Counselor Steven Hill today said the United States has already submitted information and views on universal jurisdiction which were included in the Secretary-General’s report last year.
“We greatly appreciate the Sixth Committee’s continued interest in this important item. We thank the Secretary-General for his report (A/66/93), which is an extremely useful reference on this topic.” -Mr. Hill
He said the United States supported the decision to consider the scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction in a working group because the topic is an important but complicated one.
“As we look over the reports of the Secretary-General, it is clear that basic questions remain about universal jurisdiction and the views and practices of states related to the topic. Some questions that might be examined by the working group include the following.” -Mr. Hill
He noted that the United States has understood universal jurisdiction to include assertion of criminal jurisdiction by a State for certain grave offenses, where the only link to the particular crime is the presence in its territory of the alleged offender.
“The second question relates to the appropriate scope of the principle. That is to say, to what crimes do universal jurisdictions apply?” -Mr. Hill
He cited that other questions include the relationship between universal jurisdiction and treaty-based obligations, as well as the need to ensure that decisions to invoke it are undertaken in an appropriate manner, including in cases where there are other States that may exercise jurisdiction.
“We look forward to exploring these issues in as practical a manner as possible. We look forward to participating in the working group.” -Mr. Hill