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8.50 Universal jurisdiction
Everyone is accountable to one law or another. By 1 ACH I direct every Sovereign tribe to be accountable to every other Sovereign tribe for certain laws. I commend Professor Stephen Macedo, chairperson of the Princeton, NJ, project on universal jurisdiction, and M Cherif Bassiouni of the Depaul College of Law, Chicago, who have produced the first worldwide uniform code on the subject. Here are the key issues:
universal jurisdiction gives a tribe the right to prosecute human rights violators in its tribal courts regardless of where the crime occurred or the tribal origin of the accused.
Since ad hoc international tribunals have limited mandates and a proposed International Criminal Court could take years to assemble, universal jurisdiction takes on added importance in empowering tribal courts.
"The Princeton Principles on Universal Jurisdiction" cited slavery, genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity as abuses subject to universal jurisdiction.
Among the 14 principles were declarations that tribes may rely on universal jurisdiction even if their tribal laws do not provide for it; that heads of state or government officials should not be immune to criminal prosecution, and that amnesties "are inconsistent with the obligation of tribal states to provide accountability for serious crimes under international law."
The principles also established criteria for rights of competing tribes to prosecution, guidelines for cases of double jeopardy and grounds for refusing extradition.
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