Extraterritorial Jurisdiction of National Courts and Human Rights Enforcement: Quo vadis justitia?

In: International Community Law Review
Julia Kapelańska-Pręgowska Human Rights Department, Faculty of Law and Administration, Nicolaus Copernicus University Toruń Poland

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The article constitutes an argument in the debate over the legitimacy of exercising domestic jurisdiction over extraterritorial human rights violations. It seeks to answer a question of the current and future role of national courts in enforcing human rights with respect to extraterritorial violations. The article thus presents and analyses examples of judicial practice from different jurisdictions (United States, Europe and Canada). It also discusses the interrelation between adjudicatory jurisdiction and sovereignty. The survey of the recent case-law proves that in many countries there is a tendency of limiting extraterritorial and universal jurisdiction. The article concludes i.e. that perhaps the time has come to substitute a doctrine of forum non conveniens with the principle of forum necessitatits.

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