Topic A: Pre-Trial Hearing: Investigating the Philippines
Since taking office on 30 June 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has launched an abusive war on drugs that has resulted in the death of more than 7,000 Filipinos as of April 2017. The Philippine National Police’s (PNP) own data indicates that police killed at least 2,250 suspected drug personalities from July 2016 to January 2017, with an additional 3,600 alleged drug users and dealers killed by undefined gunmen. In Duterte’s so-called war, suspects die in encounters with police, are shot by motorcycle-riding vigilante gunmen, or are killed by trained and unofficial police death squads. Their tortured and taped-up bodies are left with a cardboard confessional sign strapped around their necks, saying “pusher” or “drug lord,” and dumped under a bridge or in a neighboring town. The guilt of victims has not yet been proven, seriously investigated, or even questioned. According to analysts, taking into account the mass killings, Duterte is continuing the unwritten state policy of extrajudicial killings against perceived enemies of the State.
On 23 May 2017, an armed conflict began between the Philippine government security forces and militants of the Maute terrorist group (allied with ISIS) after the latter laid siege to the city of Marawi, the capital of the Lanao del Sur province. Thus, President Duterte released Proclamation No. 216, which declares military rule in Mindanao and was approved by a majority in the Senate. The situation in the Philippines is of major interest for the ICC due to the alleged crimes against humanity derived from the abuses of authority by Duterte, which at the same time are derived by the country’s war on drugs. Delegates will thus examine the available evidence and compare it to the International Criminal Court’s framework to determine the course of action for Duterte and the Philippines.
Topic B: Pre-Trial Hearing: Investigating Australia
Major political leaders and government officials in Australia may be committing crimes against humanity in the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees in the country. Australia is currently the only country in the developed world to still detain its boat-arriving refugees while their applications are being processed and subject them to gross human rights abuses while they are held in offshore processing detention centers. Accounts of guards abusing and assaulting refugees, the involvement of illicit drug exchanges, or the recording of footage of the acts to then be propagated make the human rights record of these centers incredibly dubious. Going even further, clear evidence exists that the Australian government detains refugees indiscriminately for long periods of time, isolates them from legal help or representation, and does not inform them of their rights.
Specifically, the submission names Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison, among others, as the main perpetrators of crimes against humanity for instituting and maintaining these policies as well as allowing crimes to go unprosecuted or fixed while refugees suffered. As heads of their departments, they are considered the clearest perpetrators due to their roles as chief policy makers as well as their knowledge of the issues and abuses being committed. Despite their understanding, they have done nothing substantial to address the issues. This topic will reveal to delegates that a developed democratic state is often overlooked and receives very little media attention when committing serious violations. Delegates will use legal statutes to analyze the situation in Australia and come to a decision regarding the necessary steps that must be taken in the country.