Topic: 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
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Belgium has repealed its landmark on universal jurisdiction and is a step backward in fighting the worst atrocities said today. Belgium repealed their universal jurisdiction so individuals in other countries where Belgium committed crimes against the individuals can not hold a trial against Belgium.
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“Belgium: Universal Jurisdiction Law Repealed.” Human Rights Watch, 1 August 2003, https://www.hrw.org/news/2003/08/02/belgium-universal-jurisdiction-law-repealed. Accessed 21 November 2023.