Seventh Annual International Humanitarian Law Dialogs Conclude

CHAUTAUQUA – The Robert H. Jackson Center celebrated the end of the Seventh Annual International Humanitarian Law Dialogs with the traditional signing of the Chautauqua Declaration at the Chautauqua Institution on Tuesday.

The annual International Humanitarian Law Dialogs is a historic gathering of renowned international prosecutors and leading professionals in the field of international criminal law. The event facilitates dialogue between the public and professionals concerning past and contemporary crimes against humanity, and the role of modern international criminal law.

The Chautauqua Declaration is a covenant signed by the international prosecutors who attended the dialogs, affirming their dedication toward international peace and justice.

Prosecutors contributing to the dialogues this year were: Fatou Bensouda, representing the International Criminal Court; Serge Brammertz, representing the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; David M. Crane, representing the Special Court for Sierra Leone; Brenda J. Hollis, representing the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and; Hassan Jallow, representing the International Criminal Tribunal for Rowanda. The event was moderated by Elizabeth Andersen, American Society of International Law executive director.

The issuance of the Chautauqua Declaration began with a short address from Andersen.

“We have had very important and valuable discussions over these past three days,” Andersen said. “We have shared lessons learned, we have reported to one another, and we have inspired one another. We have debated different approaches to international justice, and we have done it all against a backdrop of very challenging developments in the Middle East and North Africa. We’ve been reminded again and again that this region calls for patience, nuance, understanding, historical perspective, and political sophistication. But against this complex backdrop, it is equally important to state in very clear terms (the prosecutors’) steadfast commitment to accountability in the service of peace and the rule of law.”

Andersen then read the seventh annual Chautauqua Declaration, which promises to keep the spirit of the Nuremberg principles alive by:

Preventing and condemning the use of weapons of mass destructions, including chemical weapons, and ensuring accountability for all those who use such weapons;

Ensuring accountability for the perpetrators of all crimes, and recognizing all victims, in particular, the most vulnerable, including women and children;

Providing sufficient resources for all international criminal courts, tribunals and residual mechanisms to achieve their mandates, in particular, to contain, to protect and to support witnesses and those made vulnerable by their cooperation;

Fulfilling their obligations to locate, arrest and transfer all fugitives from international justice to include: Omar al-Bashir, Ahmed Haroun, Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein, Joseph Kony, Okot Odhiambo, Felicien Kabuga and Augustin Bizimana.

The board of prosecutors each signed the declaration, and Hollis gave a short address to the audience following.

“(We would like to) extend our deepest appreciation to those who organize, and those who provide logistical and administrative support to the International Humanitarian Law Dialogs, to the Robert H. Jackson Center, the Chautauqua Institution and all the sponsors of this wonderful event,” Hollis said. “We are so grateful that this forum allows us to confer among ourselves and to share with all of you our experiences, our concerns and our ideas, and to benefit from the rich and varied perspectives that are presented each year by outstanding speakers and all of those who attend these dialogues. On behalf of all the international prosecutors, we thank you very much.”