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A tale of many jurisdictions: how universal jurisdiction is creating a transnational judicial space

Abstract : Universal jurisdiction (UJ), which not very long ago seemed condemned to extinction, is now becoming routine. It has been endorsed by 109 states, and the number of prosecutions is increasing. This article is based on an ethnographic study of the recent trial in France of Pascal Simbikangwa, a Rwandan accused of participating in the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. Using the concepts of ‘vernacularization’ and ‘transnational legal orders’, it shows how UJ is creating a transnational judicial space (TJS). Involving both partisan and ordinary actors, this process is fraught with multiple conflicts. Although UJ does not participate in the dissemination of a uniform definition of genocide, it makes various jurisdictions work together. This fragmented transnational justice is paradoxically contributing to the integration of national legal systems.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 23, 2021 - 2:47:46 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 27, 2022 - 4:17:49 PM

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Sandrine Lefranc. A tale of many jurisdictions: how universal jurisdiction is creating a transnational judicial space. Journal of Law and Society, Wiley-Blackwell, 2021, 48 (4), pp.573-594. ⟨10.1111/jols.12328⟩. ⟨hal-03470364⟩

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