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Presidents of Tribunals Commemorate Nuremberg

By Caroline Tosh in The Hague (TU No 477, 17-Nov-06)
By IWPR
The seminar, “60 years After: The Beginning and Development of International Criminal Justice”, was held in the German city of Nuremberg to discuss the legacy of the trials, which marked the first attempt to try war crimes suspects at an international level.



Presidents Fausto Pocar of the Hague tribunal, Erik Mose of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, ICTR, Philippe Kirsch of the International Criminal Court, ICC, and George Gelaga King of the Special Court of Sierra Leone, SCSL, all attended the event which ran from November 10 to 12.



Also in attendance was Michael Karnavas, defence counsel at the Hague tribunal and the current president of the Association of Defence Counsel at the ICTY, ADC-ICTY.



In his speech, Karnavas said there were still lessons to be learnt from the experience of “the pioneers” of Nuremberg.



“Although we have learned important theoretical lessons from Nuremberg, the international community – at both the judicial and the political level - has difficulty applying them in practice,” he said.



He noted that the difficulties faced by the defence counsels at the Nuremberg trials - “inequality of arms, lack of certainty in the application of the procedure, lack of certainty in the law” – continued to cause problems for defence lawyers at the ad hoc tribunals of today.



Judge Wolfgang Schomburg of the Hague tribunal also spoke at the event, which was rounded off with a panel discussion.



The joint conference was organised by the German section of the International Commission of Jurists, the City of Nuremberg and the City of Nuremberg Human Rights office.



Caroline Tosh is an IWPR reporter in The Hague.

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