The ‘Gänseliesel’ (Goose Girlis), a historical fountain erected in 1901, represents the most well-known landmark of the city of Goettingen.

The Principles of 'Complementarity' and Universal Jurisdiction in International Criminal Law: Antagonists or Perfect Match?

Britta Lisa Krings



The concepts of complementarity and Universal Jurisdiction as such raise various concerns, just in themselves. The combination of these concepts may be a very reasonable one, however, it tends to cause confusion and renunciation within the international community. The objective of the present work is to present very briefly the two different legal concepts and provide an analysis on their compatibility. In order to come to a result, the principle of complementarity is evaluated as both, an admissibility criterion and a State obligation and right, to primarily be able to deal with a case in their national legal system, acknowledging that criminal jurisdiction is situated in the heart of State’s sovereignty. Universal Jurisdiction is brought into a relation with these two ideas of complementarity. This paper addresses possible solutions.


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