Criminal proceedings against an entity will consider a location based jurisdiction. However, there are times when the nature of a crime will require a state to initiate criminal proceedings regardless of the location of the perpetrator or the victim in whose interests the proceedings are initiated. This principle is called the universal jurisdiction. The principle has provisions for states to enact the criminal proceedings against the person who has committed the crime. According to the provisions under the principle, anybody anywhere can be tried if they are involved in a criminal act. There are specific circumstances under which states would be allowed to exercise the principles of universal jurisdiction. It is the purpose of this essay to analyze these circumstances. Relevant case law, international legislations and position adopted by countries are presented in the essay.
The principle of Universal Jurisdiction does not question the authority or the jurisdiction of a country for prosecuting a person who was involved in the criminal act. Universal Jurisdiction rules will merely ensure that all states would be entitled with the right to start criminal proceedings. This right emerges from the nature of the crime which is so violent that it is necessary to start criminal proceedings. Also the Universal Jurisdiction recognizes that it is the state where the act happened who will have the primary right in order to initiate the criminal proceedings. It is only in the context where the state is not able to carry out criminal proceedings by itself for some reasons, and then other international states can implement the Universal Jurisdiction. However, the nature of the crime does not necessarily need a treaty or a statute to give this right to international states, that such a crime challenges the international order is enough for the state to act. The essay has discussed Universal jurisdiction and the circumstances in which states would implement it.