The ‘Gänseliesel’ (Goose Girlis), a historical fountain erected in 1901, represents the most well-known landmark of the city of Goettingen.

Unpacking Economic and Social Rights: International and Comparative Dimensions - Conference

The Goettingen Journal of International Law is pleased to announce that we will take part in a conference in November 2018. The joint research project of the Institute of International and European Law of the University of Göttingen and the Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law will be holding this conference in Göttingen, Germany under the title “Unpacking Economic and Social Rights: International and Comparative Dimensions”. The conference is a culmination of a joint research project directed by Prof. Tomer Broude and Prof. Andreas L. Paulus and examines economic and social rights from a comparative perspective, looking at German, Israeli and European legal systems and their respective constitutional, legislative and jurisprudential experiences, as well as the universal human rights framework under the auspices of the United Nations. In addition to this call, Prof. Paulus and Prof. Broude, junior researchers of the project and associate and invited scholars will present their research at the conference.

Scholars who work on economic and social rights are invited to submit abstracts. The proceedings of the conference and papers presented will be published in one of our upcoming issues. See the call for papers and the conference website for more details.

Deadline for submission of Abstracts: 1 June 2018. Accepted proposals will be notified by 1 July 2018. Full papers due for submission by 1 November 2018.

For queries and clarifications – please contact


Universal Jurisdiction in Absentia Before Domestic Courts Prosecuting International Crimes: A Suitable Weapon to Fight Impunity?

Tim Kluwen



This article addresses the legality and desirability of States asserting universal jurisdiction without the suspect being present on their territory when prosecuting international crimes before domestic courts. First the legality under international law of States asserting universal jurisdiction in absentia (or absolute universal jurisdiction) will be discussed. No comprehensive regulation in this regard appears to exist in codified international law. Based on State practice, it would seem that no customary law either fully permits or entirely prohibits States asserting absolute universal jurisdiction. Applying the Lotus paradigm, it could arguably be concluded that the lack of a prohibition under international law results in States being allowed to assert universal jurisdiction in absentia when prosecuting certain international crimes. Having established its legality, this article will consequently approach absolute universal jurisdiction from a normative point of view, i.e. whether States should assert it. Although a tool in ending impunity of perpetrators of international crimes, it will be concluded that it is undesirable for States to assert absolute universal jurisdiction. Its use is likely to compromise fundamental rights of the accused and has a destabilizing effect on international relations while only suboptimally serving the goals of criminal prosecution.



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