The Armenian Genocide Legacy 100 Years On

ArmeniaTHE HAGUE – On 5, 6 and 7 March 2015, 22 experts gathered for a conference at The Hague Institute for Global Justice to look at the legacy of the Armenian Genocide from the perspective of law, humanities, media, arts and letters, politics and education. Speakers focused on the influence that this event and its denial have had on research and practice in their disciplines. This event was organized by Alexis Demirdjian (Centennial Project Foundation), the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD) and the University of Southern California Institute of Armenian Studies (USC IAS).

“On the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, organisations and State agencies around the world will acknowledge, reflect and consider its impact and relevance today. Discussions will ignite in academic institutions, classrooms, around dinner tables, in community centres and church halls, in centres of government and in the press. Much of these discussions in the past have focused on the Genocide itself, leaving little space to consider its relevance today. Addressing this issue, therefore, was the contribution of this conference and of the upcoming book to be published by the end of 2015,” said Alexis Demirdjian, an attorney who has many years experience working in the various criminal justice institutions located in the city of The Hague. Continue reading

The International Criminal Court at a Crossroads

by Samuel Linehan

International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court

The challenges for the International Criminal Court posed by state non-cooperation and potential new situations were considered at a panel discussion hosted by Chatham House and Doughty Street Chambers on 11 March 2015.

The panellists were Shehzad Charania, Legal Adviser and Head, International Law Team, British Embassy, The Hague; Liz Evenson, Senior Counsel, Human Rights Watch; and Dr Rod Rastan, Legal Adviser, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court. The chair was Elizabeth Wilmshurst. The Chatham House Rule was not applied.

State non-cooperation

General observations

Liz Evenson noted that there are different modes and levels of cooperation with the ICC. Some obstacles can be overcome; for example remote investigation may be possible where there is no access to a territory. However, as reflected in the new OTP investigative policy, in situ investigations are preferable. Other obstacles cannot be overcome, such as refusal to execute an arrest warrant. The Kenya situation demonstrated the effect of non-cooperation on the outcome of proceedings.

Rod Rastan emphasised that cooperation is fundamental to a court which lacks the investigative and enforcement apparatus of a developed jurisdiction. The issue was not resolved by the Rome Statute, as the only remedy for non-cooperation is a reference to the UN Security Council or the Assembly of States Parties. This requires a collective response from the international community. Cooperation worked at the ICTY, as initial hesitation was overcome with the assistance of NATO and the EU.

Shehzad Charania considered what the international community can do in the face of non-cooperation. In the Darfur Situation, the matter was referred to the Security Council by the Pre-Trial Chamber. The signs there are not good, despite the UK’s support for the ICC. The same is true of the Libya Situation. An indication of the current climate is the fact that at present the Security Council cannot even agree to acknowledge a letter from the President of the ICC. The low point was the failure to refer the situation in Syria. However there are some signs of progress. The ICC has a central position in various policy debates, for example on the protection of women and journalists in conflict. The Security Council has never entered into discussion of concrete measures in response to non-cooperation; the obvious response would be sanctions. The Assembly of States Parties has agreed to avoid all non-essential contact with indictees. Continue reading

Event: ADC-ICTY Advocacy Training

ADC-ICTY-300x300The ADC-ICTY is organising an Advocacy Training with Michael G. Karnavas on “Evidence and Objections – direct & cross-examination” on Saturday 28 March 2015 at the ICTY. The training will be held in the press room and will last from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm.

The registration fee for ADC interns, staff and members is 15 Euros, for external participants 25 Euros. To register, please send an email to: adcicty.headoffice@gmail.com

Event: Women’s Power to Stop War

To celebrate its centennial anniversary, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is organizing a large-scale public conference on “Women’s Power to Stop War”.

WILPF 2015

Date: 27 to 29 April 2015

Venue: World Forum, The Hague, NL

Almost 100 years ago, more than a thousand women from twelve countries assembled in The Hague to protest against World War I and formulate conditions for a lasting peace. From this unique conference, of which Aletta Jacobs was one of the organizers, the WILPF originated.

Again in The Hague, WILPF will festively celebrate its 100th anniversary by the end of April 2015 in the form of an international congress at the Peace Palace (accessible for WILPF sections only) where a bust statue of Aletta Jacobs will be revealed, followed by a public conference.

This conference will cover a wide range of topics such as: Human Rights, Disarmament, Social and Economic Justice and Sustainability. These are dedicated to the promotion of peace and the eradication of violent conflicts. The three-day program consists out of several parts: plenary sessions, 40 workshops and roundtable discussions, international speakers, a market, exhibitions, public actions, a music festival and various creative activities.

Everyone is welcome to contribute a bit to a new peace agenda for the 21st century, tackling the very causes of violent conflicts. To register and for further information, click here.

Event: Hidden Genocides – Summer Course

Date: 12 – 31 July 2015

Venue: Graduate School of Social Sciences, University of Amsterdam

UVA logo

The Twentieth Century was considered, by many scholars who study political violence, “the century of genocide” with the Holocaust as the epitome of industrial and mechanical violence. Yet there were many genocides before and after that.

The question rises “what is genocide”? How does it differ from other forms of collective violence? What triggers genocide? Why are the acts during genocide so gruesome? What is the cultural of genocide? What are the consequences of its legal definition? Why do people perpetuate genocide?

These and more questions will be answered during this course. We will thereby not only look at familiar cases of genocide, like the Holocaust, Rwanda and Srebenica, but also “hidden” and unknown genocides and the mass atrocities happening right now in South Sudan, Central Africa and Syria/ North Iraq. This course will give you an analytical model to understand and study genocide and measure proper interventions. Continue reading

Event: Frits Kalshoven Competition on International Humanitarian Law 2015

ICRC Humanitarian ActionThe Netherlands Red Cross and Belgian Red Cross-Flanders invite you to attend the Finals of the Frits Kalshoven Competition on International Humanitarian Law 2015 on Friday afternoon 27 February 2015.

The Competition, which will take place for the 8th year, has as its objective to engage ambitious Law students in the implementation of the rules that apply during armed conflict. The theme of this year’s competition is “Warfare in densely populated areas”, a subject that has been in the news often recently.

The focus will be on realistic dilemmas surrounding use of explosive weapons and the protection of civilians.

After an intense week full of workshops, lectures, role plays and pleadings about international humanitarian law, two teams will compete in the grand finale of the Moot Court in front of a bench of reknown experts:

- Judge Alphons Orie (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia)

- Commodore Peter Heblij (Head Military Legal Service, Netherlands Ministry of Defence)

- Ms Mariya Chavdarova Nikolova (ICRC, Editor of International Review of the Red Cross)

The prize for Best Oralist will be awarded by Pieter de Jong Schouwenburg (Van Doorne Advocaten).

The Competition will take place at The Hague Crown Plaza (Van Stolkweg 1, 2585 JL Den Haag) on 27 February 2015.

You can register online until 20 February.

Call for Papers on Customary International Law

Hull University

The University of Hull

The McCoubrey Centre for International Law at the University of Hull will host a two day conference on 2 and 3 July 2015 on the topic of customary international law entitled “Making International Custom More Tangible”.

The conference will be held at the University of Hull (UK) and will include panels chaired by leading academics and a key note speech by Sir Michael Wood, ILC Special Rapporteur on the Identification of Customary International Law.

The conference is particularly aimed at research students and early career academics who are invited to submit an abstract of 500 words by 15 February 2015 that will fall within the conferences topic.

Abstracts shall be uploaded on the conference’s webpage. Speakers will be informed of acceptance of their papers by 6 March 2015.

Event: The Armenian Genocide Legacy, 100 Years On

ArmeniaThe centennial of the Armenian Genocide will be the topic of a two-day conference in The Hague, the Netherlands, on 6 and 7 March 2015, at The Hague Institute for Global Justice.

This major interdisciplinary gathering will bring together academics and professionals from various fields to discuss the impact of the Genocide in various fields of study. Experts will examine such issues as impunity, sexual violence, demographics, compensation, memorializing, political discourse and media approaches.

Keynote speaker, Ronald Suny, will open the conference (Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago and University of Michigan).

He will be followed by experts in the field of Law (Geoffrey Robertson – QC, Susan L. Karamanian, Nolwenn Guibert, Sun Kim, Najwa Nabti, Alexis Demirdjian, Hannibal Travis), historians (Ugur Umit Ungor, Jakub Bijak, Lorne Shirinian), experts in social sciences and humanities (Levon Chorbajian, Seyhan Bayraktar, Nanor Kebranian, Ayda Erbal, Eugene Sensenig-Dabbous, Anthonie Holslag), experts in literature, media and journalism (Barlow Der Mugrdechian, Lisa Siraganian, Esra Elmas, Marie-Aude Baronian), and education (Joyce Sahyouni).

The conference is organised and sponsored by the Centennial Project Foundation, the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and the University of Southern California Dornsife Institute for Armenian Studies.

Additional information and participants’ bio is available here.

Contact details may be found on the website.  The conference is open to the public, free of charge. Advanced registration will open on 6 February 2015.

Event: Alliance Française – International Conferences

alliance-françaiseThe Alliance Française in The Hague is hosting a series of conferences in French on “International Law and European Questions”.

The first one will take place on 20 February at the Alliance Française and will be given by Mr. Gregory Mounier from Europol. The focus will be on the combat against organised crime and terrorism in Europe – the role of Europol.

The second will take place on 29 May and will feature Ms. Heleyn Unac, deputy head of the defence office at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The lecture will focus on the defence of accused persons before the international criminal courts.

For further information, click here.

Event: “The International Rule of Law”

logogrotius

Date: Monday 19 January 2015 at 17h15-19h00

Venue: Faculty Campus The Hague, Schouwburgstraat 2, The Hague, NL

The Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies is organizing the John Dugard Lecture 2015 on “The International Rule of Law” by H.E. Judge Kenneth Keith, Member of the International Court of Justice.

See the invitation attached. To register, please send an email by 12 January.