In passing: Judge Patricia Wald (1928-2019), IntLawGrrls contributor and inspiration

Over the last decade it was my honor on occasion to invite Judge Pat Wald to join in a project, to contribute a writing or to speak at an event. Invariably she accepted with the same wry caveat: “Yes, if I am still here by then.” Happily she always was still “here,” enlivening every project to which she contributed. But now she is not. News media reported that Patricia Anne McGowan Wald died in her Washington home yesterday, having succumbed at age 90 to pancreatic cancer.

Many obituaries will focus on her prodigious and inspiring career in the United States: her journey, from a working-class upbringing in a single-parent family, to practice as a lawyer on child rights and in the Department of Justice, to service, in the District of Columbia Circuit, as the 1st woman Chief Judge of a U.S. Court of Appeals, and quite recently, as an Obama appointee to the Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

We international lawyers also will recall Wald’s fierce service as a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. There, she took part in noted judgments, among them a genocide conviction in Prosecutor v. Krstić and a “turning point” appellate ruling in Prosecutor v. Kupreškić.

Even after retiring from the ICTY, Judge Wald championed international criminal justice, placing particular emphasis on women. It was my privilege to welcome her interventions on these subjects, and at times to aid publication of her contributions (Pat’s computer savvy was, it must be said, rudimentary).

Just last year, the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law was honored to publish Pat’s essay “Strategies to Promote Women’s Participation in Shaping International Law and Policy in an Era of Anti-Globalism,” based on remarks she’d given here at my home institution, the University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center. They were a highlight of our 10th birthday conference for IntLawGrrls blog, not least because Pat referred to us assembled scholars and practitioners as “you ‘young people’ in the room.” She traced the beginnings of international criminal justice, then said:

“I do not suggest that the process of integrating women as upfront participants in international courts, let alone the inclusion of the crimes most commonly committed against women as worthy subjects of international criminal law jurisprudence, has been completed. More accurately, these developments had just gotten off to a reasonable start at the moment that global politics seem to have begun to shift toward a so-called anti-globalist populism. My central point, therefore, is that we must strategize in the face of a desired, yet elusive future.”

Her strategies: ally to strengthen international law, international legal education, and global-mindedness in many sectors, including the arts; “protec[t] the venues in which women have had significant impact,” including the International Criminal Court and related forums; and work globally to raise women’s awareness “about educational opportunities, rights to land ownership and profits, how to start a small business, how to farm efficiently, how to participate in voting or run for office, and about legal rights to divorce or separation.”

Issues like these were prominent in a special issue of the International Criminal Law Review, “Women and International Criminal Law,” dedicated to the Honorable Patricia M. Wald, for which I served as a co-editor along with Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Beth Van Schaack, and Kathleen A. Doty. Wald herself wrote on “Women on International Courts: Some Lessons Learned” for vol. 11 no. 3 (2011). And as shown in that issue’s table of contents, additional contributors included many whom Judge Wald’s life and work had touched: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Harvard Law Dean Martha Minow, along with Kelly Askin, Karima Bennoune, Doris Buss, Naomi Cahn, Margaret deGuzman, Katharine Gelber, Laurie Green, Nienke Grossman, Rachel Harris, Dina Francesca Haynes, Jennifer Leaning, David Luban, Rama Mani, Jenny Martinez, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Katie O’Byrne, Lucy Reed, Leila Nadya Sadat, and David Tolbert. The issue stemmed from a 2010 roundtable (pictured below) that then-Executive Director Elizabeth “Betsy” Andersen hosted at the American Society of International Law, an organization Judge Wald long supported.

Pat’s support for IntLawGrrls predated this event. In 2009, she had contributed a trilogy of essays to the blog: 1st, “What do women want from international criminal justice? To help shape the law”; 2d, “What do women want? Tribunals’ due attention to the needs of women & children”; and 3d, “What do women want? International law that matters in their day-to-day lives”.

In keeping with the blog’s practice at that time, Pat dedicated her IntLawGrrls posts to a transnational foremother, “a wonderful German/Jewish woman, Gisela Konopka,” a University of Minnesota social work professor with whom Pat had collaborated in a lawsuit against the Texas Youth Authority. In her lifespan of 93 years, Konopka, Wald wrote, “fought in prewar Germany for children’s rights, was put in a concentration camp, managed to get out and work her way through occupied Europe to America, where she became the champion of children, especially girls, who got in trouble with the law.” Explaining how Konopka had influenced her, Judge Wald penned a sentence that today does service as her own epitaph:

“She inspired me as to what an older woman can do right up to the point of departure to help those behind.”

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

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What’s In a Name – “Istanbul” in the SS Lotus Case

In the weeks leading up to the 91st anniversary of the judgment, two students and I had an occasion to re-read the iconic case of the SS Lotus (France v. Turkey) PCIJ 1927. Our task was to see how one word – the name of the capital city of Turkey – one of the two parties to the case, was invoked by judges in the text of the 1927 Lotus decision. We write this small piece to bring out a non-essential, but nevertheless interesting aspect of this much-cited, much-studied decision.

The SS Lotus case was a legal dispute between France and Turkey, brought by France to the chief judicial organ of the League of Nations, the Permanent Court of International Justice – which is the precursor to the International Court of Justice, chief judicial organ of the United Nations. The facts of the case involved a collision upon the high seas, on August 2, 1926, between a French vessel the SS Lotus and a Turkish vessel the Boz Kourt. The victims were Turkish nationals and the alleged offender was a French lieutenant on the Lotus. The case was brought before the PCIJ to study whether Turkey could exercise its jurisdiction over the French lieutenant under international law.

Our starting point is that the political histories of Western and Eastern scholarship, use different names for the same city. And though Istanbul – the name, the city, and the symbol; is, at best, of tangential importance to the legal outcome of the Lotus; there is something to be said about the how the usage of different names for the same city, offer clues to the political imaginations of the judges.

The Turkish capital, originally referred to in texts by Pliny the Elder, as Lygos, was colonised by the Greek in 667 BC. The Romans named it Byzantium – Eastern Roman Empire. It was then renamed Nova Roma, and eventually become Constantinopolis, when the Roman Emperor Constantine made it his capital 330 AD. Given Emperor Constantine’s recent conversion to Christianity, the city of Constantinople became a thriving centre for religion and an important symbol of Christendom. In 1453 AD, Sultan Mehmed II “The Conqueror” laid siege to the city and captured it, and made it the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Mehmed sacked the legendary Hagia Sophia and turned it into a mosque. He proclaimed Islam as the State religion.

After World War I, the empire was split up and occupied by the Allied powers. The Turkish War of Independence saw the Allies being pushed out in 1923. Turkey signed the Treaty of Lausanne – giving it recognised international borders and exclusive jurisdiction over the territory of Turkey.

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In passing: David Caron (1952-2018)

The sudden news of the passing of my dear friend and colleague, Dr. David Caron, fills me with sad thoughts and happy memories.

Years ago, when I was starting out in international law, David – then a chaired professor at Berkeley, the law school an hour’s drive from my own – was a pillar of support. He was the 1st scholar to accept my invitation to speak at the 1st conference I organized, anchoring debate on “Reconstruction after Iraq” and publishing in our Cal-Davis journal an important analysis of claims commissions as a transitional justice tool.

Warm and witty, David once sent me a handwritten note of thanks for the “lovely bouquet” of pre-tenure reprints he’d received from me.

Both of us transplants from Back East, David and I shared an enthusiasm for California and enjoyed helping to cultivate a close-knit Left Coast international law community – even as we took part in events and activities across the globe.

David’s achievements truly are too numerous to mention. Among many other things, he was an inspiring President of the American Society of International Law, from 2010 to 2012. About the time he completed that term, he took emeritus status at Berkeley, and he and his wife, Susan Spencer, embarked on new adventures – 1st as Law Dean at King’s College London.  (A distinguished international arbitration specialist (see GAR obituary here), he had practiced at London’s 20 Essex Street Chambers since 2009. David, a proud graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, also was a noted expert on the law of the sea.) In 2016, he was appointed a member of  the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal.

It was in this last capacity that I last saw David. The Global Governance Summer School sponsored by my current institution, the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law, brought us to The Hague not many months ago. The highlight of our legal-institution briefings was the half-day we spent as David’s guests in the lovely mansion that houses this 37-year-old claims tribunal. (It was not his 1st visit with Georgia Law students; David took part in our International Colloquium in 2008, and in the ASIL Midyear Meeting we hosted in 2012. And he was a strong IntLawGrrls supporter.)

With breaks for tea and biscuits – David was ever the gracious host – our students were treated to a candid discussion between David and Dr. Hossein Piran, Senior Legal Adviser. The two had served as tribunal law clerks years earlier, and the respect they showed one another provided an invaluable lesson about the promise of civil discourse and of the pacific settlement of international disputes.

That lesson is a most fitting way to commemorate David’s passing.

Pictured above, during our June 2017 visit to the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, front from left: Ana Morales Ramos, Legal Adviser; Hossein Piran, Senior Legal Adviser; Kathleen A. Doty, Director of Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center; David Caron, Tribunal Member; and Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann, Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center. Back row, students Nicholas Duffey, Lyddy O’Brien, Brian Griffin, Wade Herring, Jennifer Cotton, Evans Horsley, Casey Callaghan, Kristopher Kolb, Nils Okeson, James Cox, and Ezra Thompson. This tribute is cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann.

In passing: Our sister, Hope Lewis

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Hope Lewis, front row, 3d from right, with other IntLawGrrls at Eleanor Roosevelt’s statue in Washington, D.C.

It is with profound sadness that I must share with readers news of the passing of Professor Hope Lewis, 54, one of our earliest and most dedicated IntLawGrrls contributors.

A lovely obituary posted today at the website of Hope’s home institution, Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, reports that she died this past Tuesday, December 6, following a long illness. It further reports:

“Lewis’ funeral will be on Thursday, Dec. 15, at the Bethel AME Church, 40 Walk Hill St., in Boston. The viewing will be at 10 a.m., with a ser­vice to follow at 11 a.m. Those who would like to share a memory of Hope may do so at http://www.never-gone.com/memorials/hopelewis. Dona­tions may be made in Lewis’ honor to Part­ners in Health.”

I learned of her death this afternoon from Iowa Law’s Associate Dean Adrien Katherine Wing, who recalled:

“We knew each other as young lawyers involved with Transafrica, back in the anti-apartheid struggle. We both became professors and I featured her wonderful work on Jamaican women in one of my anthologies. I greatly admired her courage and hope as she taught and published for decades despite being blinded as a result of diabetes. She co-authored the sem­inal text­book Human Rights and the Global Mar­ket­place: Eco­nomic, Social, and Cul­tural Dimen­sions. She co-drafted and com­piled the ‘Boston Prin­ci­ples on the Eco­nomic, Social, and Cul­tural Rights of Non-citizens,’ a project of the law school’s Pro­gram on Human Rights and the Global Economy. She was a founding co-chair of the ASIL’s Inter­na­tional Dis­ability Rights Interest Group and served on the ASIL exec­u­tive council between 2010 and 2013.”

In 2011, she received the American Bar Association Section on International Law Mayre Rasmussen Award for the Advancement of Women in International Law, in recognition of her tireless mentoring and support of her students and colleagues.

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Hope Lewis, 5th from right, and other IntLawGrrls at a luncheon of ASIL’s Women in International Law Interest Group (WILIG)

I am grateful to have known Hope. We met in person only once or twice, at the American Society of International Law meetings where the photos at left and above were made. Despite our few in-person acquaintances, I feel I came to know her through our work together on this blog. She was devoted to IntLawGrrls, as this 2012 quote by her attests:

“When I first started blogging … it was frowned on by some. Now, some blogs have strong reputations, frankly I think ours does. Some blogs are essential reading.”

Her posts most certainly were essential reading.

Hope joined us in our 1st year, on February 4, 2008. I reprint below, in full, our post welcoming her and her own post honoring her foremothers. The entries signaled issues she would explore subsequently, in her many, many contributions (available here and here): Hope’s posts explored intersections of race, ethnicity, sex and gender, the Caribbean, Africa and the African diaspora, human rights and economic rights. Like many of us, she shared what the election of Barack Obama as the United States’ 44th President, and the arrival of him and his family in the White House, meant to her, her country, and those she loved. (here, here, here, here, here, here) Hope identified and celebrated “Black Women Teaching International Law.” (here, here, here, here) She contributed one series on the implementation of obligations assumed by U.S. ratification of CERD, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Race Discrimination, and another series on disability rights.

I learned so much from Hope, and I so greatly valued her perspective. I will miss her terribly, and I look forward to celebrating her memory with other ‘Grrls in a few months, when we gather for our 10th Birthday Conference.

Rest well, sister.

 

Monday, February 4, 2008

Our newest IntLawGrrl: Hope Lewis

We’re proud to announce that Hope Lewis (left) is joining us today as our newest IntLawGrrl.
Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts, Hope’s areas of scholarly concentration are international human rights law and other aspects of public international law. In 2005 she published, along with co-editor Jeanne M. Woods, Human Rights and the Global Marketplace: Economic, Social, and Cultural Dimensions, the United States’ 1st textbook focusing on economic, social and cultural rights. She is also an editor of the law school’s Social Science Research Network (SSRN) online publication, the Human Rights and the Global Economy abstracts journal (our latest “connections” link), and has published in a variety of leading law reviews and journals. She’s been a guest contributor to the blackprof.com blog. Hope received the 2001 Haywood Burns-Shanara Gilbert Award for her teaching, scholarship, and human rights activism, and has been a Harvard Law School visiting scholar and a fellow of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research.
Before entering academia, Hope was an attorney-adviser in the Office of Chief Counsel of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and also a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow and Harvard Fellow in Public Interest Law at TransAfrica Forum, a Washington, D.C., based NGO that focuses on U.S. foreign policy toward Africa and the Caribbean. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University/Radcliffe college and a J.D. from Harvard Law.
Hope dedicates her IntLawGrrls contributions to “Miss Lou.” As she explains below, the name’s meant to recall both her grandmother and Louise Bennett-Coverley, the African-Jamaican poet/singer, political satirist, and social critic.
Heartfelt welcome!

Finding “Miss Lou”: In Honor of The Honorable Louise Bennett-Coverley

The notion of an international law blog by women seemed innovative and, somehow, just right when I first heard about the birth of IntLawGrrls almost a year ago. Once I finally decided to enter the fray, naming and claiming an international “foremother” also sounded inspiring and fun.
Still, actually choosing such a woman – I wanted to honor the legacy of Black women in international affairs – turned out to be much more challenging than I thought. Not that Black women’s participation in international law, foreign policy, or cross-cultural relations is anything new. But all too often their contributions are invisible in the media or subsequent historical narratives, marginalized or overshadowed by the work of more famous male and/or non-Black relatives or colleagues, or even undermined as distracting or intrusive of mainstream or radical agendas.
No historian, I searched my own limited memory and experience; various intriguing options presented themselves:
► “Nanny” (?-c.1733), legendary Jamaican-Maroon who led resistance to British incursions into Maroon territory), as Kimberly J. Brown discusses here. Nanny of the Windward Maroons is the transnational foremother of Karen E. Bravo, another of us IntLawGrrls.
Sojourner Truth (1797-November 26, 1883), African-American abolitionist, feminist, orator, and preacher.
Harriet Tubman (c.1820-March 10, 1913), conductor of the Underground Railroad, who helped hundreds of African-Americans escape slavery to free states in the U.S. and Canada; Union-side Civil War scout, spy, and nurse.
Mary McLeod Bethune (July 10, 1875-May 18, 1955), African-American educator, founder of the National Council of Negro Women; consultant on interracial affairs at the founding conference of the United Nations in 1945.
Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891-January 28, 1960), novelist, poet, anthropologist of Black cultures in the southern United States, Haiti, and Jamaica.
Shirley Graham DuBois (November 11, 1907-March 1977), African-American novelist, historian, and political activist; lived as an expatriate in Ghana and Egypt.
Angela E.V. King (August 28, 1938-February 5, 2007), leading African-Jamaican diplomat and advocate for girls and women; UN Assistant Secretary-General; head of the UN Division for the Advancement of Women.
Because of such women, there are today so many living influential Black women “IntLawGrrls” that they cannot be listed on a single page (and yet, they are still far too few).
Then it hit me. All of my previous work has been dedicated to my mother and my grandmother (middle name Louise), each cross-cultural travelers of a sort. (See, e.g., my 1997 article
Lionheart Gals Facing the Dragon.)
And, like many others of Afro-Caribbean descent, I grew up admiring “Miss Lou,” the stage name of revered African-Jamaican poet/singer, political satirist, and social critic Louise Bennett-Coverley (above right). My grandmother (1902-2005) was also called “Miss Lou” perhaps not coincidentally, since she also loved to perform long dramatic poems for public gatherings.
As detailed here, The Honorable Louise Bennett-Coverley (“Miss Lou”) was born in Jamaica on September 7, 1919 and passed away on July 26, 2006. Educated under the British colonial system, Mrs. Bennett-Coverley became known for documenting and valuing indigenous and syncretic African-Jamaican cultural norms and vernacular through poetry and storytelling. A humorist, she dramatized and poked fun at everyday life among grassroots people, as well as at the pretensions of politicians and British high society. Her social commentary burned in the memory and hit hard, but also left people roaring with laughter.
The Jamaican government and people formally recognized her as Ambassador at Large and granted her the country’s highest honors (the Order of Jamaica and Member of the Order of Merit) for her contributions to the reclamation and enhancement of Jamaican culture.
The international connection? Miss Lou was a walking, talking course in post-colonial globalization. Some of Bennett-Coverley’s poetry captured the contradictions of colonial and post-colonial migration perfectly – the yearnings for socio-economic opportunity promised in the racially charged colonial metropole; the desire to adopt superficially the styles and customs of the colonizer; and the struggle between rejecting home country culture and language as “backward” and the need to hold on to it as a sign of cultural integrity and pride.
Written in response to a large British-government encouraged migration from Jamaica to England during post-World War II labor shortages, her poem “Colonization in Reverse,” excerpted below, still resonates today. It spoofs the headlong rush to find fortune in “the Mother-land,” but also subtly reveals the political, economic, and cultural resistance and subversion that migration itself could represent. The former British colonizers themselves now feared “invasion” by Afro-Caribbean peoples.
The Creole patois spelling is retained below as used in 1966. (Reggae artist Bob Marley is said to have credited Miss Lou’s example with providing the basis for his own use of Jamaican dialect over the objections of early record distributors that it would damage international sales). (See Times of London obituary of Louise Bennett Coverley.)

Colonization in Reverse (1966), by Louise Bennett

Wat a joyful news, Miss Mattie,
I feel like me heart gwine burs
Jamaica people colonizin
Englan in reverse.By de hundred, by de tousan
From country and from town,
By de ship-load, by de plane-load
Jamaica is Englan boun.
. . . .
What a islan! What a people!
Man an woman, old an young
Jus a pack dem bag an baggage
An tun history upside dun!My blog posts will be dedicated to the women named above, and especially to Miss Lou, for her ability to affirm culture and criticize injustice with humor and insight, and for her hope that all of us could turn history upside down.

Kosovo Specialist Chambers: Launch of New Website

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers would like to announce the launch of its new website. At the inaugural press conference of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers held in The Hague, the Netherlands, (15th September), the Registrar, Dr Fidelma Donlon, emphasised the website as the legitimate institutional source of facts about the Chambers. Dr Donlon encouraged all those interested in the work of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers to look to the website and to engage directly with the Public Information and Communication Unit of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers. The website is presented in the three languages of the Specialist Chambers, and will provide up-to-date information on the Chambers, as well as on any proceedings that may be held.

In passing: Lt. Cmdr. Bill Kuebler, defense attorney at GTMO for Omar Khadr

kueblerShocked and saddened to read that U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander William Kuebler died from cancer on July 17, at age 44. (photo credit)

Bill’s representation of Omar Khadr, born in Canada and seized by U.S. forces in an Afghanistan battle, is recounted in an Ottawa Citizen obituary. I feel compelled to add my own recollection.

We met in December 2008, at Guantánamo. The occasion was the first set of military commissions hearings since November 4, 2008, when voters chose then-Sen. Barack Obama to become the next U.S. President. Because Obama had pledged to shut down GTMO, many of the lawyers, media, and observers aboard the chartered jet that took us to the U.S. military base at the southwestern tip of Cuba were calling this “The GTMO Farewell Tour.”

The week began with a failed attempt by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his codefendants to plead guilty to capital charges of masterminding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It ended with a hearing in Khadr – a hearing in which Kuebler proved himself a master of his craft. As I wrote at page 13 of my report for the National Institute of Military Justice:

‘Of particular interest was the effort of Navy Lt. Cmdr. William C. Kuebler (pronounced “keebler”), lead military counsel for Omar Khadr, to gain admission during this pretrial hearing of photos made during the firefight at which Khadr was captured. Kuebler argued that the photos would help the defense to make its case for compelling certain witnesses, whose testimony, it was said, would exonerate Khadr by indicating that he was buried beneath rubble at the time someone threw the grenade that killed a U.S. servicemember. The judge refused, and Kuebler went forward without the photos. But the dispute whetted the appetite of the media to see the photos, and some published a next-day story suggesting Khadr’s innocence.’

This understanding of the importance of public scrutiny, combined with an ability to inform the public even as a request was denied, illustrated Kuebler’s diligent representation of his client, Khadr – who, today, is out of prison and living in Alberta, Canada, released on bail while appeals are pending. “Khadr owes more to Bill than to any other advocate,” the Citizen obituary aptly states. And so we pause in his memory.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

In passing: Hans-Peter Kaul, ICC judge, German diplomat, antiwar activist

kaulSaddened to read that Judge Hans-Peter Kaul, a pivotal member of the International Criminal Court’s founding generation, has passed away. The in memoriam notice at the ICC website reports that he died yesterday, as a result of the serious illness that earlier this month compelled his resignation after nearly a decade on the ICC bench.

That tenure continued service to the ICC which had begun in 1998, when Kaul, then a diplomat, led the German delegation at the Rome Conference. He recalled the climax of that conference in a 2012 guest post for IntLawGrrls:

After the decisive vote on the Rome Statute, our founding treaty, there is some kind of explosion, an enormous outpouring of emotions, of relief among those present, unparalleled for such a conference: screams, stamping, exultation without end, tears of joy and relief; hard-baked delegates and journalists who have frowningly watched the entire conference hug each other in a state of euphoria. And a German delegate, normally a level-headed man, jumps up and down like a rubber ball and keeps punching me in the ribs, completely breathless,

‘Herr Kaul, Herr Kaul, we’ve done it! We’re getting an international criminal court!’

Kaul was born 70 years ago this Friday, in Glashütte, near Germany’s border with what is now the Czech Republic. The year was 1943. World War II raged, and memories of his boyhood during that war and its aftermath–including the postwar trials at Nuremberg–never were far from his work on behalf of international criminal justice.

This was evident in his most significant ICC opinion, a dissent from a panel’s preliminary ruling in the Court’s ongoing case involving 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya. In a 19-page commentary labeled Dissenting Opinion of Judge Hans-Peter Kaul to Pre-Trial Chamber II’s “Decision on the Prosecutor’s Application for Summons to Appear for William Samoei Ruto, Henry Kipono Kosgey and Joshua Arap Sang” (15 March 2011), Kaul invoked the Nuremberg legacy to argue that only violence at a level of “state-like ‘organisation'” could constitute crimes against humanity. It is an argument that continues to generate academic debate.

Another link to Nuremberg may prove even more lasting. In recent years, Kaul was an impassioned and indefatigable advocate for make the crime of aggression punishable by the ICC. His German delegation had pushed successfully for the listing of that crime–a signature offense at Nuremberg–in Article 5 of the Rome Statute. (Prior posts here and here.) After the Assembly of States Parties adopted the 2010 Kampala amendments to activate the ICC’s crime of aggression jurisdiction, Kaul campaigned actively for ratification. Every time he and I crossed paths, at Chautauqua, The Hague, or elsewhere, Judge Kaul was quick to report on the status of that campaign–and to express particular pride when his native country and its linguistic neighbors deposited their instruments of ratification or accession.

With the ratification by Austria last Friday–the 16th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute–the Kampala amendments have garnered half the 30 ratifications needed for entry into force. (Also required is another Assembly vote.) States that have joined to date are Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Samoa, Slovakia, Slovenia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. Numerous other states, including many others in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, are reported to be nearing joinder.

Kaul was crystal clear about the reason he pushed for these amendments: The child of war saw activation of crime of aggression jurisdiction as an essential step toward ending war altogether. In his IntLawGrrls post as in other writings and lectures, he explained:

War–this is the ultimate threat to all human values; war is sheer nihilism. It is the total negation of hope and justice. Experience shows that war, the injustice of war in itself, begets massive war crimes and crimes against humanity. In my nine years as a Judge of the ICC, I have seen that, as in the past century, a terrible law still seems to hold true: war, the ruthless readiness to use military force, to use military power for power politics, regularly begets massive and grievous crimes of all kinds.

In Kaul’s view, the prosecution of jus in bello violations is important, yet an incomplete, a symptomatic approach, unless it is accompanied by the prosecution for jus ad bellum violations. His own pithy words are a fitting epitaph:

War crimes, they are the excrement of war.

 

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)