LEGAL is the sixth committee in the General Assembly of the United Nations. It acts as the primary forum for international legal questions. It's Member-States meet annually to discuss a wide range of issues. All votings that take place in the Sixth Committee are generally unanimous because of the collaborative nature of the forum. Despite the fact that legislation creation and reinforcement occur in other committees of the General Assembly and in related Specialized Agencies, conflicts that fall under the general umbrella of international law are usually negotiated within the Sixth Committee.
Since its humble beginning as the Office of Legal Affairs in 1946, the committee has continuously devoted its efforts to progressive global development. For example, on December 10th 2014, the Sixth Committee met and updated the effects of past armed conflicts on internationally negotiated treaties. From approving agreements to combating social stigmas, LEGAL has the broad authority to recommend and influence lawful resolutions on a universal scope.
Industrial and technological advances in recent decades have greatly improved our overall quality of life. However, this advancement has come at a dangerous price. In recent years, experts have noticed a significant increase in the amount of environmental damage caused by greenhouse gas emissions. This means that the overall increase in mass production of commercial products is releasing a destructive amount of toxic fuel into the atmosphere.
What has been highly suggested to address this ecological imbalance is the adoption of a worldwide carbon tax. A carbon tax is an amount of money that users of carbon fuel pay to redeem for the damage caused by using carbon fuels. If the tax is set high enough, it can motivate corporations, governments, and individuals to adopt energy production methods that are eco-friendly. At the same time, it can also push nations, companies, and individuals facing economic hardships deeper into debt. If LEGAL were to pass a resolution surrounding this topic, it would cause huge ripples in economies all over the world and leave a lasting impact on the future of fossil fuel-based industries.
Those in higher roles of government share an authoritative benefit when they are handling foreign affairs overseas: diplomatic immunity. Diplomatic immunity is an international law that grants foreign diplomats special rights in a country where they are working. This means they can be exempted from certain foreign laws, policies, and taxes. Under this unique law, diplomats cannot be arrested, detained, or charged with certain fines. For example, if a diplomat receives a parking ticket in a host country; he or she, because of the immunity, would not have to submit a payment for the aforementioned ticket.
The controversy that is associated with diplomatic immunity stems from accusations of the abuse of power and privilege. There have been many individual cases where the actions of diplomatic officials in host countries have been questioned due to their exemption from certain laws. As a committee, debate can focus on the limitations to diplomatic immunity and even whether or not it will be abolished.