Nuremberg Academy Lecture 2024 – William Schabas


Professor William Schabas, Middlesex University, an eminent scholar on international law and a world-leading expert on the crime of genocide gave the third lecture within the Nuremberg Academy Lectures entitled "Enigmas of the Genocide Convention: 75 years after its adoption, puzzles remain" at the historic Courtroom 600 of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice on 21 May 2024.

On 9 December 1948, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. This was a landmark moment and the first ever human rights treaty adopted by the General Assembly. This lecture will assess the modern relevance of this convention, 75 years after the adoption, at a time when two cases relating to the application of the convention are pending at the International Court of Justice. The lecture will also focus on the scope of elements of the Genocide Convention, such as the duty to prevent genocide and acts of genocide involving prevention of births and transfer of children, which remain largely unexplored in international case law.

Professor Schabas is Professor of International Law at Middlesex University in London, Emeritus Professor at Leiden University and Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po. He is Professor Emeritus at the National University of Ireland Galway and Honorary Chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights. He is the author of more than twenty books in the fields of human rights and international criminal law, including Oxford Commentaries on the Rome Statute and the European Convention on Human Rights. Professor Schabas has prepared the quinquennial reports on the death penalty for the United Nations Secretary-General. He was a member of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Professor Schabas is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Royal Irish Academy and holds several honorary doctorates.

The event was held in English and was open to the public without prior registration. The lecture was video recorded and will be made available on the Academy’s YouTube channel.

The Nuremberg Academy Lectures explore topical issues at the intersection of international criminal law, transitional justice and policy. Through its public lecture series featuring speakers of national and international renown, the Nuremberg Academy provides a forum for discussion around contemporary issues in international criminal law and promotes public understanding of international law. (km)


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