Extraterritorial Criminalisation and Non-intervention: Sweden’s Criminal Measures against the Purchase of Sex Abroad

In: Nordic Journal of International Law
Martin Ratcovich Doctoral Candidate in International Law, Faculty of Law, Stockholm University, Sweden

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This article considers the limits of extraterritorial criminalisation under international law in the context of a recent legislative proposal by the government of Sweden to impose criminal measures against the purchase of sexual services abroad. The article first presents the proposal and then a specific legal objection raised against it, namely that allowing Swedish courts to try purchases committed abroad irrespective of local law is inconsistent with the principle of non-intervention under international law. The substance of this objection is discussed against the background of general descriptions of the concepts of jurisdiction and non-intervention under international law. It is concluded that the meaning of the principle of non-intervention may have been overstated.

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