New report on universal jurisdiction signals momentum towards accountability

In their annual report Make way for justice #4, REDRESS and its partners TRIAL InternationalFIDHECCHRREDRESS and FIBGAR illustrate the international momentum towards accountability through 58 cases, involving 126 suspects.

The principle of universal jurisdiction enables States to prosecute alleged perpetrators of international crimes such as genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity, regardless of their nationality or where the crime was committed.

A significant number of States have set up specialized war crimes units which have tightened the net on war criminals. In 2017 alone, these units investigated, prosecuted or brought to justice 126 suspects of the gravest crimes. Of those individuals, 13 have already been convicted.

The Make way for Justice #4 report also finds that war crimes units that successfully fight against impunity usually have sufficient resources and staff. They also enjoy a high degree of autonomy as well as specialized and diversified State expertise from departments such as the police or immigration.

Cooperation is also key to have more effective investigations. At the heart of this coordination are initiatives like the Genocide Network, the European Investigation Order and coorperation with Europol.