This article deals with the relationship between the principle of universal jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of the ICC. Voices have been raised to expand the jurisdictional basis of the ICC's Rome Statute to include the universality principle. The author does not support this expansion, however, mainly on practical grounds. At the same time, however, he does support, albeit cautiously, taking into account the universality principle for purposes of the admissibility analysis under Article 17 of the Statute. The ICC's principle of complementarity indeed requires that the ICC defer to any state that might have jurisdiction, including a state having universal jurisdiction over serious crimes. It is proposed that the ICC Prosecutor encourage certain "bystander" states that can provide an effective forum to investigate and prosecute atrocity cases, at least if the territorial state, or the state of nationality, proves unable and unwilling to do so.
- ©© 2009 by the Regents of the University of California