Anyone for More Belgian “Law of Universal Competence”?

Can we make a deal? There’s more news on the old Belgian “law of universal competence” front. I’m not sure whether my faithful EuroSavant readers are waiting out there with baited breath about new developments here – or whether this is just of interest to me. It’s reported in today’s on-line De Standaard; maybe I’ll give you that link and just a brief description, and then let those interested (and, of course, those who can read Dutch or can have the article translated) get into the issue further. (That not good enough? E-mail me! I’ll be very obliging!)

You might recall (from the previous ES treatment, here) that the Belgian government had recently toned down its “law of universal competence,” which previously allowed the prosecution in Belgium for crimes against humanity of anyone at all. “Toned down,” that is, but not abolished – was this going to be enough for the American government, which was raising a stink about it?

It seems not. According to De Standaard, of the American Defense Deptartment, State Department, and National Security Council, at least two of those three still have real problems with the law as it stands now. (The report doesn’t specify which two.) And that is putting more pressure on the Belgian government – or, more properly, on the Belgian government-in-formation, whose make-up is still being negotiated among the political parties which “won” May’s general election. In fact, news of the American disapproval interrupted ongoing coalition-forming talks.

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