Welcome to SMUN’S 2013’s International Court of Justice (ICJ)! We are very excited to welcome you as part of this privileged batch of delegates to the special committee. The ICJ stands apart from the other SMUN Committees as it has an entirely different set of rules and procedure. There are no resolutions to be passed but judgments that are obtained through judicial processes and are legally binding under international law. The emphasis is less on diplomacy and a state’s self interest, but rather on arguments on law and principle. We hope to provide a realistic simulation of the ICJ and the arguments raised by Advocates during their submissions. Advocates play one of the most important roles during and before the ICJ. Your job is to put forward the best case for the country you are representing, which in this case is either the USA or Pakistan. You will have to persuade the judges to rule in favour of your State and hence, you will need strong arguments based on facts and law. In order for their case to succeed, Advocates must succeed in convincing a majority of the judges of the merits of their case over their opponent’s case. Advocates will put forth their arguments in two forms. Firstly, through written proceedings prior to the Conference in the form of a Memorial and secondly, through oral proceedings during the Conference otherwise known as a Hearing. Applications for the position of advocate will be limited to pre-undergraduates and below. Applicants are also reminded that they would likely be given a position of a judge if they do not get the position of advocate and should thus be willing to take it up as well should they be given the position. There will be 17 judges sitting on the Bench in total – 15 permanent judges from various countries, as well as one ad hoc judge specifically for the case each nominated by either the USA or Pakistan. Ad hoc judges will have the same rights as other judges and are there to provide an insight to the local knowledge and to persuade the rest of the Bench as to the view adopted by the party that nominated them and must thus work closely with their advocates pre-Conference to ensure that they fully understand the advocates’ arguments in order to explain them to the rest of the Bench during deliberations. Judges will not be required to submit any position papers pre-Conference. However, Judges are expected to have read the entire ROP carefully, and to be familiar with all the sections covered – Rules of Court, court procedure, the role of advocates, the format and content expected of a Memorial, as well as their own role. Judges must also do extensive and in-depth research on the case at hand, both before and after receiving a copy of the Advocates’ Memorial and cannot rely solely on the facts given in the study guide or by the advocates. Applicants for the position of witness can hold the position concurrently with that of a delegate in another committee. However, when summoned to perform their role they must do so with all possible urgency. We understand that the ICJ is very new to most delegates and preparation can be challenging. We do not expect delegates to have prior knowledge of international law or of how the ICJ works. Do feel free to contact us at [email protected], with [ICJ] as the title, should you have any questions. We are more than happy to entertain queries. All the best in your preparations and see you at SMUN 2013! Laying down the Law, Team ICJ.
Topic 1: Drone Campaign
Why was the topic of drones chosen? Firstly, we find the topic has relevance. The PTI currently leads many polls as the most popular party in Pakistan yet holds no seats in the National Assembly as it boycotted the last election. In the very likely possibility it wins the upcoming elections in May 2013 and forms the new government, it will most probably honour its campaign promises and undertake legal proceedings against the USA. In that event, delegates will have the opportunity to write and debate the case before it is brought to the International Court of Justice. Secondly, we find the topic has breadth. It reveals many key aspects of US foreign policy, and is related to many topics that have captured the attention of the world in the previous years, such as the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, the pullout from Afghanistan and the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the war on terror. It also brings an element of science through the discussion of an advanced form of warfare, giving exposure to delegates to the increasingly interplay between the physical and social sciences as technology develops. Perhaps most importantly, it explores the subject of law in a myriad of its forms. One will see how differently and widely the concept of justice can apply to a soldier and a policeman, a nation state and an individual human being, as the Laws of War, International Law of States and Human Rights Law come together in this topic. Lastly, we find the topic will set precedence. The ruling will affect International Relations and US foreign policy as a whole, but it deals with much. What does it mean when the burden of war is passed on to machines, or when an intelligence organisation has the power to assassinate or execute another by way of hellfire missile in the name of national security? What is lost when a man can kill another from thousands of miles away, yet returns that evening for dinner with his family, or when he is not allowed to rescue or mourn another for fear of a follow up strike? What was lost in the psyche of a nation when the twin towers fell, or when an entire region of it lives in perpetual fear of death from above? The debates within the ICJ will get you thinking on these issues, and the precedence set by the judgement will help provide the answers to many ethical questions that hold relevance to the world, as well as to our future.
The Facebook Group serves as a platform for delegates to discuss issues and stay in contact. Approval of membership to the group will only be done after committee/country allocations have been finalized.
Contact the Dais
You can email the Dais at [email protected]
All committees in SMUN operate with standard Rules of Procedure. Please download the document to facilitate your preparation for the conference.
Study Guides – Topic 1
The Study Guides will tell you in detail of the topics that are being discussed in this year’s conference. Please click on “Topic 1″ or “Topic 2″ to download the Study Guides.