by Jasmin Mäki and Jumana Eltgani
The 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Principles was celebrated on November 20 and 21 in an international conference “The Nuremberg Principles 70 Years Later: Contemporary Challenges”. The conference, organized by International Nuremberg Principles Academy, brought to Nuremberg experts, lawyers and human rights defenders from around the world to discuss the legacy of Nuremberg Principles in promoting human rights and international criminal law.
The Nuremberg Principles derive from the Nuremberg trials, and are the base of today’s international criminal law. According to the principles violations of international law, such as war crimes, should be punished. They also state that no one is above the law, and that the accused have the right to a fair trial. In the panels of the conference the promotion of human rights and international criminal law was discussed, as well as the universality of the Nuremberg Principles in the contexts of Islamic and African societies. In the following workshops the themes of universality, complementarity and acceptance of international criminal justice were discussed and debated. Positive progress as well as problematic issues were raised. As the evening program was an exceptional theatre play “A Song of Good and Evil”, which tells the story of three men, who are in very different ways connected to the Nuremberg Trials.
International Nuremberg Principles Academy promotes the legacy of the principles and the international criminal law. Considering Nuremberg’s special history as the birth place of international criminal law, it provided a perfect setting for discussing the legacy of the Nuremberg principles.