EOV on the Integrity of the Judicial System – HRC37 Resolution L.11 (Rev 1)

A/HRC/37/L.11 Rev 1

Explanation of  Vote by the United States of America
as delivered by Jason Mack

Human Rights Council, 37th Session
Geneva, March 22, 2018

Thank you, Mr. President.

Despite the picture our Russian colleagues have painted in their rant that does not pertain to this resolution, the United States is fully committed to the goals of promoting and strengthening the integrity of the judicial system in every nation.  We have long had an independent judiciary that is supported by laws, regulations, and ethical codes that work in concert to ensure the judiciary remains impartial, competent, and free of improper influences.

We must highlight several major concerns with respect to the text of the resolution before us.  Despite the resolution’s overarching goal of promoting the integrity of the judicial system, sensible requests to expand the focus of the text to address broader issues related to judicial independence, and to accurately reflect international law, have been rejected.  Once again, the refusal to consider these revisions seriously calls into question whether Russia was at any point negotiating this resolution in good faith.  Furthermore, we continue to be concerned that the resolution mandates an expensive study, even though this is unnecessary and does not address the interests of many states because of its narrow focus.

Finally, we must note that we are surprised to see Russia sponsor a resolution touting the rule of law in the face of its recent pattern of violating international law, most notably its violation of Ukraine’s and Georgia’s territorial integrity, its attempted murders of a British citizen and Russian citizen on the soil of a foreign country, and the widespread impunity in Chechnya.

For these reasons we cannot support this resolution.  We call for a vote on this resolution, and we will vote no. We urge others to do the same

Thank you, Mr. President.