Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Just back from Chautauqua

Once again this year, IntLawGrrls had the honor of cosponsoring the International Humanitarian Law Dialogs at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York. The just-ended 3-day conference featured a number of 'Grrls:
Leila Nadya Sadat spoke on the project for an International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity, which she spearheaded;
Beth Van Schaack provided a tour d'horizon of developments at international criminal courts and tribunals, and
►yours truly, Diane Marie Amann, delivered "International Prosecutors and International Politics," the inaugural Katherine B. Fite Lecture, named after a State Department lawyer who helped establish the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.
Our report on the 5th Annual Dialogs begins with today's publication of the Fifth Chautauqua Declaration, drafted and signed by prosecutors from the world's many international criminal tribunals. The document -- itself a snapshot of these courts' past accomplishments and future challenges -- appears below.

1 comment:

Allison said...

The Fifth Chautauqua Declaration that supports the recent transfer of Mr. Uwinkindi from the ICTR to Rwanda is regrettable.

In Uwinkindi, three NGOs (Human Rights Watch, the International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association, and the Association of Democratic Lawyers)filed amicus curiae briefs explaining in detail why Rwanda is incapable of providing an accused with a fair trial. For example, as five ICTR Trial Chambers and three ICTR Appeals Chambers found in five 2008 referral requests (where such referrals were denied), defence witnesses are too afraid to testify in Rwanda or in trials taking place in Rwanda because of the threat to their personal security/life and that of family members.

Unfortunately, despite new legislation, the reality on the ground is much worse than it was in 2008.

The referral of Mr. Uwinkindi to Rwanda has facilitated Rwanda's unhindered intimidation and interference with the administration of justice.

Denying an accused person the fundamental right to present his or her evidence at trial is nothing to celebrate.

Allison Turner, Attorney