal Jurisdiction
The Princeton Principles on Universal Jurisdiction, adopted by an expert meeting convened by the Princeton Project on Universal Jurisdiction at Princeton University in 2001, states:
1. For purposes of these Principles, universal jurisdiction is criminal jurisdiction based solely on the nature of the crime, without regard to where the crime was committed, the nationality of the alleged or convicted perpetrator, the nationality of the victim, or any other connection to the state exercising such jurisdiction.
2. Universal jurisdiction may be exercised by a competent and ordinary judicial body of any state in order to try a person duly accused of committing serious crimes under international law as specified in Principle 2(1), provided the person is present before such judicial body.
3. A state may rely on universal jurisdiction as a basis for seeking the extradition of a person accused or convicted of committing a serious crime under international law as specified in Principle 2(1) provided that it has established a prima facie case of the person’s guilt and that the person sought to be extradited will be tried or the punishment carried out in accordance with international norms and standards on the protection of human rights in the context of criminal proceedings.
4. In exercising universal jurisdiction or in relying upon universal jurisdiction as a basis for seeking extradition, a state and its judicial organs shall observe international due process norms including but not limited to those involving the rights of the accused and victims, the fairness of the proceedings, and the independence and impartiality of the judiciary (hereinafter referred to as “international due process norms”).
5. A state shall exercise universal jurisdiction in good faith and in accordance with its rights and obligations under international law. 
Princeton Principles on Universal Jurisdiction, adopted by an expert meeting convened by the Princeton Project on Universal Jurisdiction, Princeton University, 27 January 2001, Principle 1.