Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2016

Degree Type



Political Science

First Reader

Kirk Randazzo

Second Reader

Thomas Hughes


The topic of universal jurisdiction is one that is unknown to many people because of its uniqueness. The oxymoronic nature of its title reveals the inconsistency in current international prosecution. Universal jurisdiction allows states to claim criminal jurisdiction over an accused party regardless of where the alleged crime was committed and regardless of the nationality of the accused party. States invoked the principle of universality during the Nuremberg trials, initiating the modern take on international war crimes such as crimes against humanity and genocide. The politicization of universal jurisdiction does not allow for an independent judiciary and so the system of international law becomes broken. This thesis makes a case for the use of the International Criminal Court for prosecution of international war crimes as a third party mediator.

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© 2016, Christian Russell Flemming