International Conference ‘Prohibition, Prosecution and Prevention of Enforced Disappearances’


The International Nuremberg Principles Academy and the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg organised an international conference entitled ‘Prohibition, Prosecution and Prevention of Enforced Disappearances’ on 7 and 8 May 2021.

The keynote address was delivered by Prof. Olivier de Frouville, Professor of Public Law at the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), Director of the Paris Research Centre for Human Rights and Vice President of the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances. Professor de Frouville created for his intervention a hypothetical discussion between two criminals aiming to avoid judicial accountability for the commission of enforced disappearances. This discussion highlighted the lacuna existing between the various legal frameworks with regards to the prosecution and punishment of this crime. He concluded his intervention with an in-depth analysis of the elements and differences between international criminal law and international human rights law regarding the investigation and sanction of enforced disappearances.

The first panel of the conference focused on the ‘Historical Origins of the Crime of Enforced Disappearances and Its Legal Concept’. The topic of the second panel was ‘Disappearances of Migrants as a Challenge for International Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Action.’ On the second day, the panels ‘Determining the Fate of the Disappeared and Investigating Perpetrators’ and ‘Prosecuting Enforced Disappearances at the National and International Levels’ completed the two-day event. The  conference concluded with closing remarks delivered by Prof. Markus Krajewski, Professor at the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and Chairperson of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Human Rights Erlangen-Nürnberg (CHREN).

This event was originally planned for May 2020. Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the international conference was postponed to 2021 and was now held in an online format. The panellists were Verónica Hinestroza (Independent Expert); Prof. Emilio Crenzel (Universidad de Buenos Aires); Prof. Barbara Frey (University of Minnesota); Barbara Lochbihler (United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances); Dr. Gra?yna Baranowska (Polish Academy of Sciences; Ana Lorena Delgadillo Pérez (Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado Democrático de Derecho); Prof. Gabriella Citroni (University of Milano-Bicocca);  Luciano Hazan (United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances); Dr. Rainer Huhle (formerly United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances);  Julieta Solano (International Criminal Court); Andreas Schüller (European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights) and  Dr. Dilek Kurban (Hertie School).

A conference report will highlight the discussions in the panels and will be available soon.