Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: Ananya Arulmurugan
Last year, Amnesty International recorded almost 883 Capital executions, and this doesn’t include the countries that refused to give execution data. The death penalty is a serious issue that has been debated internationally many times. The Office of Human Rights openly condemns the death penalty as inhumane and cruel but there is no international law that prohibits it. Article 5 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights also considers the death penalty a violation of the right not to be cruelly or unusually punished. 160 of the 193 UN member countries have abolished the death penalty. but there are still 33 countries that continue to preserve the legality of capital punishment after all of this opposition. Even if the death penalty completely is not abolished. many UN states and non-government organizations have been calling for the number of capital offenses to be reduced. For example, in Uganda, there is a law suggesting the death penalty for people part of the LGBTQ+ community. In Iran, a man was executed for offending religion; these acts have caused global outrage throughout social media platforms and human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
The United Kingdom stopped using the death penalty in 1965, and it was completely abolished in 1998. Before this, the death penalty was used a lot. At the height of this period, there were more than 220 capital offenses. The UK is part of various International Organizations such as the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe. Both of these outlaw the death penalty, as sentencing someone to death is a violation of the right to life. Furthermore, the UK is a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, which legally prevents signatories from using the death penalty. It is also believed to be ineffective as it does not act as a deterrent to crimes, and is costly and inefficient.
The four goals of the UK are to increase the number of abolitionist countries, Increase the restrictions on the use of the death penalty, reduce the number of executions, and ensure that minimum standards are met in countries with the death penalty. The UK would also like to reduce the number of capital offenses. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that the death penalty should only be used for serious crimes such as murder. While it is subjective what serious crimes are, it is commonly agreed that protesting and adultery are not offenses in which the death penalty should be implemented. It also should be acknowledged the racial and gender bias of the death penalty; certain races are more likely to be given the death penalty than others and that shows that justice is not being properly given. Another thing that should be limited is improper forms of the death penalty; some execution methods, like stoning or a firing squad, are simply cruel and unreasonable. Governments implement these to humiliate the inmate and just further their torment.