On Saturday July 18, 2015 the Association of Attendees and Alumni of The Hague Academy of International Law (AAA), together with the United Nations Association The Netherlands (UNA Netherlands), organizes a Model United Nations (MUN) of the United Nations General Assembly Legal Committee. The theme for this year’s MUN will be: The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction.

The principle of universal jurisdiction can be defined as a legal principle allowing or requiring a State to bring criminal proceedings in respect of certain crimes irrespective of the location of that crime and the nationality of the perpetrator or the victim. The idea behind this principle is that certain crimes are regarded as particularly offensive to the international community as a whole and are too heinous to go unpunished which means that States are obliged to bring proceedings against the perpetrator.

Despite the best intentions of universal jurisdiction, there is no clear definition of the principle at the moment, and the application by individual States therefore stays up to that particular State. The Sixth Committee of the General Assembly is the proper international forum in which this topic can be discussed, to endeavor the possibility of uniformity and to try to ensure that the doctrine is applied as fairly as possible by all States without restrictions.

During the Model United Nations participants will simulate the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and will be part of different delegations. They will draft a resolution on the principle of universal jurisdiction. They will try to find a clear definition of the principle, they will discuss whether the principle should be based on customary international law or on conventional obligations, and finally they will come to a consensus on the relation between the principle of universal jurisdiction and immunity of (former) heads of state.

Practical Information

The Model United Nations will take place at the Peace Palace. Only participants of the Public Course of the Hague Academy of International Law (2015) can register for the MUN at the AAA-desk. The registration will be confirmed after the payment of the registration fee of 20 euros (payment upon registration).

After the registration the AAA will form the different delegations. Please note that there will be a maximum of 90 participants to the MUN!

Model United Nations General Assembly Legal Committee

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