Universal Civil Jurisdiction

Which Way Forward?

Enabling the victims of international crimes to obtain reparation is crucial to fighting impunity. In Universal Civil Jurisdiction – Which Way Forward? experts of public and private international law discuss one of the key challenges that victims face, namely access to justice. Civil courts in the country where the crime was committed may be biased, or otherwise unwilling or unable to hear the case. Are the courts of other countries permitted, or required, to rule on the victim’s claim? Trends at the international and the domestic level after the Naït-Liman judgment of the European Court of Human Rights offer a nuanced answer, suggesting that civil jurisdiction is not only concerned with sovereignty, but is also a tool for the governance of global problems.

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Serena Forlati, LL.M. (Bruges), Ph.D. (Roma-La Sapienza), is Professor of International Law at the University of Ferrara. Her research interests focus on international courts and tribunals, international human rights law and its relationship with the fight against crime.

Pietro Franzina, Ph.D. (Padova), is Professor of International Law at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan. His main research interests are in the field of private international law and international human rights law.
Giorgio Gaja List of Abbreviations
Notes on Contributors

Serena Forlati and Pietro Franzina

1 The Case of Näit-Liman before the European Court of Human Rights: A Forum Non Conveniens for Asserting the Right of Access to a Court in Relation to Civil Claims for Torture Committed Abroad?
Andrea Saccucci

2 The Role of the European Court of Human Rights in the Development of Rules on Universal Civil Jurisdiction: Naït-Liman v Switzerland in the Transition between the Chamber and the Grand Chamber
Serena Forlati

3 Interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights: Lessons from the Naït-Liman Case
Malgosia Fitzmaurice

4 Public International Law Constraints on the Exercise of Adjudicatory Jurisdiction in Civil Matters
Lucas Roorda and Cedric Ryngaert

5 Universal Civil Jurisdiction and Reparation for International Crimes
Beatrice I. Bonafè

6 Limitations to the Exercise of Civil Jurisdiction in Areas Other Than Reparation for International Crimes
Fabrizio Marongiu Buonaiuti

7 Residual Jurisdiction under the Brussels I bis Regulation: An Unexpected Avenue to Address Extraterritorial Corporate Human Rights Violations
Mariangela La Manna

8 The Law Applicable to the Civil Consequences of Human Rights Violations Committed Abroad
Patrick Kinsch

9 The Changing Face of Adjudicatory Jurisdiction
Pietro Franzina


All interested in access to justice as a fundamental human right, in international law and politics concerning the fight to impunity and in the interaction of public and private international law.
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