The emergence of “universal jurisdiction” in response to Somali piracy: an empirically informed critique of international law’s “paradigmatic” universal jurisdiction crime

Garrod, Matthew (2019) The emergence of “universal jurisdiction” in response to Somali piracy: an empirically informed critique of international law’s “paradigmatic” universal jurisdiction crime. Chinese Journal of International Law, 18 (3). pp. 551-643. ISSN 1540-1650

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to SRO admin only until 15 November 2021.

Download (727kB)

Abstract

Since the 1980s, the idea that piracy is the “original” and “paradigmatic” universal jurisdiction crime in customary international law has been increasingly supported by weighty scholarship. In the wake of the unprecedented surge in Somali piracy, this view is gaining ground among various powerful actors in international law. Yet, remarkably little empirically grounded scholarship exists in support of universal jurisdiction. This Article provides the first comprehensive empirical analysis of state practice in response to Somali piracy in a ten-year period since 2006. Additionally, the data on Somali piracy are compared with the empirical findings of state practice regarding international crimes, which are more “heinous” than piracy, since the end of World War II to 2016. In so doing, this Article brings new insight and the first thorough critique of what virtually most scholars, governments, the UN and even the International Court of Justice have said on universal jurisdiction, its purpose and the basis for it in international law. In view of inter-state tensions and conflict caused by universal jurisdiction and a move towards law codification, there is now a pressing need for a paradigm shift in the concept of universal jurisdiction for both piracy and international crimes, a step away from conventional scholarly accounts, and the grand narratives from which they proceed, to a position that has a solid basis in the actual practice of states. Empirically and historically informed, it is proposed that “universal jurisdiction” for both categories of crime provides a basis in international law permitting the exercise national criminal jurisdiction over offences involving foreign nationals abroad that have a close nexus between the case over which jurisdiction is asserted and the state asserting jurisdiction. Common and traditionally held assumptions that universal jurisdiction is based solely on the grave nature of crimes and is applied by states absent any nexus to offences and in the interest of the international community are unfounded.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Depositing User: Joshua Jenkin
Date Deposited: 21 May 2019 08:58
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2019 09:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/83892

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update