On 5 December, ELAC Deputy Director and IPS Executive Director Federica D’Alessandra participated to a panel discussed titled ‘Implementing the Duty to Prevent Genocide under International Law’. The panel was organised by the Foley Hoag United Nations Practice Group as a part of its lecture series on the occasion of the Twenty-First Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Looking to Ukraine, a situation currently under investigation by the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for potential genocide, as well as other situations that may also be along the spectrum for risk of genocide such as in Cameroon, Armenia and Ethiopia, the panel explored the following key questions: what conditions trigger the duty to prevent genocide? Once triggered, what is the scope of that duty, and what tools, both national and international, can help to identify these obligations as well as lawful steps for addressing a genocidal situation? The panel also assessed how the OTP’s international criminal investigations and concurrent litigation before the ICJ intersect with these questions. The panel further explored the extent to which lack of labeling or action with respect to genocide is due, in part, to lack of clarity regarding the duty to prevent genocide under international law.
Speakers included Professor Martijn Scheltema, Partner, Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn N.V.; Dr Alain Germeaux, Head of Legal Department, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Luxembourg; Professor Todd Buchwald, former Ambassador and Special Coordinator for Global Criminal Justice, US Department of State; Professor Hannah R Garry, Founding Director, International Human Rights Clinic, University of Southern California Gould School of Law; Judge Mykola Gnatovskyy, European Court of Human Rights; Alice Wairimu Nderitu, United Nations Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide; and Christina G Hioureas, Partner, Chair, United Nations Practice Group, Foley Hoag LLP (Moderator).