home > SESSION 5 > 01

contribution 01 - CLAPHAM Andrew

français english

(Début de la séance : 9 h 20) // (Beginning: 9.20 a.m.)


original version

Good morning. Welcome back to the Conference. It was suggested on the first day that the Chairs would introduce themselves, so I am going to take a few minutes to explain who I am, where I am coming from and what I am doing here.

My name is Andrew Clapham. I am the Director of the Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, which is one of the co‑organisers of this Conference. I have to admit straight away that I have not done the work, and I am not going to try and take the credit. It’s all been Professor Vincent Chetail and Christophe Golay who have put this together on the Academy side. I am extremely grateful for them, for all the work they have done, and for the students from the Academy who are here helping with the Conference today.

Like the Tribunal for Rwanda, the Academy is a relatively new institution. We are only a year old. I just would like to have a little commercial break now and explain what did we do. Because in a way it was set up in response to the emergence of international criminal law and the work of the two Tribunals in particular. So from the beginning, it’s had an international criminal law focus with a compulsory course on international criminal law. This year we were lucky to have the courses on international criminal law taught by Professor Bill Schabas, who is here, and Professor Antonio Cassese, who probably needs no introduction to this group. Professor Paula Gaeta also teaches in this course and directs the whole LLM programme. It can be followed in English or in French. It’s an LLM in international humanitarian law and it covers human rights in armed conflict, international criminal law in armed conflict, international humanitarian law and the use of force. We have students from all over the world. Ninety‑six nationalities applied last round, and we take about 70 a year ; 35 Francophone, 35 in English.

I would really encourage you to look at the little brochures we put outside which explain the Masters programme. As we’ve got such a varied and geographically diverse group, I would really hope that you could give us a little publicity in return for their hospitality here so that we get the very best students applying who will take international humanitarian law forward.

I will also take the opportunity just to mention one other project that we are doing which might be of interest for you. It’s called the Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project, otherwise known as RULAC. There is a little flyer outside. This is a website that we’ve developed which goes country by country around the world where you can click, for example, on Burundi or Afghanistan on the RULAC and it will tell you, according to us, what the state of application of international humanitarian law is in that country. (http://www.adh-geneva.ch/RULAC/)

So we, in our pretentious way, you might say, dare to qualify the conflict. Is it a non‑international armed conflict and does Protocol II apply ? Some of the questions which you are familiar with, but, as you know, apart from your Tribunal and in the future of the International Criminal Court, no one is really in an authoritative position to do that. There is some confusion in the worlds of journalism and NGO activism as to how these Geneva Conventions apply.

So we do that, and there is a lot more detail. And I would invite you not only to look at it but also to send us your critique, if you think we’ve got it wrong, because that is how we hope this will operate. It is the sort of new way of doing academic work, if you like, a sort of open source web‑based idea that if a government or a judge or a prosecutor thinks we have got it wrong, we will actually post, your version, or maybe we would just correct it if we think you have got it right so that we would increase the level of discussion on these topics.

I myself am a professor of international law. I obviously don’t know you as well as was suggested by André on the first day. He was very kind to say that I worked at the United Nations. I was, in fact, working for Amnesty International trying to push forward human rights at the United Nations. But as he spoke, it reminded me that in 1994, some of my time was spent on the 27th floor in New York of the United Nations talking to the Office of Legal Counsels who were talking about drafting a statute for an International Tribunal for Rwanda. As Amnesty International, I was arguing with the legal counsel that it would be a good idea to include war crimes in an internal armed conflict. Legal counsel and, as you know, many Member States of the United Nations at that time said you can’t have a war crime in an internal armed conflict. Well, obviously now this topic needs no introduction, but I think as Judge Short mentioned in his note which was sent to the Chair this was a rather radical breakthrough.

My other connection with Rwanda was that I then went to live in Kigali for a few weeks as Amnesty International. So I have sort of some sense of what you have been talking about and then the role of the Tribunal. I made a speech on Kigali Radio about the need to abolish the death penalty which made me one of the most unpopular people in Kigali at the time. I haven’t necessarily followed it as closely as you since then.

Now, how is all this going to unfold today ? The proposal is that we will hear from the Prosecutors now, both the actual Prosecutor and the former Prosecutor, and we will have time for comments on their presentations.

I am going to pass the floor now to the actual Prosecutor, Mr. Jallow.