European Lawyers' Meeting on the Prosecution of International Crimes

9 November 2009, 12:00 am
On 9 November 2009, a follow up for a conference on universal jurisdiction in Brussels with the Féderation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH) and Redress, was organized. The ECCHR workshop brought together a number of international experts in the field.

International lawyers and representatives of numerous human rights organizations, among them Amnesty International, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Human Rights Watch, along with ECCHR, discussed their experiences and new strategies for cases of universal jurisdiction. The workshop contributed helped to connect those working in the field of national prosecution of serious international crimes.

ECCHR-General Secretary Wolfgang Kaleck and Andreas Schüller, ECCHR-Legal Analyst in the Universal Justice Program, subsequently spoke at two panels on universal jurisdiction. The conference, on November 12th of 2009, was organized by Redress and FIDH. It focused on the experiences of both victims and witnesses in legal proceedings in third states for grave human rights violations.

At the first panel, Wolfgang Kaleck summarized earlier cases brought under the principle of universal jurisdiction in Europe and stressed the need to advance the principle of universal jurisdiction (See Wolfgang Kaleck: From Pinochet to Rumsfeld, 2009). On the third day of the conference, Andreas Schüller spoke on current proceedings in Germany against officials of the Rwandan rebel organization Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) and the political difficulties with regard to the shelling of road tanks close to Kundus in the case of Colonel Klein. Furthermore he reported on the ongoing proceedings in Austria against the Chechen President Kadyrow.

The conference brought international lawyers, non-governmental organizations and prosecuting authorities, as well as victims of most serious human rights violations, together to talk about their experiences.

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