Written by Rachel Jung of of Inkling for UWCSEA MUN.
When in Rome, do as Romans do, or so the old saying goes. In a way, the modern world has not moved much from that kind of thinking. Foreign judgements and the enforcement of such rulings are still a current problem that must be discussed for the development and maintenance of a more sustainable and peaceful world.
The delegate of Colombia was the main proponent who submitted a resolution addressing this issue as a member of the Legal Committee. The resolution proposed methods of how the jurisdiction of a foreign ruling is decided, how to sustain foreign rulings, how to make them legally binding, how to uphold accountability of a country, as well as alternative courses of action should a country refuse to uphold the foreign judgement.
The resolution attempts to focus on just and legal rulings of countries in nations that are not their own, aligning with other countries’ aims to create a fair, inclusive resolution recognised by the UN that would still allow for political and economical sustainability and stability. The resolution is also specific and viable to support the claim that strengthening the enforcement of foreign rulings will bring more communication between nations.
“The resolution that we’re debating is high quality; I feel like there’s not that many loopholes the delegates can find,” says Meghna, Deputy Chair of the Legal Committee. “[The delegates] need to take into account what this means for the future of their country, how this relates to the past of their country. So in the past, has their been any contentious issues regarding these legal enforcements? And what this resolution will change about that.”
However, there were some opposition to the resolution. North Korea expressed dissatisfaction with the resolution despite her thoughts that it was very well-written and presented many feasible plans of action, stating fear that the resolution does not offer enough protection to nations such as North Korea from other “ignorant, apathetic” countries.
“Clause 6, sub-clause b is not nearly descriptive enough to prevent certain states from taking advantage of such laws,” the delegate of North Korea says. “There’s no clause in place to prevent lack of impartiality, meant that countries such as North Korea may be taken advantage of by less honourable states.”
She names the United States of America as an example of one such “dishonourable states”, using her experience with the delegate of the United States from the debate about the previous resolution to make her judgement.
Briana, the delegate of Iceland, shows similar concerns, although is a bit more optimistic. “The things the delegate needs to keep in mind going throughout this [debate] is how much power and say as sometimes more say is given to bigger countries such as the US or China,” she says.
She continues, “[The delegate needs] to watch out for their country’s interests and whether there are things that other countries might take advantage of, as DPRK said earlier, that might oppose this country’s views. Though this delegate would like to find a more peaceful solution and this delegate’s country deeply believes in international relationships and diplomacy.”
Another opposition point was how the enforcement of foreign judgement disrespected the sovereignty of the nation the ruling was being applied to. The delegate of Finland argued that people should be tried according to the judiciary system of their country of origin. He clarified that countries’ rights to govern their own people were not being taken away but rather slighted, and he further clarified that he was concerned about the differences in laws and its sanctions as well as cultural values between countries that would make foreign rulings unfair.
Ultimately, the resolution passed. The majority of the members of the Legal Committee decided that the resolution was just and unbiased, and thus suitable to address the issue of enforcing foreign judgements in an equitable manner. The acceptance and authorization of the resolution could lead to further cooperation between nations and prevent international conflicts. It could also work to improve communication and strengthen respect between nations.
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