Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
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