Daphne Eviatar

Debating Universal Jurisdiction in Belgium

“The controversy started in 2001, when the survivors of the 1982 massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut by pro-Israeli Christian Lebanese militia filed a criminal complaint in Belgium against Israel’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon, who was minister of defense in the early 1980’s. Soon, the law that had won widespread praise was being attacked by lawyers, business leaders and foreign governments — in particular, the United States and Israel.” Daphne Eviatar, writing in The New York Times, gives a full and fair overview of recent developments in Belgium’s Universal Jurisdiction law and the ongoing battle against impunity for war crimes.