Universal Jurisdiction

"Universal jurisdiction" refers to the authority of national judicial systems to investigate and prosecute certain of the most serious crimes under international law no matter where they were committed, and regardless of the nationality of the suspects or their victims. Cases brought under this principle are an increasingly important part of international efforts to hold those responsible for atrocities accountable, provide justice to victims who have nowhere else to turn, deter future crimes, and help ensure that countries do not become safe havens for human rights abusers.