30.08.07 - USA/LAW - A MEETING IN THE UNITED STATES TO MARK THE CENTENARY OF THE HAGUE LAWS

Arusha, 30 August 2007 (FH) - Several prosecutors representing various international tribunals as well as former representatives for the prosecution at the Nuremberg trial have been brought together for two days in the United States to celebrate the 100th anniversary of The Hague Conference where the first international texts on the protection of populations in wartimes were adopted.
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The prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Mr. Hassan Jallow, is participating as well as Stephen Rapp, his counterpart for Sierra Leone. David Crane, former prosecutor for the SCSL, is also present as well as Henry King and Whitney Harris, who were involved in the prosecution at the Nuremberg trial.
 
This meeting was organized by the Chautauqua Institute of Syracuse University. These conventions adopted in The Hague at the time of conferences organized in 1899 and1907 represent today the rules of customary law, even if in the meantime the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional Protocols of 1977 widened their grasp.
 
The 1907 convention relating to the laws and customs of war notes that "the inhabitants and the belligerents remain under the protection and the rule of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity, and the dictates of the public conscience". The De Martens clause notably stipulates that all that is not expressly prohibited by a treaty is therefore not authorized.

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