Nergis Canefe

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Obiora C. Okafor


This work is a concerted attempt to achieve an informed interpolation between ethics, politics and legal scholarship on international law, with reference to the specific category of universal jurisdiction as it pertains to crimes against humanity. It posits that critical perspectives from the Global South exemplified by the TWAIL approach and reflexive law debates, combined with a transnational understanding of international law and a committed inclusion of political judgment and collective responsibility for mass crimes, would create a radically different framework for understanding the normative underpinnings and procedural qualities of universal jurisdiction in international criminal law. The dissertation brings together three seemingly distinct areas of scholarly endeavour: jurisprudential debates on international criminal law and in particular crimes against humanity jurisprudence, international relations and international law scholarship on state sovereignty, and applied political philosophy. It strives to offer a compelling view of the future of international legal reasoning and legal theory concerning the workings of accountability regimes in the Global South. It purports a critical analysis of the prescriptive norms and institutions of modern international criminal law in the area of universal jurisdiction, and argues with courage and caution that international law has the capacity to advance values concerning the sanctity of human life, as long as it is not regarded as a closed and rigid system leading to the perpetual victimization of states and societies in the Global South.


Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.