Join us for a panel organized by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (CHLRP), with Professor of International Law William Schabas (Middlesex University London), visiting scholar Nidal Jurdi (American University of Beirut), and Professor Frédéric Mégret (McGill Law). Professsor François Crépeau, director of the CHRLP, will moderate.
2017 has been a pivotal year for international criminal justice. It marks the 72nd anniversary of the establishment of the Nuremberg Military Tribunals, the 71st anniversary of the establishment of military tribunals in the Far East, a special year for the United Nations ad hoc tribunals in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda both of which are in a gradual completion of their respective mandates and without forgetting the anniversary of the entry into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
15 years after the establishment of this judicial institution as a permanent body with a universal vocation operating under the new premise of complementarity to national juridictions, this tribunal is now at a crossroads: high-level state officials accused for having committed grave crimes continue to travel around the world, key witnesses are assissinated, charges have been dropped by the office of the prosecutor itself, preliminary examinations stagnate whenever the most powerful are concerned. In Syria, as well as in every situation where nationals of the permanent members of the Security Council or their allies are concerned, it is a total inactivity. Even where the judicial system seems to be moving forward, the immunities of heads of state on the one hand and, most seriously, immunities for heads of non-state parties on the other hand, have come to poison the procedure. On the African side, some states start slamming the door of the Court while building a relatively parallel system at a regional level.
In light of all these challenges in the institutionalization of the universality of international justice, seven decades after the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals, more than two decades after the creation of ad hoc tribunals and in view of all the challenges faced by the ICC in only 15 years of operation, this conference will bring together different perspectives on the timely theme of “Is the world ready for global justice?”