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

Country: Brazil
Delegate Name: Tanner Beavon

Brazil recognizes that universal jurisdiction is a tool for justice and accountability against impunity for several heinous crimes which transcend borders, regardless of their nationality or location. Universal jurisdiction was first codified in an international treaty in the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which provided that parties must prosecute or extradite suspects of war crimes, specifically those involved in the Holocaust during the Second World War. Brazil, as well as 193 other states have ratified the conventions, permitting the validity of the concept of universal jurisdiction, and a basis for the UN itself. Brazil believes that there must be a clearly established scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction to clarify when it can be invoked.

Brazil has no precedent for the application of universal jurisdiction, however in 2018, the Superior Court of Justice agreed that with the nationality and protective principles, may justify the international extradition of Brazilian criminal jurisdiction. To prevent exploitation over selective and political motives for such legal action, Brazil believes that the states should discuss which crimes, however few they be, should trigger the universality principle, as well as formal consent on the state with primary jurisdiction. The exercise of universal jurisdiction should be scarce, non-arbitrary, and cannot be used for purposes of fulfilling interests other than justice. Brazil also firmly believes that the alleged criminal should reside in the territory of the state that wishes to exercise its jurisdiction, and that the most basic principles of criminal law must apply to universal jurisdiction, such as the restriction of double jeopardy.

Brazil affirms that universal jurisdiction is a crucial mechanism to avoid impunity for the most egregious perpetrators of international law. For collaborative purposes, Brazil is willing to reasonable consider possible amendments, but keen to uphold the rights and sovereignty of individual states. Although kept in moderation, Brazil recognizes that universal jurisdiction when applied in a responsible manner, is necessary for a peaceful and brighter future.

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