The jurisdiction of our courts is generally territorial, which means that it applies to acts committed in England and Wales. A few offences, such as murder, can be tried here if they were committed abroad by a British national.
There are some offences however that attract universal jurisdiction, which means that they can be tried in the courts of England and Wales whatever the nationality of the alleged perpetrator and even though the crime took place outside the United Kingdom.
There are very few of these offences, and universal jurisdiction is usually claimed only as a result of international Treaty obligations.
Date: Fri Mar 25 12:48:46 GMT 2011