The contribution focuses on the so-called universal jurisdiction law adopted in Belgium on 10 February 1999 and amended by the law of 23 April 2003. This law has been very controversial both in Belgium but also far beyond. It was one of the most extreme laws in terms of accepting universal jurisdiction for crimes such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. At the same time it rejected immunities of persons acting in their official capacities. As a consequence various cases were initiated before Belgian courts which had in reality no connection with Belgium and this let to serious political problems. In the contribution attention is paid to the context and genesis of the law. Thereafter the content and how the law has been implemented is analyzed. Finally an explanation is given on the reasons why the law was amended in 2003 and what its consequences were.