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Mischa Hall’s award-winning research project exploring universal jurisdiction – a country’s ability to prosecute particularly grave crimes committed outside its borders – showcases the breadth and impact of UCLA Library’s collections. The rising junior was one of 11 students recognized at the 2023 UCLA Library Prize for Undergraduate Research for his paper Hostis Humani Generis: International Crimes in Ukraine and Prospects for Prosecution Under the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction Before the Courts of England.

Hall consulted some 50 books and 100 journal and periodical articles through UCLA Library’s physical collections, online platforms and databases, including HeinOnline, a comprehensive legal scholarship database.

These resources enabled Hall, who is majoring in Global Studies, to develop an interest in universal justice that was sparked when he learned of its potential to impact militant organizations such as the Islamic State group. Hall said that while international criminal law will not provide a comprehensive resolution for crimes committed in Ukraine, criminal prosecutions could play a role “in seeking accountability for the hundreds of thousands of victims of atrocity crimes in this war.”

After graduating, Hall plans to attend law school and then undertake a Ph.D. focusing on international criminal law or public international law.

Announced during UCLA's Undergraduate Research Week (May 22-26), the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research honors excellence in research using Library collections and services.