International Law

International Law

International Law 4th Edition (2009) Carolina Academic Press Professor Valerie Epps Copyright: Valerie Epps 2009 All Rights Reserved Copyright (c) 2009 Valerie Epps. All Rights Reserved. Arrest Warrant Case (Congo v. Belgium) 2002 I.C.J. 3 What crimes did the arrest warrant issued by Belgium accuse Yerodia of committing? What was the basis for Belgiums assertion of jurisdiction over Yerodia? Who was Yerodia and where did his alleged crimes

take place? Against whom were the alleged crimes committed? The ICJ upheld the right of immunity for Yerodia (see the ICJ immunity decision at pp. 164ff.) so it did not discuss the basis of Belgiums jurisdiction, although several separate opinions did so. Copyright (c) 2009 Valerie Epps. All Rights Reserved. Arrest Warrant Case: Joint Separate Opinion of Judges Higgins, Kooijmans & Buergenthal These judges thought the Court should have ruled on the legitimacy of Belgiums jurisdiction before considering the issue of immunity and noted that the arrest warrant must have been based on universal jurisdiction as the Belgian legislation permits the assertion of universal

jurisdiction for serious violations of international humanitarian law (the laws of war) without any connection to Belgium. Other states legislation for prosecuting war crimes requires some connection with the forum or indicates which treaty must have been violated. Case law also requires a connection with the forum or a treaty violation. The Geneva Conventions require prosecution or extradition of persons found within their territory accused of grave violations of the Conventions. Q: Must the accused be in the territory of the state asserting jurisdiction to validate universal jurisdiction? Had Belgium actually asserted jurisdiction by issuing an arrest warrant or was it simply preparing to assert jurisdiction? Copyright (c) 2009 Valerie Epps. All Rights Reserved.

Arrest Warrant Case: Joint Separate Opinion of Judges Higgins, Kooijmans & Buergenthal continued Q: Are these judges endorsing universal jurisdiction or not? If so, in what circumstances? Note: In 2003, Belgium restricted its jurisdictional statute after some members of NATO threatened to call for moving the HQ of NATO out of Brussels. Q: What does this hostility to, or reluctance to address the legitimacy of, universal jurisdiction teach us about that basis for jurisdiction? Copyright (c) 2009 Valerie Epps. All Rights Reserved.

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