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

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Country: United States of America
Delegate Name: Jaelyn Andrick

In order to maintain international relations and peace, the United Nations came up with many different ways in order to achieve justice, order, and peace. One of these ways includes universal jurisdiction, a widely recognized international law. Universal jurisdiction is an international law that allows nations to prosecute against horrific crimes that transcend borders. Universal jurisdiction has been used in order to obtain justice and prosecute those involved in issues such as slavery, genocide, slave trading, war crimes, and more. The Geneva Convention, one of the most important international humanitarian set of laws was created in 1949 by the United Nations. The Geneva Convention extended the right for states to exercise universal jurisdiction in their courts if necessary. One of the most adequate forms of prosecution, universal jurisdiction ensures the perpetrators of horrifying crimes are prosecuted.

The United States has signed and ratified the Geneva Convention, along with the 1984 Convention against Torture, and other treaties created by the United Nations. The United States does not have a formal statute to authorize universal jurisdiction within any of our courts, however, the US does acknowledge the importance of universal jurisdiction. Recently put into action, the Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act states that the United States will, “strengthen those efforts by enabling the Department to prosecute alleged war criminals who are found in the United States.” Along with the recent Act, there is also Section 2441 of Title 18 that states, “Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.”

The United States is supportive of universal jurisdiction and is willing to work with other countries in order to create a plan to help find the best way to exercise the right. In order for states to maintain sovereignty and maintain a proper balance of power within nation-states, there are topics that need to be worked out. The United States believes that in order to keep a proper balance of power and state sovereignty, there will need to be steps before following through with a universal jurisdiction court prosecution. Some of those steps could include finding neutral states for the trial to be held, neutral judges and prosecutors, and many more. We must also have to work on cooperation between many of the nations around the world, along with also finding proper consequences for those prosecuted.

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