Britain to Limit Arrest Warrants Under Its Universal Jurisdiction Law
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced (h/t Jurist) proposals to circumscribe the applicability of Britain’s universal jurisdiction law. The modification will likely cut back on the ability of private citizens to seek arrest warrants, by requiring a determination by a public prosecutor before issuing such warrants. The details are not clear, but the policy underlying it is:
There is already growing reason to believe that some people are not prepared to travel to this country for fear that such a private arrest warrant – motivated purely by political gesture – might be sought against them.
These are sometimes people representing countries and interests with which the UK must engage if we are not only to defend our national interest but maintain and extend an influence for good across the globe.
Britain cannot afford to have its standing in the world compromised for the sake of tolerating such gestures.
This seems like a common-sense move, and I only wonder it hadn’t been done already. The UK joins Spain and Belgium in cutting back on its universal jurisdiction laws. Do I sense a trend?