Practice Relating to Rule 157. Jurisdiction over War Crimes
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.
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’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.