September 16, 2019
 In 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction

Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: Muskan Rekhani

The definition of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction is a facet of international law that allows perpetrators of particularly heinous crimes to be prosecuted by any nation. Ideally, this would be regardless of where the crime took place, the nationality of the perpetrator or victim, or any other character limitations. The purpose of Universal Jurisdiction is to bring justice and hold the most destructive criminals accountable. Crimes include damage to humanity, torture, and war crimes. In other words, the principle was made to stop “enemies of all mankind.” There are several treaties currently in effect under which signatories are obligated to use universal jurisdiction, but the principle is still not concrete. The UK has universal jurisdiction under the Geneva Conventions Act 1957, the convention that introduced the topic. Opposers of the agreement are backed by the defense unclear definitions of the principle may lead to misuse, state sovereignty, partiality, retaliation, and tension. For these reasons, some don’t even recognize or apply universal jurisdiction. The UK, however, is for the implementation of universal jurisdiction and has actively addressed serious crimes. The biggest effort the United Nations has been making recently is through the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC helps this issue because it offers the United Nations as a whole a court and serves as the backup option if countries are unwilling to persecute criminals themselves.

The UK has adopted universal jurisdiction and has been a strong supporter of its values. To advocate, the UK has made public statements on behalf of the absolute adoption of this principle among the United Nations. Following this, the UK shows their support because “The UK, alongside the international community, will continue to provide the International Criminal Court with the funding, people and expertise to ensure justice is served.” said UK Deputy Prime Minister, Dominic Raab MP. By boosting the ICC, the UK is helping move the gears behind what allows Universal Jurisdiction for its acceptance. A specific instance of the UK involved in Universal Jurisdiction was Spain requesting the persecution of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The UK ended up accepting and arresting Pinochet.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland urges the United Nations to ratify Universal Jurisdiction in their countries to ensure justice for the highest degree of crimes. To do this, the United Nations must address the valid concerns of the opposing states. To reiterate, the main concerns are power imbalance, mishandling, and mistrust. If there were greater guidelines and restrictions to Universal Jurisdiction, these issues would be minimized.