New Guide to Law on Universal Jurisdiction in England and Wales


A new briefing paper, Universal Jurisdiction Law and Practice in England and Wales, providing an overview of the national legal framework on universal jurisdiction in England and Wales, is now available. Developed in collaboration with TRIAL International and the Open Society Justice Initiative, the paper is based on desk research and interviews with national practitioners, and forms part of a series of briefing papers from selected jurisdictions.  

Universal jurisdiction allows for the prosecution of crimes committed on foreign territory by persons who are not nationals of the jurisdiction in question. Focusing on the international crimes of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and enforced disappearance, the briefing paper provides legal practitioners and civil society actors with an in-depth analysis of the national laws and practices of domestic authorities.  

Universal jurisdiction is a complex yet crucial tool in the fight against impunity. In 2021, there were trials of international crimes ongoing in 16 different jurisdictions, and 13 countries have launched investigations into crimes committed in Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict. Together, the series of briefing papers aims to build the knowledge and capacity of practitioners to fight impunity by bringing cases under the framework of universal jurisdiction.