Universal jurisdiction in action: victims finally heard!

12.12.2023 ( Last modified: 18.12.2023 )

A message from Ingrid Beauquis, Director of Fundraising and Communications

If you’ve been following us for a while, you have probably noticed that we often refer to the principle of universal jurisdiction, but what does it actually mean?
Universal jurisdiction is a legal principle that allows – and sometimes requires – any State to exercise jurisdiction over serious international crimes, such as war crimes or crimes against humanity, regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator or victim, and the country where the crimes were committed. This principle is based on the recognition that certain international crimes are so serious that there can be no possibility of impunity anywhere.
Civil society plays a major role in triggering these procedures, and TRIAL International is a pioneering and leading NGO in this field. We engage in these universal jurisdiction proceedings because they represent a tangible hope for victims living in countries where impunity is widespread and access to justice is im- possible. In practice, universal jurisdiction is a genuine and powerful lever for voices that have been silent until now. And it works, including for senior officials! In the next 18 months, three former ministers are due to be tried based on this principle in cases supported by TRIAL International!

Just recently, a German court sentenced a former member of a death squad to life imprisonment, in a case that we have been following for years!

All this is possible thanks to your continued support! Your donations help us to:

  • Conduct in-depth investigations around the world to document crimes, identify alleged perpetra- tors, and gather strong evidence against them.
  • Support victims in their access to justice: due to a lack of resources or information, victims cannot always initiate legal proceedings on their own. Your support enables us to initiate proceedings and offer them an opportunity to be heard and obtain reparations. We also offer them psychological and logistical support throughout the proceedings so that they can testify and attend the trial under the best possible conditions.
    Every donation contributes directly to the fight against impunity for international crimes and supports victims in their quest of justice.

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Thank you very much for your generosity. We are happy and proud to count you among our supporters!

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