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Complementarity and the Exercise of Universal Jurisdiction for Core International Crimes [Hardcover]

Morten Bergsmo
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £11.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Aug 2010
This book concerns the relationship between the principles of complementarity and universal jurisdiction. Territorial States are normally affected most strongly by core international crimes committed during a conflict or an attack directed against its civilian population. Most victims reside in such States. Most damaged or plundered property is there. Public order and security are violated most severely in the territorial States. It is also on their territory that most of the evidence of the alleged crimes can be found. There are, in other words, obvious policy and practical reasons why States should accord priority to territoriality as a basis of jurisdiction. But is there also an obligation for States to defer exercise of universal jurisdiction of core international crimes to investigation and prosecution of the same crimes by the territorial State? What - if any - is the impact of the principle of complementarity in this respect? These are among the questions discussed in this anthology.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Forum for Int (1 Aug 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 8293081147
  • ISBN-13: 978-8293081142
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,365,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By AC
I teach international criminal law as permanent and visiting faculty in various jurisdictions and universities (Southeast Asia, France, UK), and have used this as part of my course materials since its online publication.

The first few chapters provide a comprehensive introduction to the notion of complementarity and jurisdictional principles. More importantly, the chapters challenge commonly accepted international criminal law concepts of complementarity and jurisdiction. They go beyond critical analysis of what the law is to exploring what the law should be. For example, some authors question whether there should be priority given to territorial states over those exercising universal jurisdiction, and, if so, on what basis such decisions should be made.

The ideas in each of these chapters are clearly expressed and represent a variety of views. The book is excellent teaching material as it pushes students to critically challenge conventions and imaginatively consider possibilities. I would very highly recommend it if you are looking for something beyond your usual textbook or commentary which sets out the law, and looking for something that pushes boundaries.

Another two books from this series that I would highly recommend as essential for scholars and practitioners are:

1. Criteria for Prioritizing and Selecting Core International Crime Cases: a rare book that combines scholarly rigour with fundamental practical knowledge. It is unrealistic to prosecute all perpetrators of mass violence, and this book descries and evaluates the criteria used in diverse jurisdictions (e.g. Argentina, Serbia, Croatia, Indonesia, etc.) to organise and prioritise investigations and prosecutions.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent course material and creative scholarship 7 Dec 2011
By AC - Published on Amazon.com
I teach international criminal law as permanent and visiting faculty in various jurisdictions and universities (Southeast Asia, France, UK), and have used this as part of my course materials since its online publication.

The first few chapters provide a comprehensive introduction to the notion of complementarity and jurisdictional principles. More importantly, the chapters challenge commonly accepted international criminal law concepts of complementarity and jurisdiction. They go beyond critical analysis of what the law is to exploring what the law should be. For example, some authors question whether there should be priority given to territorial states over those exercising universal jurisdiction, and, if so, on what basis such decisions should be made.

The ideas in each of these chapters are clearly expressed and represent a variety of views. The book is excellent teaching material as it pushes students to critically challenge conventions and imaginatively consider possibilities. I would very highly recommend it if you are looking for something beyond your usual textbook or commentary which sets out the law, and looking for something that pushes boundaries.

Another two books from this series that I would highly recommend as essential for scholars and practitioners are:

1. Criteria for Prioritizing and Selecting Core International Crime Cases: a rare book that combines scholarly rigour with fundamental practical knowledge. It is unrealistic to prosecute all perpetrators of mass violence, and this book descries and evaluates the criteria used in diverse jurisdictions (e.g. Argentina, Serbia, Croatia, Indonesia, etc.) to organise and prioritise investigations and prosecutions. Highlights invaluable and little-known challenges and lessons for future prosecutions.

2. Importing Core International Crimes into National Law: This is another gem of scholarship that is particularly relevant given contemporary discourse on positive complementarity. It analyse the different approaches taken by States (e.g. Norway, Germany, Canada) towards criminalising core international crimes. It avoids advocating one-size-fits-all approach. Particularly interesting is its reference to how some States have adopted a flexible and creative 'dynamic transcription' of core international crimes that is 'not fully consistent with convention of customary international law' (p. 9). Truly innovative and refreshing.
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