JEAIL > Volume 16(2); 2023 > Student Contribution
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2023

A Preview of the Legislative Practice for Universal Jurisdiction: An East Asian Context

Xinyi Sun
East China University of Political Science and Law
No. 1575 Wanhangdu Road, Shanghai 200042 P.R. China.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( University Law School, 100 Inharo, Michuhol-gu, Incheon 22212 Korea. / nses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

As a treaty obligation and customary international law, universal jurisdiction is crucial in the global fight against impunity. While Western countries have been at the forefront, actively expanding and developing universal jurisdiction, East Asian countries have adopted a more conservative approach, emphasizing state sovereignty. This article begins by exploring the theoretical construction, legal frameworks, and state practices of East Asian countries (China, Korea, and Japan) when exercising universal jurisdiction, highlighting the typical differences between these countries and Western countries. It is then observed that the passive universal jurisdiction system in East Asia is deficient in defending state interests or counteracting other countries’ inappropriate extraterritorial jurisdiction. Accordingly, this article advocates a more proactive approach to the application of universal jurisdiction in East Asian countries. By doing so, while assuming responsibility to prevent impunity, the state can use universal jurisdiction as a legitimate countermeasure and reprisal in reciprocal international relations.

Keywords : Universal Jurisdiction, Restrictive Application, East Asian Countries, Conservative Approach

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