ICRC Explainer: What does International Law say about Universal Jurisdiction for War Crimes Committed in Non-International Armed Conflicts?

30 August 2022

The principle of 'universal jurisdiction' entitles a state to prosecute offenders even in the absence of any link between the crime committed and the prosecuting state. It is based on the notion that certain crimes are so grave that they affect the international community as a whole, and that every state therefore has an interest in prosecuting them. The rationale of universal jurisdiction is to avoid impunity and to prevent those who commit such crimes from finding a safe haven in third countries.

Universal Jurisdiction in NIAC