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Panel Discussion “Syria - Impunity for War Crimes? How the Nuremberg Principles can be enforced in the Syrian Conflict”


The Nuremberg Academy and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg co-organized a panel discussion on the occasion of the signing of the cooperation agreement between these two institutions. The event took place at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Erlangen.

For years, a bitter civil war has been raging in Syria with many different scenes and political interests: resistance to the Assad regime, war against the so-called Islamic State, and the unresolved Kurdish question. Religious conflicts and strategic interests led to interference by even the world's largest military powers, such as the US and Russia. The conflict has provoked massive influx of refugees in the region and to Europe. The military conflict was and is always conducted with merciless and inhuman harshness. All parties involved are suspected of committing war crimes. The international community is unable to respond appropriately on the political level. Although an international commission of inquiry exists, no criminal charges have so far been applied. War criminals have come to Germany with the refugees and German citizens have moved to Syria to fight for IS. Therefore, it is up to the nation states, including Germany, to establish criminal accountability. The panel composed of practitioners and academics discussed what these answers can be on a national as well as on an international level.

The event also commemorated the Day of International Criminal Justice, the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute on 17 July 1998. The Statute is the founding treaty of the ICC, which seeks to protect people from genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

Prof. Christoph Safferling
, Chair for Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, International Criminal Law and Public International Law, FAU

Welcome Remarks:
Prof. Joachim Hornegger, President, FAU
Klaus Rackwitz, Director, International Nuremberg Principles Academy

Prof. Heiner Bielefeldt, Chair in Human Rights and Human Rights Politics, FAU
Prof. Anuscheh Farahat, Professor of Public Law, Migration Law and Human Rights, FAU
Federal Prosecutor Dr. Heike Neuhaus, Head of Department, Federal Prosecutor General’s Office
Andreas Schüller, Director International Crimes and Accountability Program, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

Dr. Viviane Dittrich
, Deputy Director, International Nuremberg Principles Academy