Amnesty International issued a blasting report on failure of the Swedish government to take an active stand on issues of war crimes that occurred outside its own borders. Although Sweden is renowned for its own liberal laws and fight against war crimes, it will not adjust its laws to take into account what happens elsewhere in the world. Amnesty International wants Sweden to extend provisions under the international legal principle of universal jurisdiction, which permits states to charge and prosecute for serious crimes regardless of where they were committed. The report claims “up to 1,500 war criminals freely roam the streets of Sweden.”
The principle of universal jurisdiction is a controversial idea and many nations refuse to accept the concept that international bodies can exert jurisdiction on crimes that happened anywhere in the world. In the absence of such an approach to law, war criminals can always find a save haven to escape prosecution.