Domestic prosecution of international crimes

with Professor Elies van Sliedregt

Stockholm Centre for International Law and Justice invites you to a lecture with

Elies van Sliedregt


Domestic prosecution of international crimes


Since the establishment of the ICC in 2002, domestic courts have been more active in prosecuting international crimes. The majority of international crime prosecutions are currently conducted in Europe and regards those who flee from war-stricken countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. TRIAL International reports that as victims from war-struck Syria and Iraq found refuge in Europe the number of universal jurisdiction (UJ) prosecutions have gone up significantly. The paradigm shift to domestic enforcement of ICL has multiplied disparity and fragmentation of ICL. This increases forum-shopping by those who look for the jurisdiction with the broadest UJ provisions. There is no system to regulate the exercise of UJ. Civil Society Organizations focus on Sweden and Germany in bringing cases, because of their broad UJ powers and the fact that they have specialized war crimes units within their law enforcement and prosecution services. Van Sliedregt questions the desirability of the disproportionate burdening of one jurisdiction acting as the policeman of the world. In this talk, she will address the complexities of domestic prosecution of international crimes and the question whether, and if so how, states can install a horizontal, inter-state system of complementarity and burden-sharing.

Elies van Sliedregt is Professor of Criminal Law & Procedure at the University of Tilburg. She has previously been the Professor of International and Comparative Criminal Law at the University of Leeds and the Dean of the Law Faculty, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. On a regular basis, she trains foreign/international judges and prosecutors in international criminal law.
She has authored “International Criminal Law and Legal Pluralism: Straddling Cosmopolitan Aims and Distributed Enforcement” (OUP, 2020), “Criminal responsibility in International Law” (OUP, 2012) and “Rogue Traders. Dutch Businessmen, International Crimes and Corporate Complicity” (JICJ, 2010).

Registration (voluntary):, latest the same day

You can follow the lecture online here.