Thematic Focus and Events of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy in 2024
Nuremberg, 29 January 2024 – There are many challenges ahead of us. The world is in crisis mode. Ukraine has been defending itself against the Russian aggressor for two years now; shocking massacres in Israel have triggered a bloody Israeli battle against the Hamas terrorist organisation in the Gaza Strip, resulting in incredible suffering among the civilian population; fighting continues in Yemen; thousands of Armenians have been forced to leave their homeland of Nagorno-Karabakh; and in Myanmar a civil war is still raging. It is the mission of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy to call for worldwide punishment of the core crimes of aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and to contribute to the implementation of the Nuremberg Principles.
We have set ourselves three priorities for 2024:
1. Capacity-building measures, in particular in Ukraine and Armenia, the youngest member state of the International Criminal Court. In addition, we will continue our cooperation with the Residual Mechanism for the UN Criminal Tribunals in the region of East Africa and with the European Judicial Training Network for European prosecutors. We also want to get involved in Germany. We are working on guidelines for employees of local authorities who have contact with refugees and who in the process might become aware of war crimes.
2. Participation in the reform of the statute for the International Criminal Court. Building on the Academy’s preparatory work, in particular on the length of international criminal proceedings and on the handling of digital evidence, we want to develop concrete proposals for the reform of the International Criminal Court’s procedural law. In particular, we also want to help ensure that the crime of aggression can actually be prosecuted by the Criminal Court in The Hague.
3. On 20 November 1959, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted. We would like to honour this 65th anniversary by dedicating the 2024 Nuremberg Forum to the topic of children’s rights in armed conflicts.
In addition, we will be organising many other projects and activities this year: as every year, we will again be hosting the Nuremberg Moot Court, with the final round to be held in the Nuremberg Palace of Justice from 24 to 27 July 2024, as well as the Nuremberg Summer Academy in an English and a French language version. With a special event on 10 April 2024, we want to commemorate Ben Ferencz who died in 2023, aged 103 years. He was a very special friend and frequent guest of the Academy. On this day, we also want to reflect on changes in the culture of remembrance in general, both in Germany and in Europe.
The series of Nuremberg Academy Lectures which was resumed after the Covid-19 pandemic will of course also continue this year. On 21 May 2024, the renowned expert on international criminal law, Professor William Schabas, will lecture on the significance of the Genocide Convention. Its significance could hardly be greater today, 75 years after the Convention was adopted. In several situations mentioned earlier on, those in Ukraine, Gaza and Myanmar, cases are pending at the International Court of Justice.
We also plan to address the historical Nuremberg Trials. Together with the Memorium Nuremberg Trials, we are planning an exhibition and a number of events on the IG Farben Trial and on the lessons to be derived from it for the criminal responsibility of business enterprises for human rights violations.
Finally, 2024 is a very special year for the International Nuremberg Principles Academy. On 14 November 2014, the foundation statutes were signed by the Federal Foreign Office, the Free State of Bavaria and the City of Nuremberg, thus launching the Academy. We naturally want to celebrate our tenth anniversary in style. Apart from an official celebration, this will also include a revamp of our website and an anniversary brochure.
The Academy’s options are certainly rather limited in view of the major challenges facing the world. But we do take our mission to advocate “peace through justice” very seriously, and we will not cease drawing attention to the Nuremberg legacy, both at home and abroad, and to demand an end to impunity.