UK proposes changes to universal jurisdiction law

December 1, 2010 23:41

LONDON — Britain's government has proposed a bill to tighten a law that allows private groups and activists to obtain an arrest warrant for visiting foreign officials associated with war crimes, officials said Wednesday.

The bill aims to prevent activists from abusing the law, which is based on the principle of "universal jurisdiction" and allows British courts to prosecute foreigners for crimes against humanity committed anywhere in the world.Foreign Secretary William Hague has promised for months to change the law after pro-Palestinian activists in Britain repeatedly used the law to seek the arrest of Israeli officials planning to visit Britain, causing tension between the UK and Israel.

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