Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: Connor Argenzio
United Nations Legal Committee
Inequality in International Criminal Prosecutions
Forest Hills Northern High School
It is indisputable that the rule of law is the fundamental idea that separates humans from animals. The United Kingdom fully supports the International Criminal Court as it is one of the ICC’s founding members; the UK was a signatory country of the Rome Statute in 1998. To this end, the UK recognizes the importance of international criminal justice in enforcing order and accountability and has modeled its foreign policy around this principle. Although the UK and the ICC have had minor disagreements, such as the ICC’s handling of the Israeli-Palestine conflict, the UK acknowledges the importance of the ICC in protecting civilians and protecting world peace.
The International Criminal Court was established on November 30, 1998, with the signing of the Rome statute. The UK was one of the original signatories of this agreement. The UK has been involved with the ICC on multiple occasions to settle disputes in a diplomatic and timely fashion. The first example that comes to mind is the unfortunate ICC investigation into alleged UK abuses committed in Iraq; However, the UK denies these allegations and accepts the ICC’s right to pursue due process. The UK recently called on the court’s authority to investigate Russia’s conduct in Ukraine. The UK has gathered allies to prompt an ICC investigation of Russian war crimes committed against the people of Ukraine. Nothing has come yet, but the UK is confident that the ICC will initiate an investigation and try all those guilty of violating international law.
Despite the ICC’s numerous signatories and supporters, the court remains relatively impotent in breaches of international law. It does not have the means to enforce its warrants independently and has little power over non-signatory nations. The ICC is also significantly underfunded and thus lacks the proper resources to effectively enforce the laws established by the Rome Statute in 1998. Its most immediate failings can be seen in its failure to hold Israel and the United States responsible for war crimes. In light of these many shortcomings, the UK urges the United Nations to spare more resources for and extend the influence of the ICC. For the law to retain meaning, it must be applied equally; thus, the ICC’s authority must be extended to hold all nations accountable, regardless of prestige or power. However, in its current form, the ICC cannot fulfill its significant and fundamental responsibilities. To that end, the UK calls upon all willing nations to contribute towards an increase in ICC resources and an extension of its power through the establishment of significant economic consequences in the event of a nation’s noncompliance with ICC warrants. For the rule of law to persist, the ICC must be strengthened.