Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Third Chautauqua Declaration

(What follows is the Third Chautauqua Declaration, issued by international prosecutors on September 1, 2009, at the close of the Third Annual International Humanitarian Law Dialogs, entitled “Honoring Women in International Criminal Law: From Nuremberg to the ICC,” of which IntLawGrrls and the American Society of International Law, among others, were cosponsors, as I've detailed in the post above)

In the spirit of humanity and peace the assembled international prosecutors and their representatives here at the Chautauqua Institution ...
Recognizing the continuing need for justice and the rule of law as a cornerstone to international society, and cognizant of the legacy of all those who preceded us at Nuremberg and elsewhere;
Taking note of the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions in 1949 and its principles that maintain the rule of law on the battlefield;
Honor the life of our colleague and friend Henry T. King Jr., a prosecutor of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg who passed away in May of this year;
Commend his drive and force in ensuring that the spirit of Nuremberg continues;
Recognizing the role of women in the history and development of modern international criminal law;
Honor their sacrifice, their leadership and drive over the past fifty years in forging an international system of justice;
Commend the women who labor every day around the world in relative obscurity upholding the spirit of Nuremberg and the rule of law;
Taking note of the recognition in international criminal law of sexual and gender violence as an instrument of war, which can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide;
Honor the life of Alison DeForges and recognize her life's work in seeking justice for the victims of the Rwanda Genocide;
Now do solemnly declare and call upon the international community to:
Keep the spirit of the Nuremberg Principles alive by:
Ensuring that the laws of armed conflict remain a cornerstone of maintaining protections of combatants, civilians and non-combatants alike;
Paying particular attention to the plight of women and children found in places of unrest and conflict to ensure that they are especially cared for and kept out of the conflict;
Ensuring that girls and women in conflict areas do not fall victims to rape and other forms of sexual violence;
Investigating, prosecuting or handing over to an appropriate judicial body those who violate international criminal law to ensure accountability of all persons including sitting heads of state;
Supporting the various tribunals and courts in their work to maintain the rule of law at both the international and domestic level;
Working with regional political bodies to ensure that the rule of law is maintained and that those who are found to be in violation of international law be handed over for a
fair and open trial to the international tribunal or court that seeks their person;

Signed in mutual witness:

Norman Farrell, International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
Henry King (in absentia/memoriam), International Military Tribunal Nuremberg
David M. Crane, Special Court for Sierra Leone
Fatou Bensouda, International Criminal Court
H.W. William Caming, International Military Tribunal Nuremberg
Joseph Kamara, Special Court for Sierra Leone
Hassan B. Jallow, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (signed for by Alphonse Van)

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