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The evolving concept of universal jurisdiction, the modern doctrine of humanitarian intervention, and the challenges faced by legal theory in addressing issues of international terrorism are subjects of this profound study. The author's main intention is to reflect upon the legal and philosophical foundations of international criminal law in the context of politics. He analyzes the prospects of the International Criminal Court and compares this institution to other forms of universal jurisdiction such as the Security Council's ad hoc tribunals. He also points out the problem of double standards in the current practice of 'humanitarian politics'. Hans Koechler was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as international observer at the Lockerbie trial in the Netherlands. His experience gained at the 'trial of the century' motivated him to reflect on the feasibility of international criminal justice and humanitarian intervention in the framework of the present unipolar world order.