September 16, 2019
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 In Inequality in International Criminal Prosecutions

Country: Guatemala
Delegate Name: Alessandra Alkema

Commentators internationally have criticized the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) lack of acknowledgment of the inequality in the criminal justice system. The ICC is responsible for trying individuals for war crimes, genocide, aggression, and overall crimes against humanity. The inequality that transpired in international criminal prosecutions is due to the type of cases the ICC pursues; the ICC lacks the sufficient amount of resources needed to handle the abundance of cases taken. The ICC requires cooperation from all the 123 states that are party to the Rome Statute to hold appropriate parties accountable and carry forth with investigations; however, the ICC has been accused of only focusing on crimes committed in Africa and ignoring those committed by other countries such as the United States. It is vital to discuss appropriate courses of action to address this inequality and discuss why some states have not ratified the Rome Statute. This issue is important to the country of Guatemala because of the corruption and impunity that have remained to be major problems.

Guatemala specifically acknowledges the growing inequality in international criminal prosecutions and the progression of the issue. Despite the creation of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) which was sponsored by the United Nations, Guatemala has weak and corrupt law enforcement. CICIG’s mandate to help international prosecutors did not include investigating crimes from the 36-year civil war that Guatemala experienced. After those 36 years of civil war from 1960 to 1996, Guatemala became the 121st State Party of the Rome Statute. The PGA (Parliamentarians for Global Action) has worked closely with Parliamentarians in Guatemala in the past to fight against impunity for the most serious crimes. Eventually, Guatemala deposited its instrument of accession to the Roman Statute on April 2nd, 2012. Courts were established to help fight against corruption and the security threats faced by judges, lawyers, and others involved in prosecuting and defending individuals. The Supreme Court Decree (No. 21-2009) that established the competency of these courts outlines a list of requirements. Guatemala has become a world leader in the domestic prosecution of international crimes committed during its conflict in the past. CICIG has helped mentor reformers and advance rule-of-law reforms to deal with this issue of corruption and inequality.

Guatemala has a lengthy history and past of corruption and an overall weak criminal justice system. Today, the CICIG mandate has a possibility of ending. Guatemalan human rights and anti-corruption groups still continue to look at the issue of inequality in international criminal prosecutions. Guatemala asks other parties to respect the rule of law in the country. Guatemala will continue to focus on resolving and ending corruption and impunity within criminal prosecutions in the country. The nation will only make efforts toward itself as we have not assisted other countries with similar issues. As Guatemala continues to work with CICIG, reforms toward the rule of law will continue to be made that will further advance toward changes in criminal prosecutions in the country. We would like to see other countries focus on their own nation and assist others if absolutely necessary. We ask the ICC to acknowledge the inequality and to focus on all countries dealing with criminal prosecutions instead of a few.

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