8th Chautauqua Declaration

ihldialogsAdopted August 26, 2014, at the 8th International Humanitarian Law Dialogs:

In the spirit of humanity and peace the assembled current and former international prosecutors and their representatives here at the Chautauqua Institution…

Recognizing the continuing need for justice and the rule of law as the foundation to international peace and security, and cognizant of the legacy of all those who preceded us at Nuremberg and elsewhere:

Commending H.R.H. Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein as the sixth recipient of the Joshua Heintz Humanitarian Award for his important and impressive service to humanity, and welcoming his recent appointment as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;

Noting with sadness the recent passing of our esteemed colleague and friend Judge Hans-Peter Kaul, and recognizing his important contributions to international criminal justice;

Noting 150 years of international humanitarian law with the implementation of the First Geneva Convention in 1864;

Noting with grave concern the upsurge in violence against civilians in conflicts worldwide, the general lack of accountability for these crimes, and reiterating the need for compliance with international humanitarian law;

Deeply disturbed by the continued prevalence of sexual and gender based violence, and the continuing lack of accountability for many of these crimes;

Alarmed that the world now has more refugees and internally displaced persons than at any time since World War II;

Recognizing the importance of the residual mechanisms to carry out the continuing legal obligations of the international tribunals and courts as they close or approach closure;

Reminding states of their obligation to ensure the effective functioning of the international judicial institutions they have created;

Now do solemnly declare and call upon all states to keep the spirit of the Nuremberg Principles alive by:

Ensuring accountability and equal application of international criminal law to all without double standards;

Ending impunity for the gravest crimes by refusing to countenance amnesty or immunity;

Ensuring accountability for the perpetrators of all crimes, including sexual and gender based violence;

Ensuring that the necessary legal framework, capacity, and will to discharge the universal responsibility to investigate and prosecute international crimes is in place in all domestic judicial systems;

Fulfilling their obligations to cooperate with the international criminal courts, tribunals and residual mechanisms and in particular to locate, arrest, and to surrender all fugitives accused of international crimes;

Providing adequate resources for all international courts, tribunals, and residual mechanisms to achieve their respective mandates, including the ability to meet their obligation to protect and support witnesses and those made vulnerable by their cooperation, and to ensure justice is done and seen to be done.

Signed in Mutual Witness:

Fatou Bensouda, International Criminal Court
Serge Brammertz, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
David M. Crane, Special Court for Sierra Leone
Sir Desmond de Silva, QC, Special Court for Sierra Leone
Brenda J. Hollis, Special Court for Sierra Leone
Hassan B. Jallow, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
Nicholas Koumjian, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

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