Fair Sentencing Act

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#180: Fair Sentencing Act

Category: Furtherment of Democracy
Proposed By: Gruenberg
Strength: Mild
Status: Passed
Adopted: 2006.10.10
Votes For: 9,597
Votes Against: 4,066

The Fair Sentencing Act resolution was the 15th Furtherment of Democracy resolution to reach the UN Floor and was immediately preceded by the Freedom of Assembly resolution. Though this resolution was a significant blocker concerning a frequent subject: capital punishment, like the preceeding resolution, the debate for this resolution focused more on the category than the text of the resolution. The resolution had several significant impacts. First, it called for nations to set up their own system to review appeals of sentences. The resolution stressed that the process of reviews and the original sentences themselves should be handled at the domestic level. Second, the second clause of this resolution asserted the right of nations to determine their own sentences, which by default includes the right to practice capital punishment. Though this second point was raised in the early proposal debates, the larger debate still focused on the nature of the review system. The resolution was adopted by a supermajority vote in early October 2006 by a similar vote as on the previous resolution.

Resolution history

Telegram campaign

The Fair Sentencing Act proposal was first submitted to the proposal queue on Sept. 24, 2006, only days after the sponsoring nation, Gruenberg first presented a draft of the proposal to the UN forum. Gruenberg conducted an intense telegram campaign during the first submission period, but the proposal failed to achieve a quorum by one approval. Iron Felix of Yelda gave the government of Gruenberg a list of UN Delegates that have previously approved the proposal, and the proposal achieved quorum on its second submission.

UN floor debate

The debate on the Fair Sentencing Act was continued in the same discussion thread as the proposal discussions. However, once the resolution reached the UN floor, a large number of nations that had been active in the debates surrounding the Freedom of Assembly resolution turned their attention to this resolution.

Resolution text

The United Nations,

Reaffirming its intent to ensure for all those accused of criminal acts fair legal proceedings,

Believing that all those tried for criminal acts deserve the right to sentencing by a competent judicial body, whether judge, jury or other, able to consider the specific conditions of the case,

Realizing that in many cases, there may be extenuating circumstances, whereby individuals with similar offences may require different sentences, and therefore full consideration of all relevant factors is needed,

Recognising that different societies treat crime and punishment in different ways, and adopt different attitudes to which sentences may be appropriate:

1. Requests that member nations ensure their legal processes are fair and just;

2. Declares the right of nations to determine for themselves the sentences for violations of laws committed within their jurisdictions;

3. Calls for the creation of independent and accountable bodies capable of overseeing and reviewing sentencing decisions;

4. Recommends that nations devolve sentencing powers to the level most capable of taking into account all relevant considerations.

Votes For: 9,597
Votes Against: 4,066
Implemented: Tue Oct 10 2006

Gameplay impacts

Though the Fair Sentencing Act has substantial impacts on issues such as capital punishment, the debate of the resolution largely focused on the resolution's classification as a Furtherment of Democracy resolution. The second clause of the resolution is considered a blocker against future UN resolutions dealing with the death penality, as the clause declared that nations have the right to determine their own sentences for violations of domestic laws.

It should be pointed out that although this resolution granted nations the right to determine the sentences for domestic crimes, that the Right to Refuse Extradition resolution had previously granted nations the right to refuse to extradite people if they might be facing capital punishment. The Fair Sentencing Act does not compel nations to grant extradition, but rather reinforces the justification behind Right to Refuse Extradition.

Additional materials

Gruenberg and the United Nations
Main topic
Resolutions: Repeal "UCPL"Repeal "Right to Divorce"Repeal "The Law of the Sea"Abortion Legality ConventionUN Demining SurveyRepeal "Banning the Use of Landmines"UN Recycling CommissionChild Pornography ProhibitionUN Educational Aid ActIndividual Working FreedomsClothing Supply PactFair Sentencing ActRepeal "Hearing Impaired Aid Act"
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