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

Country: Republic of Korea
Delegate Name: Clara DeWaele

The principle of universal jurisdiction is reflected in the 1949 Geneva Conventions, of which 194 states have ratified. This concept has since been used in several cases throughout the decades, as it became necessary to try criminals in a variety of countries, to ensure a fair trial was conducted. While this original definition has proved successful in some events, the Republic of Korea believes that discussion is necessary to further develop this definition, and utilize it in a way that better protects the international community. Though some highly dangerous crimes are covered under universal jurisdiction, the Republic of Korea believes that it is important to further define the scope of universal jurisdiction, and the crimes which fall under it. Furthermore, while this committee works to expand the definition of universal jurisdiction, its limits should also be heavily considered, as this principle is one that should be used in only a responsible, proper manner. The Republic of Korea looks forward to formulating a more detailed, effective definition of universal jurisdiction, as we work to compromise between the necessity of justice, and respect of state sovereignty.

Within domestic policy, the courts of the Republic of Korea have implemented laws allowing for the charge of cases that fall under universal jurisdiction. This is seen primarily in the idea that all treaties and recognized international law will have the same effect within the Republic of Korea, having the same standing as domestic law. This concept allows the Republic of Korea to charge criminals under universal jurisdiction. While this is power used sparingly, with careful consideration, it is nonetheless important, necessary even, to ensure peace internationally.

Though the use of universal jurisdiction has been successful in the past, an expansion of its powers may lead to further use, and success in achieving peace. The Republic of Korea would like to address the specific crimes where universal jurisdiction can be applied. While a few crimes, including war crimes and piracy, fall under crimes of universal jurisdiction, there are many other heinous crimes that need to be discussed. And though it is important to allow member states the ability to apply the law of universal jurisdiction in their own methods, the Republic of Korea believes a more structured, participatory framework should be considered, to describe the cases in which universal jurisdiction can be invoked, along with the responsibility each state has to invoke it. The Republic of Korea looks forward to delving into this topic throughout the conference- to better articulate the principle of universal jurisdiction, in a way which increases effectiveness, and emphasizes the desire for universal justice, while ensuring that this power will not be manipulated or abused through the political motivations of states.

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