September 16, 2019

The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction

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General Assembly: Legal Committee

Topic: The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction

Universal jurisdiction is widely recognized as a facet of international law which allows perpetrators of particularly heinous crimes to be prosecuted by any nation, regardless of where the crime took place. Heinous crimes are generally defined as crimes against humanity, torture, and war crimes, among others. Universal jurisdiction is intended to serve as a safety net for victims of major international crime when cases are not tried in the jurisdiction in which they were committed. There are several treaties currently in effect under which signatories are obligated to use universal jurisdiction, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions. There are 194 states which have ratified the Geneva Conventions, thus each of these states would be obligated to use universal jurisdiction in the event of a crime that falls under its currently recognized scope.

Historically, this principle has been enacted to prosecute serious war criminals. Examples of universal jurisdiction in practice include the 1961 prosecution of a senior Nazi official for his role in the Holocaust in Israel, and in 1999, the United Kingdom’s House of Lords voted to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to Spain to stand trial for charges of torture and conspiracy to torture.

Concern among United Nations member states still stands around the definition of universal jurisdiction, with many warning during the 73rd session of the Sixth Committee in 2018 that unclear definitions of the principle may lead to misuse, abuse, or conflict between states, while others are concerned about the implications universal jurisdiction may have on state sovereignty. It is the role of the Legal committee to address the definition of universal jurisdiction. Delegations should bear in mind the historical context surrounding universal jurisdiction and work as a body to address this deeply important issue.
Universal jurisdiction has also been a key point of contention within the international community in that it requires voluntary compliance by states, and only applies to those that have ratified the treaties that give them effect. While states are often willing to participate in international criminal adjudication, there are a great number of instances in which states have been more hesitant to surrender their own citizens to courts that they have no power over. This, like much of the work done by the United Nations, requires a delicate balancing of state sovereignty and the desire to achieve justice across the globe.

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Submitted Position Papers

Gregory Poole 11/29/2023 20:22:28

Country: Ecuador
Delegate Name: Gabe Henderson

Honorable Chairs, Distinguished Delegates,
The Republic of Ecuador recognizes the inherent complexity surrounding the application
of universal jurisdiction in addressing crimes against humanity, torture, and war crimes.
Upholding justice while respecting the sovereignty of states presents a delicate balance,
one that demands careful consideration and collaboration within the international
Ecuador acknowledges the significance of universal jurisdiction as a fundamental tool in
ensuring accountability for grave crimes when local mechanisms fail to act. Instances
such as the prosecution of senior Nazi officials and the extradition of former Chilean
dictator Augusto Pinochet underscore the importance of this principle in confronting
impunity and seeking justice for victims.
However, as we engage in discussions regarding the definition and implementation of
universal jurisdiction, Ecuador stresses the necessity of clear and universally
agreed-upon parameters. Ambiguity in definitions could lead to misuse or conflict
between states. Hence, Ecuador urges meticulous consideration in defining the scope
and limits of universal jurisdiction to prevent potential misinterpretations or overreach.
Furthermore, Ecuador acknowledges the tension between the pursuit of justice and the
respect for state sovereignty. While international cooperation in criminal adjudication is
crucial, it is imperative to respect the rights of states in deciding matters concerning
their citizens. The voluntary nature of compliance with treaties and the hesitance of
states to surrender their nationals for trial outside their jurisdiction necessitates a
balanced approach that respects both international justice imperatives and state
In addressing the complexities surrounding universal jurisdiction, Ecuador emphasizes
the importance of fostering dialogue and collaboration among nations. We believe that
the Legal Committee should work collectively towards establishing a comprehensive
framework that respects the sovereignty of states while effectively combating impunity
for egregious crimes.

Ecuador stands committed to engaging constructively in these deliberations, with the
ultimate aim of promoting international justice while respecting the sovereignty and
rights of all nations involved.
Thank you.

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MattawanDelegates 11/22/2023 22:48:53

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: South Africa
Delegate Name: Fletcher Fahling

Topic: 2023-The Principles of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: South Africa
Delegate Name: Fletcher Fahling
School: Mattawan High School

Universal jurisdiction, the idea that some crimes are so heinous as to have been committed against the whole world, allows for perpetrators of particularly severe crimes to be prosecuted in any country, not just the one the crime was committed in. This principle is a vital tool for ensuring no one escapes with impunity from large scale horrific crimes. This has allowed for 80+ international criminals to be convicted of their crimes and brought ot justice, included many of the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide and the Arab Spring. For many years, there has been concern within the international community on the lack of clarity in the law and implementation of universal jurisdiction and therefore the potentiality for it to be misused or abused. The law of universal jurisdiction has not yet been clearly codified by the UN in one place, leaving the scope, intention, and rules for implementation woefully underexplained. The implementation of universal jurisdiction relies almost entirely on individual countries incorporating the principle into their own domestic rule of law.The UN has been consistently discussing this issue in the sixth legal committee for over twenty years, with no real progress being made.

South Africa has prosecuted two international jurisdiction cases, of former Madagascar president Marc Ravalomanana and of several Zimbabwean security officials, for their alleged crimes against humanity. South Africa is happy to assist with international law and justice, but with one of the highest crime rates in the world, its legal system is already strained, making it difficult to handle these cases. This, along with the lack of clarity around universal jurisdiction laws, raises concern as to how effectively this system is being implemented. While it has worked well in the past, it certainly can be improved in order to make it work closer to as it was intended, and continue seeking the ideal of justice with which it was established.

In the past, South Africa has supported universal jurisdiction wholly, while also supporting the addition of scaffolding to help countries with less robust legal systems and new guidelines to clarify the reach of universal jurisdiction and to prevent its misuse and politicization, and will continue to hold this viewpoint. South Africa supports the creation of a coalition of African nations to assist in international prosecution and universal jurisdiction cases, in order to lessen the burden on individual country’s overstrained legal systems. South Africa also supports the writing of a convention outlining the exact definition of universal jurisdiction- in what cases it should be used, how to prevent misuse, and how to support countries will less resources to prosecute.

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FHEDelegates 11/22/2023 21:47:22

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: India
Delegate Name: Isabella Feenstra

Legal Committee
The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
The Republic of India
Isabella Feenstra
Forest Hills Eastern

Under international law, universal jurisdiction permits any country – within the bounds of claiming a solid connection to the offender – to persecute an individual who committed a crime against humanity: genocide, war crimes, or accounts of torture. These privileges extend to trying a criminal whose crime occurred on foreign ground; it is an attempt to ensure the pursuit of justice by transcending borders. However, most laws regarding the extent of states’ rights to universal jurisdiction are uncertain. Israel in 1961 provides a prevalent example of exercising such liberties with the persecution of a high-ranking Nazi official Adolf Eichmann, on the basis of the Holocaust. Currently, the ambiguities between universal jurisdiction’s capacity and states’ rights to handle domestic affairs leave alarming disparities in its application worldwide.

India recognizes the dire threat of inconsistent legislature pertaining to legal outlines establishing measures for persecuting individuals under universal jurisdiction. Without the basis for trials, India fears that heinous criminals will elude persecution indefinitely, which would greatly hinder the pursuit of justice on behalf of victims. Of 194 states, India was the fifth to ratify the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which included guidelines on implementing universal jurisdiction. This agreement encourages the obligatory duties of member states to either search and try an accused individual found in their territory or extradite said offender to another country to be tried under their courts. Nevertheless, India acknowledges that the enforceability of universal jurisdiction must be applied to a limited and precise scope of crimes. We accept the terms of the 1949 Geneva Convention, but we do not support the misuse or abuse of universal jurisdiction with mislabeling. The treaties established between states to persecute individuals for crimes against humanity cannot apply globally, as various countries did not consent to these terms. For similar reasons, India abstained from signing the Rome Statutes and the International Criminal Court (ICC). We wished to keep defensive mechanisms, check the power given to the United Nations Security Council, and maintain autonomy over the occurrences within Indian territory and of Indian citizens.

India emphasizes the necessity of managing the applications of universal jurisdiction to prevent the misuse and overuse of such powers. A new intricate definition of what specific crimes fall under universal jurisdiction and the scope one state can wield their rights to try the accused must be attained. India appeals to the global community to continue implementing universal jurisdiction to safeguard humanity while preserving the autonomy and sovereignty of each member state in order to protect their people best.

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KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/22/2023 18:10:33

Topic: 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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Trevor Riley 11/22/2023 16:24:23

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Saudi Arabia
Delegate Name: Ava Surdam

We have made many great progressions in this country over the years. For example, we introduced free universal healthcare in 2019. We have much less civil unrest within our country than many others because of the beliefs we all share through the beautiful religion, Islam. However, the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction is still under debate in Saudi Arabia. We would like to be able to support the Principle, as it allows justice to be served. We believe in the theory, but the integrity of the process is questionable because there is no clear outline for the types of crimes that apply and the processes within the court as well as during prosecution.

Saudi Arabia believes that Universal Jurisdiction is crucial in working against criminals, and all States should utilize the idea to enforce justice. Still, the unclear standards and rules hold us back from fully trusting the judicial system of another country with our citizens. Before we can fully trust the integrity of Universal Jurisdiction, a couple of things need to be straightened out. For example, the type of crimes that this idea will enforce, and other issues with the content and format of the current definition and rules regarding the idea of Universal Jurisdiction. However, Saudi Arabia supports all principles in accordance with the Global Jurisdiction Principle and the general ideas and intents of Universal Jurisdiction.

In the past, many States of the UN were pushed to utilize Universal Jurisdiction against Saudi Arabia when faced with allegations against our beloved crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia fought back out of distrust for the findings of the United States government and their judicial system along with the responsibility to protect our leader and his name. In order for Saudi Arabia to utilize Universal Jurisdiction and to allow other States to put our citizens on trial, an outline must be written that clearly describes the details of the Principle. This outline should include the type of crimes that can be tried and the processes within the court that tries them. Many countries have very politicized court systems which causes them to be untrustworthy and leads many to believe that a fair trial simply cannot be conducted. Saudi Arabia also wishes for a court policy to be written that solely regards cases under Universal Jurisdiction. This policy should include a diverse Jury with representatives from the prosecution’s country of residence and representatives from the country of residence of the defendant. I don’t even trust strangers from my country, so why should my government put their full trust in people from other countries, who don’t even fully understand our beliefs? In order for Saudi Arabia to fully support the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction, we must be presented with a clear outline and court policy that ensures the integrity of processes within the court.

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FHEDelegates 11/22/2023 16:14:56

Topic: 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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FHEDelegates 11/22/2023 15:49:24

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Sudan
Delegate Name: Rishika Kokkula

Universal jurisdiction is a key aspect of international law that has been taken notice to by the United Nations. Universal jurisdiction refers to the notion that crimes committed in a certain jurisdiction can be prosecuted by any nation, regardless of where the crime took place. This is implemented in situations in which serious war criminals have committed major international crimes. While the idea of universal jurisdiction remains widely recognized, its purpose and role in international law has been a cause of concern among the United Nations.

In the past, universal jurisdiction has been used to prosecute serious criminals and dictators. Although many countries have differing legal systems that hinder the full expansion of universal jurisdiction, it is an essential aspect of international law that must be agreed upon. As of now, the United Nations still is doubtful of the role of universal jurisdiction in international law as it may threaten state sovereignty and state power. However, considering the current situation in their country, Sudan especially recognizes the need to establish and regulate the principle of universal jurisdiction.

Sudan, due to its political unrest and internal conflicts, compels the United Nations to strengthen universal jurisdiction law among countries so that victims of serious war crimes can achieve the justice they deserve. Sudan supports the cooperation among the countries in the United Nations to solidify the implementation of universal jurisdiction in order to ensure that war criminals are held accountable and human rights are protected.

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FHEDelegates 11/22/2023 15:43:36

Topic: 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.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/22/2023 15:14:43

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Algeria
Delegate Name: Grace Hatton

Submitted To: Legal Committee
From: Algeria
Subject: Principal Of Universal Jurisdiction

The principle of universal jurisdiction is to fight impurity and prosecute those suspected of committing inhumane crimes against humanity. In 1960, Algeria ratified the Geneva Conventions to help support this and signed the Rome Statute in 2000. However, Algeria believes that universal jurisdiction should not be taken lightly and only used as a measure of last resort. In Algeria’s legal system, universal jurisdiction is a substitute for the policy of crimes in different nations, not the replacement. Therefore, Algeria expresses strong concerns against universal jurisdiction when used without regard for international justice and equality. Algeria pushes for exceptional character in pursuit of a political agenda to be rejected, as well as the practice of random universal jurisdiction.
Algeria believes that universal jurisdiction is vital to keep purity in the world but also wholeheartedly agrees that universal jurisdiction should be used under good faith, far from any government abuse or influence. They believe that the misuse of universal jurisdiction could have negative consequences on an international level. This poses the question of what Algeria believes is misuse and if other countries will agree with it.

Algeria would like to remind nations that the last time universal jurisdiction was misused was in 2011, when the International Criminal Court, in all eleven years it was running, focused solely on Africa, when unacceptable situations were happening elsewhere in the world and went utterly ignored. The issue of international justice is that it must include respect for both sovereignty and global independence, globally.

Algeria advocates for careful use of universal jurisdiction and pushes its support for the 6th committee to continue its work in the United Nations. They believe the work the 6th Committee does is critical for the scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction and international justice for the respect of equality and political independence of all nations. Algeria believes governments should support this in order for universal jurisdiction to be of use and as said before, Algeria ratified the Geneva Conventions in 1960 and swore to provide every citizen the fundamental rights of protection. In 2000, Algeria signed the Rome Statute, vowed to prosecute the most serious international crimes. However, they have yet to ratify it.

Universal Jurisdiction is essential in preventing impurity and ensuring the prosecution of those guilty of crimes against humanitarian affairs of the world, but only when used in ways that use international justice to respect the sovereignty of other countries. Algeria is fully committed to making the world a better place and ensuring each country has a voice through universal jurisdiction. Algeria wishes the best of luck to every delegate at this year’s GILMUN.


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FHEDelegates 11/22/2023 14:31:45

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Italy
Delegate Name: Emerson Abbo

Universal jurisdiction is a legal principle that allows for the prosecution of heinous crimes across international borders. As a determined contributor to international peacekeeping, Italy has participated in 30 United Nations peacekeeping missions, is the seventh largest financial contributor to United Nations peacekeeping missions, and has been elected for seven separate terms on the United Nations Security Council. Italy’s long history of drafting and adopting various humanitarian laws promotes human rights and justice on a national and international stage. In accordance with this tradition, Italy believes that universal jurisdiction is necessary to establish justice and promote peace.

Committed to fighting for human rights, Italy asserted universal jurisdiction in a 2007 trial. Specifically, in 2005, Italian Judge Guido Salvini issued warrants for the arrest of 22 alleged operatives of the Central Intelligence Agency. He claimed the abduction and torture of suspected terrorist Abu Omar violated Italian sovereignty and international law. Then, an Italian court issued a European Arrest Warrant for the 22 suspects. Additionally, the Justice Minister refused a United States extradition request. In the end, 26 Americans and nine Italians were indited. Abu Omar was tortured in Egypt, outside Italy’s borders, but not outside Italy’s scope of justice. Additionally, Italy is party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishments, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and the Gevena Conventions. By participating in these agreements, Italy may practice universal jurisdiction and continue fighting for justice. Italy serves as an example for other nations dedicated to combating crimes against humanity, torture, war crimes, crimes of aggression, and other atrocious actions.

The Italian Republic urges the United Nations to establish clearer guidelines and common objectives for applying universal jurisdiction. Additionally, ensuring fair due process and eradicating corruption through thorough and frequent investigations is necessary for the cooperation of various states and international courts. Italy urges the international community to consider universal jurisdiction’s potential for further advancing human rights. Ultimately, states must discuss the potential of a more centralized, coordinated, and clear structure. A competent framework is strong enough to evenly and frequently apply universal jurisdiction.

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GRCityDelegates 11/22/2023 14:10:08

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: France
Delegate Name: Harini Manikandan

Legal Committee
The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
French Republic
Harini Manikandan
City High Middle
Universal jurisdiction is a legal principle that allows nations or other international organizations to have the right to judge specific cases regardless of where the crime happened. These crimes are severe enough that they are considered crimes against humanity; major categories include war crimes, genocide, and torture. Universal jurisdiction was brought into play after the horrific events of World War II. This law is also a key aspect of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 which states that all nations must and may charge criminals who break international humanitarian law regardless of where or who committed it. This system is direly important because it provides justice to victims of international crime. For example, a Chilean dictator was brought to justice in Spain using universal jurisdiction which shows that universal jurisdiction doesn’t have a bias towards power and wealth. This principle also prevents people from falling into “impunity” and getting the correct sentence. While many nations across the world support Universal Jurisdiction, this system would not be possible without many organizations that support us like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Open Society Justice Initiative. In 2021, the Sixth Committee of the United Nations talked about the balance between state sovereignty and universal jurisdiction and other details of the principle of universal jurisdiction. We are a big partaker in the topic of Universal Jurisdiction; our own Code of Criminal Procedure permits the prosecution of all cases involving genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity. France believes that the advancement and protection of universal jurisdiction is necessary to keep a “safety net” in matters of crimes.

France has worked hard on using the principle of universal jurisdiction to the best of its ability. The current policy is in our French Criminal Code of Procedure, and article 689-11 allows universal jurisdiction over crimes regardless of crime location. According to Amnesty International, it does not matter where the crime happened, where the suspect is, or even when it happened. Although we don’t face any severe issues with Universal Jurisdiction, they will advocate for it internationally. France has also judged many famous universal jurisdiction cases. Nationally, we have judged many cases about Syrian war crimes. Although the Syrians argued that war crimes aren’t a part of Syrian law, universal jurisdiction was able to rightfully convict them. We have also handled numerous cases about the Rwandan genocide. Mentioned before, France’s support of this principle stems from our longstanding commitment to human rights. We want to set an example, not to teach others a lesson but because it’s our history, our message. Setting an example in promoting fundamental freedoms is our battle and a matter of honor for us. Human rights are a major part of the French Republic as they fill their Constitution, and it is focused whenever they enforce democracy, participate in unions, and lead internationally. We advocated for universal jurisdiction in the 2009 General Assembly where France stated, “Universal jurisdiction is an essential instrument in the fight against impunity”. Therefore, France is an excellent example of how universal jurisdiction is not meant to take power from states. It is a “safety net” set to find the people who in many cases don’t get convicted for their crimes against humanity. Universal jurisdiction protects human rights, ensures that everyone can have justice, and prevents history from repeating, and France will always be in firm support and encourage others to accept these ideals.

The French Republic urges the United Nations to define the details of the principle of universal jurisdiction addressing confounding areas such as state versus universal judgment, which countries should give judgements, and what crimes will be considered to be of universal judgment importance. France recommends holding a meeting with all nations invited to discuss and clarify the principle. This helps clear doubts about the rules, but also it promotes equality between nations. These changes proposed by France to the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction will help create standardness throughout its laws, protect people from impunity, balance state sovereignty, and it will show everyone the importance of human rights for all.

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Celia Kaechele 11/22/2023 13:07:08

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Jordan
Delegate Name: Phaedon Papadopoulos

Universal jurisdiction is a topic in which nations convicted of heinous crimes are held accountable by foreign states and territories. Ever since the creation of organized nations, international conflict has played a factor in the deaths of millions of people across the planet, whether said conflict be war, genocide, terrorism, and so on. A commonly mentioned solution to combatting foreign conflict is universal jurisdiction, which taken at face value, would seem like an unquestionable answer. Unfortunately, many inhibiting factors contradict the apparent success of universal jurisdiction. Such factors include, but are not limited to increased conflict, attacks on national sovereignty, misuse or excessive abuse of universal jurisdiction, and an overall risk of doing the opposite of what was originally intended for foreign interference: bringing peace.

There are countless of examples where nations utilized universal jurisdiction as an attempt to deescalate conflicts. The most notable example of this is the entire existence of World War II, where nations like the United States, France, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain interfered with the German invasion of Poland, which would ultimately spread a wildfire of wars and battles across the planet. Millions of people would die following the war and some diplomatic relations would never be the same; however, it is also unclear what would have happened if these countries did not intervene with Germany’s plan. This shows that universal jurisdiction can essentially be summarized as a gamble; there can be only one outcome of a conflict, and that conflict depends on whether a nation chooses to interfere or not.

World War II is in the past; however, disputes such as the Israel-Palestine conflict or the Ukraine-Russia war are actively wreaking havoc on diplomatic relations between not just the countries involved, but countries with opposing stances on these conflicts and how they should go about solving them. The delegation of Jordan sees that jurisdiction must rest with nations initially involved in any sort of dispute, unless said nations are unable to do so. In this case, universal jurisdiction in any necessary amount must be utilized as an attempt to control further conflict that could lead to the causing of heinous crimes, humanitarian warfare, or involuntary foreign involvement. Collaboration, and especially communication, between allies and enemies alike must play a role in decreasing diplomatic feuds and holding hostile nations accountable. It is crucial to pinpoint common enemies in specific conflicts for further discussing what actions would be taken to ultimately bring peace and stability to every country involved.

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KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/22/2023 11:21:54

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
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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FHN Delegates 11/22/2023 11:56:51

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Delegate Name: David Liu

Legal Committee
The Principle Of Universal Jurisdiction
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
David Liu, Forest Hills Northern High School.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) recognizes the discussions surrounding the principle of universal jurisdiction within international law. While acknowledging its role in prosecuting serious crimes irrespective of the location, the DPRK stands firmly in emphasizing the critical importance of state sovereignty in the application of such principles.

North Korea, like many nations, has experienced the ramifications of external intervention and perceived encroachments on its sovereignty. The DPRK’s historical backdrop includes instances where external entities have sought to dictate legal proceedings or have imposed sanctions, undermining the nation’s sovereignty. This history shapes the DPRK’s cautious approach toward international legal mechanisms, such as universal jurisdiction.

Within the context of the Korean Peninsula, North Korea has faced criticisms and accusations from external bodies alleging human rights violations. Such allegations, often based on satellite imagery and defector testimonies, are subject to extensive scrutiny, with North Korea vehemently rejecting many claims as politically motivated or fabricated by hostile entities. The DPRK firmly asserts that legal matters concerning alleged crimes committed within its sovereign borders should be addressed internally, respecting the nation’s legal frameworks and institutions.

Universal jurisdiction, although intended to serve justice globally, poses challenges when applied without due consideration for state sovereignty. The DPRK acknowledges the need for justice for victims of heinous crimes but asserts that legal proceedings involving its citizens or within its territory should primarily fall under its jurisdiction. The utilization of universal jurisdiction without respecting sovereign boundaries could result in political manipulation or the imposition of external agendas on sovereign states.

Moreover, the DPRK stresses the importance of balanced definitions within international law to prevent the misuse or politicization of legal mechanisms. Vague or ambiguous definitions may lead to misinterpretations or conflicts between states, hindering diplomatic relations and potentially escalating tensions.

In conclusion, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea advocates for a cautious approach towards the application of universal jurisdiction. The DPRK prioritizes state sovereignty while recognizing the significance of seeking justice for international crimes. Any developments in defining universal jurisdiction must consider the delicate balance between justice for victims and respect for sovereign boundaries.

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Kaycee Duffey 11/22/2023 11:44:57

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: United arab Emirates
Delegate Name: Sara Gupta

Legal Committee
The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
United Arab Emirates
Sara Gupta, Forest Hills Northern High School

Universal Jurisdiction requires maintaining the precarious balance between state sovereignty and global justice. As an integral aspect of international law, universal jurisdiction allows any country to prosecute perpetrators of particularly heinous crimes, regardless of the location of the crime committed or its nationality. Examples of heinous crimes include crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, and torture. The principle of universal jurisdiction has been used to try a senior Nazi official in Israel and extradite former Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet to Spain by the United Kingdom House of Lords.

The United Arab Emirates’s legal system is constitutionally based on the UAE Civil Code (Federal Law No. (5) of 1985 Concerning the Civil Code) and Sharia principles. The UAE understands the importance of and supports universal jurisdiction; however, it is concerned with the scope and abuse of universal jurisdiction as it may undermine state sovereignty.

On October 12, 2022, the UAE, along with other nations, spoke on the use of universal jurisdiction in the 77th session of the Sixth Committee. The UAE believes that the principle should be invoked in grave circumstances in which proceedings “fall outside the usual scope of national laws.” It is necessary to account for the differences between the legal systems. The principle is complementary to the jurisdiction of the states where the crime is committed and does not enable the undermining of state sovereignty. Universal Jurisdiction must not be used against countries or heads of state and government arbitrarily or politically. The United Arab Emirates acknowledges the importance of the principle of universal jurisdiction and seeks to work with other nations to establish its uses while not restricting the legal systems of other countries.

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FHEDelegates 11/22/2023 10:43:47

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Palestinian Authority
Delegate Name: Reese Bower

Universal jurisdiction, first introduced in the 1949 Geneva Conventions, is the idea that certain crimes are serious enough that they affect the world as a whole. Utilizing universal jurisdiction, any country can prosecute a particularly heinous crime–such as torture, genocide, or ethnic cleansing–occurring anywhere. This works to ensure that no atrocious crimes go unpunished and that there are no “safe havens” for commitors of these crimes. Certain treaties, including the 1973 Convention against Apartheid and the 1984 Convention against Torture, call upon the implementation of universal jurisdiction by states parties. Although the principle of universal jurisdiction works to ensure heinous crimes are prosecuted, it is complicated by the balance between state sovereignty and the pursuit of international justice it requires.

The abundance of atrocious crimes that have both already occurred and are currently occurring in Palestine makes universal jurisdiction crucial. According to the 1995 Israel-Palestine Interim Agreement, Palestinian courts do not have jurisdiction over Israelis, rendering the Palestinian court useless for addressing Israeli war crimes. Although Israeli courts are supposed to recognize and prosecute Israeli crimes, they prove inadequate, perpetuating a system where Palestinian justice is difficult to achieve without the use of universal jurisdiction. Attempts at the prosecution of Israelis through universal jurisdiction have been made, but they have failed. An arrest warrant by a London court for Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni was unsuccessful when it was ruled she had immunity due to a “special mission”; British courts additionally warranted an arrest of Israeli General Doron Almog for alleged war crimes, but he evaded the arrest. Although Palestine is a state party to the Rome Statute and it was ruled that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has jurisdiction in prosecuting war crimes in Palestine, universal jurisdiction is a necessary further method to hold committers of war crimes in Palestine accountable.

Palestine supports the just use of universal jurisdiction, therefore looking favorably upon the inclusion of preventative measures for countries either exercising or deliberately not exercising universal jurisdiction for political motives. Additionally, Palestine demands the fortification of universal jurisdiction to fill the gap in prosecution by the ICC, as they only have jurisdiction over crimes occurring in state parties or committed by the nationals of state parties. This can be achieved through cooperation with the state’s national court to ensure the prosecution of heinous crimes, implementation of terms for removal of immunity to universal jurisdiction applying to officials complacent in global atrocities, and application of international standards to which fair and just trials comply.

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Kaycee Duffey 11/22/2023 10:01:33

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Gabon
Delegate Name: Macie Dow

Rooted in ancient legal traditions, universal jurisdiction has evolved through crucial milestones such as the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials post-World War II and the establishing of the International Criminal Court in 2002. These milestones have contributed to recognizing and accepting universal jurisdiction to hold individuals accountable for grave international crimes, regardless of nationality or where they were committed.
Gabon emphasizes the global commitment to accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. It views the principle of universal jurisdiction as an essential tool in fostering a just and secure world. As a responsible member of the international community, Gabon acknowledges the importance of collective efforts to combat corruption for the most severe transnational offenses.
Gabon has consistently demonstrated its commitment to upholding international law by ratifying crucial agreements such as the Genocide Convention. Domestically, Gabon is working towards aligning its legal framework with universal jurisdiction principles, reinforcing its dedication to prosecuting individuals responsible for serious international crimes through legislative reforms.
While recognizing the importance of universal jurisdiction, Gabon acknowledges the challenges associated with its application. Establishing a coherent and universally accepted legal framework proves to be a formidable task. Additionally, the selective enforcement of universal jurisdiction raises apprehensions, particularly regarding the potential exploitation of this principle by powerful states pursuing their geopolitical interests. As Gabon navigates the complexity of international justice, ensuring impartial execution without political bias emerges as a serious concern.
Gabon advocates for a more nuanced approach that considers the various legal and cultural contexts in which these crimes occur. Gabon’s top priority is to strike a delicate balance between global accountability and respect for national sovereignty. Recognizing the legal landscape’s complexity, Gabon encourages the international community to work together to establish clear and consistent legal frameworks for universal jurisdiction. Gabon proposes creating universally accepted definitions and standards for crimes deserving such jurisdiction. This would increase the principle’s effectiveness while reducing the risk of selective application.
The Republic of Gabon is concerned about the possibility of selective enforcement of universal jurisdiction, which could be used for political gain. It advocates for impartiality and fairness in its application, calling on the international community to avoid misuse that could jeopardize the principle’s credibility.
Gabon is committed to seeking justice for grave international crimes while upholding the principles of sovereignty and fairness. Gabon believes that applying universal jurisdiction in an inclusive, cooperative, and culturally sensitive manner is crucial for fostering a just and equitable global legal order. As it engages in discussions and negotiations on this pressing matter, Gabon stands ready to work with other nations to address the challenges and work toward a world where accountability prevails without jeopardizing sovereign states’ autonomy.

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Kaycee Duffey 11/22/2023 09:49:42

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Finland
Delegate Name: RJ(Robert) Langen

Legal Committee
The Principle Of Universal Justice
The Republic of Finland
RJ(Robert) Langen
Forest Hills Northern

Finland is a country that values human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. Finland believes that universal justice is a principle that allows states or international organizations to claim criminal jurisdiction over individuals who commit serious crimes against international law, such as crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, and torture, regardless of where the crime was committed or the nationality of the perpetrator or the victim. Finland supports the idea that such crimes harm the international community or international order itself, which individual states may act to protect.

Finland recognizes that universal justice is not only a legal concept but also a moral duty and a means to prevent impunity and ensure accountability for grave human rights violations. Finland has incorporated universal jurisdiction into its national legislation, allowing its courts to prosecute persons suspected of crimes under international law. Finland has also ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is based on the principle of complementarity, meaning that the ICC can only exercise jurisdiction when national courts are unable or unwilling to do so.

Finland urges all states to adopt legislation that enables the exercise of universal jurisdiction over crimes under international law and to cooperate with the ICC and other international tribunals that seek to bring justice to the victims of such crimes. Finland also calls for the respect and protection of human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, and civil society organizations that work to expose and document human rights violations and support universal justice. Finland believes that universal justice is essential for achieving peace, security, and reconciliation in the world.

“Human rights in Finland – Wikipedia.”
“Finland’s international human rights policy – Ministry for Foreign …”
“Universal Jurisdiction Law and Practice in Finland – Open Society Justice Initiative.”
“Finland — The scope and application of the principle of universal …”
“Basic Facts on Universal Jurisdiction | Human Rights Watch.”
.“States Parties to the ICC | International Criminal Court Project.”
“Western European and Other States | International Criminal Court – ICC.”
“European Union and the International Criminal Court – Wikipedia.”
“Supporting Human Rights Defenders Together: Guidelines of the Finnish …”

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Kaycee Duffey 11/22/2023 10:26:53

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Ukraine
Delegate Name: Aanya Muzumdar

Legal Committee
The Principal of Universal Jurisdiction
Aanya Muzumdar, Forest Hills Northern High School

The principle of Universal Jurisdiction asserts that perpetrators who commit heinous offenses against humanity, including crimes such as war crimes, genocide, and torture, are enemies of all humanity. It is the duty of all states to hold them accountable, regardless of borders. Any state should be able to prosecute perpetrators of these crimes regardless of their nationality or the location of the crime. The 1961 prosecution of a senior Nazi official for his role in the Holocaust in Israel and the extradition of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to Spain by the UK’s House of Lords in 1999 are prime examples of such application. International tribunals and State courts can invoke this prosecution against such perpetrators. Numerous States have incorporated flavors of universal jurisdiction in their national legislation and criminal codes. There is a strong consensus on the need for the existence of such jurisdiction as it discourages these crimes, but equally exists the concerns of misuse, abuse, the possibility of conflict between states, violations of state sovereignty, the need for political independence, and non-interference in the internal affairs of States, as well as the need for immunity of State officials.

The principle of universal jurisdiction is enshrined in Article 8 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine under which foreign nationals or stateless persons not residing permanently in Ukraine, who have committed criminal offenses outside Ukraine, are criminally liable. As part of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, there have been countless events that conform to the acts of war crimes. Multiple countries including Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Romania have come to Ukraine’s aid and initiated state-level universal jurisdiction investigations into these war crimes. Per requests from numerous countries, the International Criminal Court opened an investigation into this situation and issued arrest warrants for two leading Russian officials with no real consequences as does not recognize its universal jurisdiction. Ukraine’s courts have thousands of prosecutions pending related to these war crimes.

Ukraine has been on the receiving end of support and justification using the universal jurisdiction law. It values the existence of this law that was enacted to act as a deterrent to heinous crimes but believes a lot needs to be done to make it effective. It has gaps as not all States have adapted this into their legislations or States invoking universal jurisdiction many times do not have access to the evidence to substantiate the crime, or there is the huge political cost if it is a high profile perpetrator or even if proven guilty or State do not have physical access to the perpetrator to arrest them, or it can be politically motivated. Ukraine believes there needs to be an overarching jurisdiction that mandates and transcends over all States that are part of the UN, one which alleviates the above gaps so it cannot be abused and has the right to hold these criminals accountable so they cannot find the safe haven in their State. Ukraine looks forward to working with other States to build a better alignment on the scope, principle, and process of implementing Universal Jurisdiction to make sure no heinous crime goes unpunished.

Works Cited
Ukraine_Criminal Code, 8 November 2013, Accessed 21 November 2023.
“Universal Criminal Jurisdiction in Ukraine | Institute for War and Peace Reporting.” IWPR, 20 September 2022, Accessed 21 November 2023.
“Universal jurisdiction.” Wikipedia, Accessed 21 November 2023.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/22/2023 09:42:54

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Denmark
Delegate Name: Reagan Overmyer

International law has recognized that in some instances, crimes can be so serious that the obligation to prosecute them goes beyond borders. This is called “Universal Jurisdiction” and applies to crimes in violation of international law. This includes war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, and torture. Universal jurisdiction was built on the concept that certain perpetrators are “enemies of mankind” and any nation should have the authority to prosecute and hold perpetrators accountable for their heinous crimes, regardless of the perpetrators nationality, the victims nationality, or where the crime itself was committed.

Danish law currently provides for universal jurisdiction over crimes that, under international law, Denmark is obligated to prosecute. This includes torture under the Convention of Torture and in some circumstances, breaches of the Geneva Convention. However, the sole existence of universal jurisdiction doesn’t mean that the nation can act as an international enforcer of criminal law, there are many challenges that come with universal jurisdiction. One of these is the presence of the suspect; although it is not required by Section 8 (5) of the Danish Penal Code, the perpetrator must be there voluntarily for Danish authorities to have jurisdiction over the crime(s) that they are committed to prosecute by international law. If the suspect leaves Denmark then the case will be out of their hands. Extradition will only be requested if and when a suspect has been charged and flees the country.

The Kingdom of Denmark looks to collaborate with countries like Norway that have taken the step to investigate cases regarding universal jurisdiction, by utilizing a specialized unit to oversee it. Denmark recognizes that the actual practice of universal jurisdiction has fallen behind the actual law in books, and hopes to change that dramatically. Denmark wants to resolve the issues in clarity and agree on a resolution in hopes of maintaining justice globally.

Works Cited
Mattioli-Zeltner, Géraldine. “Universal Jurisdiction in Europe.” Human Rights Watch, June 2006, Accessed 20 Nov. 2023.
Universal Jurisdiction – CJA.
“Universal Jurisdiction in Europe: The State of the Art: VII. Denmark.”, Accessed 20 Nov. 2023.
“Universal Jurisdiction: A Preliminary Survey of Legislation around the World – 2012 Update.” Amnesty International,

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GRCityDelegates 11/22/2023 07:57:42

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Poland
Delegate Name: KenZie Low

Legal Committee
Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Republic of Poland
KenZie Low
City High Middle

Universal Jurisdiction is defined as the ability of any nation to prosecute a perpetrator of heinous crimes, no matter the nationality or the State in which the perpetrator is located. Universal Jurisdiction was created in the Geneva Conventions to ensure global justice. It is important to differentiate the ICC and Universal Jurisdiction, as the limited jurisdiction of the ICC allows for perpetrators to be left unpunished. Famous cases of universal jurisdiction are the following: the prosecution of a senior Nazi official in 1961 tried by Israel for his role in the Holocaust, and the UK’s vote of the Spanish prosecution of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet for alleged torture. There are 194 signatories of the Geneva Conventions, meaning that the signatory States are obligated to prosecute perpetrators of international crimes if they are in their territory. However, with the right of states to prosecute perpetrators outside their country, states are concerned with potential misuse, abuse, or state sovereignty being affected by such a right. Additionally, to be effective, such prosecution must address the complexity of indicting international crimes and the difficulty that some nations might have with prosecuting war crimes and collecting evidence. As there are many differing opinions on how Universal Jurisdiction should be applied, the definition of Universal Jurisdiction must be adjusted to be legally clear and certain.

The Polish Criminal Code states the requirements of Polish universal jurisdiction for multiple scenarios. This revised code was sent to the UN by Prof. Przemyslaw Saganek, Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in 2016. First, Polish criminal law applies to the acts of Polish nationals or foreigners committed aboard without the crime being punishable in the territory in which the crime was committed. However, the act must be aligned with international law or the ICC statute. The foreigner is punished unless he is extradited. Second, the Polish State may penalize a Polish national for a crime committed abroad if the crime hurts Poland’s economy or Poland’s agencies. For a foreigner to be punished in Poland for committing a crime against the Polish State, the same rules apply except the crime must be a crime in the territory in which it was committed. Third, for foreign perpetrators who committed a crime that does not directly affect Poland or is not aligned with international law, several criteria must be met for Poland to apply their criminal law to them: the crime committed must be punishable by two years of imprisonment by Polish law, it must be penalized in the state in which the crime was committed, and the perpetrator is in Poland and is not set to be extradited. This scenario is very rare. Poland has developed these provisions to ensure rightful and respectful universal jurisdiction laws for their country and its citizens. The nation began to exercise universal jurisdiction on March 1, 2022, as the Polish Minister of Justice tried to initiate proceedings against Russia for alleged war crimes during its attack on Ukraine. Additionally, Poland is part of the EU’s ‘Genocide Network’, which strives to prevent heinous crimes so the EU is not a haven for perpetrators.

Poland is a supporter of Universal Jurisdiction and believes it provides global justice. Poland believes in the principle of complementarity and holds that Universal Jurisdiction should only be applied when a state is unwilling to punish the crime. Domestic courts have priority. Professor Przemyslaw Saganek notes that it is not harmful for different countries to have different approaches to their scope of jurisdiction. Universal Jurisdiction should also be used justly and should not be used as an attack against another nation; prosecutors must respect the jurisdiction of other states. However, countries must adopt new laws to make the process of prosecution easier given that gathering evidence from war/international crimes is difficult. Countries must define core international crimes and incorporate them into national law, increase international crime units to deal with such crimes and allocate human and financial resources to assist in prosecution. Decreasing the uncertainty as to when punishing international crimes is acceptable will help mitigate the abuse of universal jurisdiction. Cooperation among states must be increased, and support must be given to the ICC as Universal Jurisdiction should be used in moderation. Poland is open to increasing the clarity of universal jurisdiction and hopes to increase state cooperation and understanding in terms of maintaining justice around the world.

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Kaycee Duffey 11/22/2023 06:46:56

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Cuba
Delegate Name: Ema Bekic

Legal Committee
The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Republic of Cuba
Ema Bekic, Forest Hills Northern High School

The Republic of Cuba recognizes the importance of Universal Jurisdiction as a combatant against impunity and agrees with the statement that some crimes are so heinous that they transcend all borders. Universal Jurisdiction, based on the idea that perpetrators of said heinous crimes are Hostis humani generis (Enemies of humankind) and therefore open to accountability from any nation, regardless of where the crime was committed or the perpetrator’s nationality, is crucial to International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Nevertheless, the Republic is concerned over this principle’s possible misuse and exploitation. In particular, concerns have been raised over Universal Jurisdiction being used in a unilateral, selective, and politically-motivated manner by developed nations against legal persons of developing countries. Universal Jurisdiction plays an integral role in humanity’s well-being but must be definitive to prevent manipulation.
The order of the Rome Statute and its establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was a leap for humankind towards fair criminal justice. The ICC represents a crucial aspect of the objectiveness of international prosecution. Furthermore, the United Nations began the foundation of the International Law Commission Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, which could’ve been the start of a more selective and objective assessment of Universal Jurisdiction. However, this failed due to various factors, which, if addressed, could introduce an impactful solution for all. Firstly, the 1991 draft was deemed too political, with jargon such as “mercenarism,” “colonialism,” and “crimes against the environment.” This terminology only deepened the view of Universal Jurisdiction as politically motivated. Secondly, the rejection of the draft by more prominent and more developed countries, who held an aversion to international criminal justice institutions to which its officials could be subjected, had a pivotal role in the failure of the Code.
Keeping in mind the principles of self-sovereignty and justice, Cuba proposes a new draft code built off of objective fundamentals, establishes the ICC as the final arbiter of international criminal cases, and holds all signatories accountable for the operation of said code in their nation. Moreover, any definite motive, political or otherwise, discovered during a trial should allow the case to be transferred to the ICC in order to adhere to the right of a free trial. Universal Jurisdiction is the foundation of this proposed code, integrating the commitment to justice and fairness, ensuring that no act of impunity can evade the pursuit of truth and impartiality.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/22/2023 00:19:57

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Ethiopia
Delegate Name: Julia Malone

Submitted To: Legal Committee
From: Ethiopia
Subject: The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction

Universal jurisdiction is the principle of allowing any state indiscriminate power in legal proceedings in the event of occurrences such as genocide, war crimes, slavery, and torture. The concept was created in the 1949 Geneva Convention as part of a larger plan to prevent another Holocaust. The first use of universal jurisdiction was by the Israeli government to prosecute a genocidal Third Reich leader despite the leader having no formal connections to Israel.
While Ethiopia sees that having a universal jurisdiction policy has merit, the country also believes that universal jurisdiction should only be used if absolutely necessary. The country of Ethiopia fears that universal jurisdiction will be abused by countries attempting to advance their own policies and not for the overall well-being of the world.
Ethiopia believes that territorial, national, and security jurisdictions should all be exhausted before considering the usage of universal jurisdiction. In a 2023 statement to the United Nations Chairperson, Ethiopia doubled down on its rejection of the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court (ICC), a policy Ethiopia has held since the founding of the ICC.
Ethiopia did not always have such a cynical view on universal jurisdiction, as shown by the country’s consistent support of both the various Geneva Conventions and generalized punishments for those who have committed war crimes. In 2006, an African Union-European Union joint report on universal jurisdiction stressed that “Temporal, geographical, personal and subject-matter limitations on the jurisdiction of international criminal courts and tribunals mean that universal jurisdiction remains a vital element in the fight against impunity.” Ethiopia agrees with this joint statement as a founding and continually prominent member of the African Union. Ethiopia recognizes that local and even national justice systems are not always up to par and additionally realizes that universal jurisdiction exists to remedy this issue.
In 2011, the ICC began employing an unofficial policy targeting African leaders. Thus, Ethiopia began an official policy stating that the ICC should not continue exercising its power over the sovereignty of established states. While the ICC has some limits to its power, Ethiopia would like to fully reconsider the idea of even having such a body to begin with.
In this committee, Ethiopia would like to thoroughly evaluate the values and limitations of practical applications of universal jurisdiction. Ethiopia would like to create new guidelines that specify exactly which events universal jurisdiction can be used in and to what extent it can be used. Ethiopia would also like to see serious consideration of the merits of having an International Criminal Court in its present form. Additionally, Ethiopia looks forward to debating in committee this GLIMUN and cannot wait to see all the other delegations!

Works Cited

Taye, Bethelihem. “Ethiopia Statement — Universal Jurisdiction — Sixth Committee (Legal) — 78th Session.” The United Nations, Sept. 2023.

International Justice Resource Center. “Universal Jurisdiction.” International Justice Resource Center, 7 Feb. 2010,,community%20or%20international%20order%20itself%2C. Accessed 19 Nov. 2023.

Mohammed, Yusuf Ali. (2022). International Criminal Court and Ethiopia: Comparative Overview and Trends of Current Development. Journal of International Relations and Political Science Studies, (6), 2–19.

“Basic Facts on Universal Jurisdiction.” Human Rights Watch, 19 Oct. 2009, Accessed 22 Nov. 2023.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/21/2023 21:54:39

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Belarus
Delegate Name: Phoebe Navin

Submitted To: Legal Committee
From: Belarus
Subject: Principle of Universal Jurisdiction

Universal jurisdiction is the legal practice of prosecuting a crime, no matter the location, due to its severity. The nation of Belarus believes that universal jurisdiction is essential in the most severe instances of crimes. Still, all lesser crimes should be left to the jurisdiction of each individual state. Crimes such as genocide, ecocide, and specific human rights crises require a higher power to control and eliminate the problems. Less pressing crimes don’t require the same amount of universal force. Although the UN holds resolutions on universal jurisdiction, Belarus believes there is a need for more straightforward requirements and policies to use universal jurisdiction.
Belarus’s main concern on universal jurisdiction is regarding the guidelines and restrictions of such a practice. Belarus acknowledges the need for universal jurisdiction in severe crimes with no justifiable reason. Unfortunately, the “seriousness” and reasoning of a crime are objective to each country and person. Some states are encouraging practicing universal jurisdiction on any human rights issue. Although this can seem helpful, the practice of universal jurisdiction so clearly strips each state of its rights, and should only be used in the most extreme of crimes. Some crimes, such as genocide, must be stopped for the better of the world. Most crimes are state-specific and don’t generally affect any other parties. These lesser crimes do not require universal jurisdiction and instead would only weaken individual states’ powers and rights. Belarus believes that for the better of the world, universal jurisdiction should only be used in extreme crisis situations, and the regulations on such a practice need to be very strict and controlled.
Belarus hopes to work in collaboration with other states to clarify and create resolutions on procedures for universal jurisdiction and its application in the future. Such a resolution would include the specific crimes covered under universal jurisdiction and what power the UN would have to enforce the crimes. With a newfound clarity on the proceedings and purpose of universal jurisdiction, the UN would be able to more effectively prevent and eradicate the worst crimes in our world. This will happen due to a definition of what few crimes merit universal jurisdiction and action and what actions the UN can take to punish these offenses. With such a change, there is a calm to the chaos of universal jurisdiction, and the world improves.
Belarus’s Criminal Code currently addresses the crimes that Belarus sees as worthy of universal jurisdiction. Any citizen or non-citizen in Belarus will be tried within universal jurisdiction if they have committed genocide, crimes against the safety of humankind, use of prohibited weapons of war or mass destruction, ecocide, war crimes, human trafficking, and any other crimes committed outside are included in any international treaty signed by Belarus. These are the crimes that Belarus hopes to implement as crimes within universal jurisdiction in the UN. This short yet vast list are the crimes serious enough for universal jurisdiction, and the crimes that require action no matter the location of the crime. To this extent, Belarus believes in universal jurisdiction, but Belarus has additionally actively stood against treaties and groups on universal jurisdiction. Belarus does not support the International Criminal Court or the Rome Statue due to these two things blatantly violating rights. Belarus believes and supports limited universal jurisdiction applying only to the most heinous crimes. If the universal jurisdiction has too much power, individual states lose their rights and power. Belarus believes universal jurisdiction should be used rarely and only when necessary for the sake of our world.
Belarus hopes to strengthen and clarify the UN’s laws on universal jurisdiction to further prevent and eradicate severe crimes. Although Belarus does not believe in added control, they do hope to update what falls within universal jurisdiction. Belarus hopes to resolve this clarity flaw optimistically, provided other countries share the same beliefs. With more clarity and specifications on universal jurisdiction, a better world will be built.


United Nations Treaty Collection: Statue of Treaties: Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Accessed 19 Nov. 2023

Belarus Criminal Code
Accessed 19 Nov. 2023

Belarus — The Scope and Application of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Accessed 19 Nov. 2023

International Criminal Courts: How the Court Works,the%20ICC%20granting%20it%20jurisdiction.
Accessed 19 Nov. 2023

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Kaycee Duffey 11/21/2023 21:39:12

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Argentina
Delegate Name: Emilio Hernandez

One of the primary tasks of the United Nations is to uphold human rights, to maintain peace and prosperity independently of state borders, and reflecting the opinion of many fellow constituents, Argentina strongly believes in the need for universal jurisdiction in order to carry out this mission. Once again, we begin with the unfortunate, yet undeniable truth that too many people around the world continue to suffer from cases of war crimes, torture, genocide, terrorism, and other crimes against humanity; the theory of universal jurisdiction, then, seeks to establish legal framework that deals with such crimes on a global scale. This concept, of course, allows for prosecution of individuals for certain crimes, regardless of where the crimes were committed or the nationality of the perpetrator. There are various treaties that require participating states to use universal jurisdiction, most famously the Geneva Conventions. Though the UN does not directly handle universal jurisdiction cases, it must (and does) play a role in promoting and facilitating international cooperation in addressing these cases.

The Argentine Republic was among the many countries to sign the Geneva Conventions in the aftermath of World War II, and has continued to show support for various other accords related to universal jurisdiction. In regards to internal law, Article 118 of Argentina’s current constitution of 1994 fully recognizes the practice and has since established a positive and open relationship with the UN. Furthermore, there was recently a legal case where the Argentine government (representing civilian victims of the case) invoked universal jurisdiction to present a claim against notorious members of the Spanish military regime under Francisco Franco, for the alleged acts of genocide and crimes against humanity in Spain during the mid-twentieth century.

In the decades following the creation of the United Nations and the introduction of universal jurisdiction itself, the need for its implementation in all regions of the world has regrettably persisted. As the threat of nuclear or otherwise armed conflict increased, so too did the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols rise to meet the challenge; in that same vein, the Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of Apartheid was enacted in response to the institutionalized oppression of certain racial groups in South Africa; and likewise, the Convention against Torture was adopted by the assembly to combat the perpetuation of the transgression. These efforts have certainly not been in vain, helping to deliver justice to victims, prevent further crimes and guarantee fairness of trials.

Thus, in the eyes of the Argentine Republic, it is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that universal jurisdiction remains as virtuous and necessary as when it was first set into practice. Though its impact may not be immediately obvious, it is self-evident that the principle for which this council has been assembled has positively impacted international relations, encouraging cooperative ventures in the common goal of mankind: enduring peace and justice. In desire to consider the perspective of others, Argentina is open to possible amendments to the definition and limitations under which this policy shall function, but is nevertheless steadfast in its support of its core features. In accordance with this conviction, Argentina calls on the members of this committee to recognize universal jurisdiction and participate in building a better future for all.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/21/2023 20:09:31

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Switzerland
Delegate Name: Lillian Navin

Submitted To: Legal Committee
From: Switzerland
Subject: Principle of Universal Jurisdiction

Universal jurisdiction is a legal precedent that allows criminals to be prosecuted within a nation regardless of where their crime was originally committed. Switzerland believes that the use of universal jurisdiction should be limited to serious crimes, with other offenses punished under the “traditional” notion of jurisdiction. Universal jurisdiction must be a secondary jurisdiction in which no other court has stronger relations in order to balance state sovereignty while combating impunity. In order to clarify when universal jurisdiction can be invoked, Switzerland urges the UN to define when it is appropriate to use universal jurisdiction and when jurisdiction falls to the states.

Universal jurisdiction is an important instrument for combating impunity because it ensures that individuals responsible for the most serious crimes are brought to justice when no court has been seized under other principles of jurisdiction. It does, however, raise the question of what constitutes a severe offense. Switzerland believes it’s in the UN’s best interest to strengthen the definition of a “severe offense” to create a clear threshold for invoking universal jurisdiction. Switzerland calls on the United Nations to build a bridge between prior decisions and precedents in order to establish when universal jurisdiction must be invoked. Furthermore, Switzerland would like to emphasize the importance of greater interstate cooperation and the establishment of clear protocols for cases as well as establishing an order of jurisdiction to promote the collective efficacy of universal jurisdiction.

Switzerland encourages the development of multilateral treaties to facilitate cooperation in the enforcement of universal jurisdiction. A good resolution would set improved standards in which universal jurisdiction can be evoked. Switzerland also recognizes the central role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in prosecuting international crimes. Switzerland proposes the committee consider increased support for the ICC, financially and through the promotion of the Rome Statute as a means of clarifying the principle of universal jurisdiction.

Understanding universal jurisdiction through past precedent is crucial. On June 18, 2021, Alieu Kosiah, a former ULIMO leader, was convicted by Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court, making him the first Liberian to be convicted of war crimes in a Swiss civilian court for actions done during the initial civil war (1989-1996). In this instance, Switzerland’s use of universal jurisdiction provided a road to justice for victims who had no other choices. Switzerland firmly believes that universal jurisdiction is a critical means of combating impunity and assisting victims in obtaining justice. The current definition Switzerland uses for universal jurisdiction is outlined in its criminal code, which allows for the prosecution of particularly serious crimes such as crimes against minors, genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Switzerland suggests implementing a similar definition that applies to all States in their implantation of universal jurisdiction. The Rome Statute establishes another crucial condition for universal jurisdiction. The ICC is given jurisdiction over four major crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression.

Universal jurisdiction is a critical step in combating impunity. Universal jurisdiction cases can be a lifeline for victims who have nowhere else to turn for justice. However, ambiguous conceptions of universal jurisdiction may lead to misapplication, abuse, or conflict. We must jointly enhance the global legal system by promoting international collaboration and improving legal standards. Switzerland is committed to actively contributing to the committee’s efforts and looks forward to a future in which justice is sought universally.


“Switzerland Criminal Code.” Fedlex, Accessed 17 Nov. 2023.

“Switzerland – The scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction.” 24 April 2020 Accessed 18 Nov. 2023.

“Information and observations on the scope and application of the principle of universal Jurisdiction” Accessed 18 Nov. 2023.

Council, The Federal. Switzerland Supports International Criminal Court and Signs Agreement to Facilitate Secondment of Experts, Accessed 18 Nov. 2023.

“UN, Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, UN Treaties, Treaties.” United Nations, Accessed 18 Nov. 2023.

Justice, Federal Office of. “International Criminal Court.” Startseite,,is%20as%20smooth%20as%20possible. Accessed 18 Nov. 2023.

Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland. “OAG Annual Reports.” Startseite, Accessed 18 Nov. 2023.

Franchini, Federico. “Universal Jurisdiction Gains Ground in Switzerland.” SWI Swissinfo.Ch, Swissinfo.Ch, 21 July 2023, Accessed 18 Nov. 2023.

International Criminal Court, Accessed 18 Nov. 2023.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/21/2023 16:23:13

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: China
Delegate Name: Izzy Sheppard

Delegate: Izzy Sheppard
School: Williamston High School
Committee: Legal Committee
Topic: Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: People’s Republic of China

Universal jurisdiction has been a key part of the United Nations from the very beginning. Universal jurisdiction is the right of any member nation to be able to prosecute any person who has committed severe international crimes, no matter their origin or current home country. Nations can only participate in prosecution if they have agreed to let people from their nation to be prosecuted. Universal jurisdiction has successfully worked multiple times since its creation with the prosecution of many top Nazi officials from World War II, as well as other corrupt politicians and other major criminals. The system functions to provide a backup for prosecuting grave crimes in the case that the state the crime is committed in does not take care of it in its courts. The idea of universal jurisdiction has effectively helped prosecute heinous acts, while also providing support to all people to report international crimes worldwide.
China has supported universal jurisdiction since its beginning having signed the 1949 Geneva Conventions and fully supported universal jurisdiction in its entirety throughout history. China has actively supported this system since its founding and though it has never actively persecuted another nation or individual for war crimes, China supports every nation’s right to do so. China has also had lots of input regarding proceedings of universal jurisdiction with former delegates of China writing the Chairman of the General Assembly of the UN regarding China’s strong support and China’s position on what actions the UN should take to ensure that universal jurisdiction is a tool all nations can use. China has suggested many ideas, such as how the GA establishes parameters to ensure that universal jurisdiction will not be abused by any nation in any capacity, and also a stricter term as to help nations when and when not to be able to use universal jurisdiction.
Proceeding, much like in the past, China would like to further support and strengthen universal jurisdiction. China would gladly work with member nations to ensure both proper accessibility and proper use of the system, to ensure that true international justice can be achieved. To this end, China would possibly like to see some kind of plan laid out so that nations that need it can receive help to ensure the proper opportunity to prosecute a nation or an individual for heinous international crimes. To achieve this, China would look favorably upon the establishment of a monetary fund so that countries can afford and receive the proper resources to achieve total universal jurisdiction accessibility. China would also like to further define the system of universal jurisdiction to prevent nations from misinterpreting the policies that allow for it to function and abuse it. China will gladly work with other nations to ensure that the ability to prosecute a nation or person through universal jurisdiction is protected.

Works Cited:
Binxin, Zhang. “Criminal Justice for World War II Atrocities in China.” TOAEP, 2014.
Human Rights Watch. “Basic Facts on Universal Jurisdiction.” Human Rights Watch, 28 Oct. 2020,
Kai, Li. “At the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly On Agenda Item 84 The Scope and Application of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction.” Chinese Delegation, 2015.
Wu, Zhou. “Statement by Mr. Zhou Wu Chinese Delegate ( Translation) At the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly On Agenda Item 86 The Scope and Application of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction.” Chinese Delegation, 2015.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/21/2023 15:43:02

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Ghana
Delegate Name: Thomas Meyer

Committee: LEGAL
Topic: Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Delegate: Thomas Meyer
School: Williamston High School

Universal jurisdiction is the idea that the United Nations can try people for crimes even in a country where the crime was not committed. It allows those who perpetrate heinous crimes to be tried by any nation. This is particularly important because without Universal jurisdiction the UN would need a country to agree to extradite one of their citizens, which has proved to be difficult in the past. Key examples of this concept being used include a Nazi official being prosecuted by Israel in 1961 and the UK voting to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to Spain.

Ghana is very supportive of universal jurisdiction. In 2014 Ghana hosted a seminar to foster cooperation with high level officials from nine different African countries. Goals discussed included witness protection and investigations.. In the past they have also passed laws so that in Ghana international crimes are also considered domestic crimes.

The country of Ghana suggests that every country should agree to not only punish international fugitives, but also refuse to harbor them and extradite any international criminals they have in the country. Ghana suggests that there could be a punishment for any nation that breaks these rules.

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Trevor Riley 11/21/2023 13:24:00

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Canada
Delegate Name: Pradham Nalam

Crime exists everywhere. Crime is an act that goes against the law. However, there are crimes that completely divert the standard of choosing where the criminal goes through due process. Some criminals are deemed so dangerous that they are considered a threat to all mankind. These crimes are defined as “Heinous Crimes”. The word heinous means very wicked and cruel. The term heinous crimes can be exaggerated and established towards any crime that can promote any immoral act. However, under the eyes of the Untied Nations, heinous crimes are rather diverted towards the most evil and unholy acts such as genocide, torture, war crimes, or anything that hurts, kills, or affects a lot of people in a bad way. To protect the world and to maintain peace between communities and countries, the principle of universal jurisdiction was established. Universal jurisdiction is a legal principle that allows states or international organizations to claim criminal jurisdiction over an accused person regardless of where the alleged crime was committed, and regardless of the accused’s nationality, country of residence, or any other relation to the prosecuting entity. As the world progressed into a time of balance after World War II, many realized that criminals that commit the ugliest deeds go unpunished for the small fact that they have left or fled the jurisdiction of the crime committed. This allowed such criminals to escape and deny justice to the victims. Although many treaties, mandates, and powers of the individual state gave a country the right to universal jurisdiction, it wasn’t until 1961 that Israel used these powers to send a former nazi and extremist of the Holocaust Adolf Eichmann through trial without needing debate or permission from other states. Adolf Eichmann was executed by hanging in 1962 through Israel laws. Universal Jurisdiction allows countries to trial criminals that have committed heinous crimes in their own laws.

Canada recognizes universal jurisdiction as a well-established principle of international law over the most serious international crimes. Some crimes are sufficiently serious so that universal or global denunciation is warranted. These crimes attack the interests of all States; and as such, it is in the interests of all States to ensure that these crimes are suppressed and that the perpetrators are prosecuted. Canada has incorporated the principle of universal jurisdiction into domestic legislation by allowing Canadian courts to prosecute certain crimes that did not take place in Canada. The Government of Canada takes seriously its responsibility to ensure that Canada is not a safe haven for perpetrators of serious international crimes. In 2000, Canada enacted the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (CAHWCA)1 to implement into Canadian law violations of international criminal law and international humanitarian law that are subject to individual criminal responsibility in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (the Rome Statute). The CAHWCA extends criminal liability in a manner consistent with the Rome Statute and at times goes beyond it, including within its ambit war crimes arising out of customary international humanitarian law and international criminal law.

Although Universal Jurisdiction is a form of justice, many states argue that a criminal that has been deemed a criminal through acts from a jurisdiction should be tied and trialed in the said jurisdiction, following the said jurisdiction’s laws. To resolve this debate between protents and detents of universal jurisdiction, we propose a mandate. We urge the UN to publish a mandate that allows individual states to convene and create a set of organized laws that these states can follow and proceed in certain situations that call for universal jurisdiction. These states must follow these rules so that no matters can be distorted and argued against. Universal Jurisdiction should be rather formalized and declared between all of the United Nation

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Celia Kaechele 11/21/2023 09:45:51

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Turkey
Delegate Name: Megan Sims

Honorable Chair and Fellow Delegates, the delegation of Türkiye agrees that universal jurisdiction is an important way that allows “victims of grave crimes to seek justice if the territorial state is unable or unwilling to conduct an effective investigator and trial.” This reduces the existence of safe havens where war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and genocide go unpunished. However, we have concerns about the potential for abuse or manipulation. Universal jurisdiction may be applied inconsistently and perhaps even incorrectly in the righteous pursuit of justice (Gladstone, 2021). It is important that we respect all nations equally, honor their ability to self-govern on issues within their borders, and avoid interfering in the internal matters of State. Exercising the right to utilize universal jurisdiction is valuable but must be done with the utmost caution (Kontorovich, 2008)

To minimize abuse of power, economic pressures, or political coercion, we propose that a prosecutor pursuing an investigation and trial of war crime charges must first file a notice of intent with the International Court of Justice, the judicial arm of the United Nations. The prosecutor must provide sufficient evidence that establishes that a State where the crime occurred is ignoring the charges and does not plan to act timely before proceeding with legal proceedings in their country which may have absolutely no connection to the crime.

For example, charges of genocide must be managed with diligence and care. We are concerned that actions taken by countries may be taken out of context, disregarding the facts of the situation, and that different parties of the “situation” could be biased towards others. We do not wish to see the definition of genocide diminished by frivolous lawsuits and attempts to pursue an alternative agenda and not addressing the true issues. In addition, we want to avoid situations that pit the decisions and priorities of the engaged State against the opinion of another nation. For example, if members of the military are granted amnesty for the sake of peace negotiations, is it prudent for another nation to initiate prosecution and jeopardize that?

Therefore, it’s critical to have a process to validate and determine if the intent to prosecute a crime against humanity is pure and without political motivation or economic motivations. The International Court of Justice has a long-standing record of such objective evaluations. The sovereign country where the crime occurred responsible must be given an opportunity to investigate and try the charges presented. If there is a failure to act or take the issues seriously in a timely manner, then the World Court can determine that universal jurisdiction is appropriate and should be pursued by the Nation seeking to prosecute on behalf of the victims of such atrocities.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/21/2023 08:52:14

Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Country: Belgium
Delegate Name: Ellie Thorburn

Universal Jurisdiction gives the authority for a national court to investigate a criminal who has committed a crime on a foreign territory. Belgium has five major judicial areas regarding the jurisdiction of a court of appeal. The five include Brussels, Liege, Mons, Ghent, and Antwerp. Each area is divided into judicial districts with a fourth of first instance. Belgium is a federal state with a civil law system and it is a member of the European Union.
Belgium’s stance on Universal Jurisdiction is allowing national courts to investigate and prosecute international crimes committed against foreign nationals. Belgian courts have jurisdiction to prosecute any person who could be guilty of any serious violation of international humanitarian law. In Article 136 the crime committed in time of peace or war constitutes a crime under international law and is with provisions of the Act. With the breaches by negligence or acts that meet the requirements of the Act, the criminals shall be punished by life imprisonment. With only some listed acts that met the requirements in the Article criminals are punished for 20-30 years. The of years of imprisonment goes down depending on how many laws within the Article have met the requirements.
Belgium has repealed its landmark on universal jurisdiction and is a step backward in fighting the worst atrocities said today. Belgium repealed their universal jurisdiction so individuals in other countries where Belgium committed crimes against the individuals can not hold a trial against Belgium.

Works Cited
“/.” YouTube, 16 June 2023, Accessed 21 November 2023.
“Belgium, Law on Universal Jurisdiction.” How does law protect in war?, Accessed 21 November 2023.
“Belgium: Universal Jurisdiction Law Repealed.” Human Rights Watch, 1 August 2003, Accessed 21 November 2023.

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