UN 6th Legal Committee (LEGAL)
Head Chair | Benjy Malings
Vice-Chairs | Sherry Guo, Emma Lautanen, Serena Wang
The 6th Committee is the primary General Assembly body tasked with considering matters of international law. 6th Legal debates and sets the standards with which the international community enforces the laws and guidelines it creates through treaties and conventions. 6th Legal’s topics of consideration range from the combating global terrorism, establishing international court systems, and overseeing the application of the UN’s Peacekeeping program. It oversees a wide berth of issues, all centered on issues of applicability of law, such as issues of jurisdiction and enforcement and working to develop international treaties that are effective and clear in guidelines for application.
Topic 1 | Reform of the ICC/ICJ System
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The International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice are the two primary juridical body tasked with the enforcement and application of international law. The ICC is an independent body tasked with bringing individuals accused of international violations of law before a panel of judges— the ICJ is a UN body tasked with adjudicating disputes between sovereign states. Both are essential tools in advancing progressive aims of international law— both, however, are mired in controversy, criticism, and demands for reform. Notably, the United States has withdrawn from accepting the jurisdiction of both courts. This committee will assess the current state of the World Court system and will attempt to formulate principles moving forward toward a system fully accepted and ratified by the entire international body
Topic 2 | Reconsidering the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
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Beginning in 2005, the UN adopted a standard doctrine for determining the legality of international military intervention known as the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). R2P set forth standards for intervention based in the notion that while states are ultimately sovereign bodies free from arbitrary intervention, they are responsible to their citizens to provide basic protections against atrocities and genocide. If these protections are not meant, the international community is said to be able to begin the process of intervention. Applied in the recent Libyan Civil War and notably non-applied in the ongoing conflict in Syria, R2P has come under international scrutiny at a level not seen since its adoption a decade ago. This committee will evaluate the doctrine in light of recent events, and will also consider alternative applications such as the responsibility to protect in situations of natural disasters.