Nuremberg Forum 2021


On 15 and 16 October 2021, the International Nuremberg Principles Academy (Nuremberg Academy) held its annual international conference, the Nuremberg Forum 2021, entitled "The Fight against Impunity since 1950: Living Up to the Nuremberg Principles?".

The conference was held virtually and through the Nuremberg Forum 2021 virtual platform. The forum has received more than 450 registrations (including the 29 speakers, representing more than 15 countries). Among the participants were leading practitioners, young professionals and academics in the fields of international criminal law, international human rights and related fields who came together to reflect on the various challenges connected to the fight against impunity and the implementation and application of the Nuremberg Principles.

The conference opened with welcoming remarks from the founders of the Nuremberg Academy, and an opening statement by Professor Claus Kress, Director of the Institute of International Peace and Security Law, at the University of Cologne.

Professor Patrícia Galvão Teles, Member of the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC) delivered the first keynote addresses reflecting on the 70 th anniversary of the Nuremberg Principles, their universal application, and the role of the ILC in advancing ICL.

Judge Navi Pillay, President of the Advisory Council of the Nuremberg Academy, former High Commissioner of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, and former Judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Court (ICC), delivered personal reflections on the fight against impunity.

In a series of seven panels, the experts sought to answer the following questions: What is the framework enforcing the "fight against impunity"? And has the fight against impunity been living up to the Nuremberg Principles?

In answering both questions, the experts discussed and reflected on, inter alia, the post-WWII set up and the status quo today, harm caused to the community as a whole, which crimes concern the "community as a whole", and the reasoning behind this qualification, the current system addressing or enforcing the Nuremberg Principles, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and wider aspirations of sustainable peace through justice, and similarities, differences and the way forward in the fight against impunity and accountability.

The discussion reemphasised that delivering justice remains a complex reality. A number of needs were identified from the wealth of experience the experts shared, including the need to enhance further understanding and application of the Nuremberg Principles. Other needs discussed by the panels included the need to gain deeper contextual understanding of the conflicts, to consider proactively and innovatively changes in the international criminal justice system; the need to promote collaboration, continued dialogue and enhance clarity in terms of varied objectives and goals of the set-out efforts to address international criminal justice-challenges.

The Nuremberg Academy also published the recorded videos on its YouTube channel and prepareed a written conference report.

The Nuremberg Forum 2022 took place on 14 and 15 October 2022. The topic reflected on the ICC and its 20 years’ practice.

©Photo: Museen der Stadt Nürnberg, Memorium Nürnberger Prozesse