|United Nations Roundtable on Legal Aspects of the Question of Palestine|
"Available mechanisms to ensure accountability for violations of international law"
The Hague, 20 and 22 May 2015
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will convene the United Nations Roundtable on Legal Aspects of the Question of Palestine. The theme of the Roundtable is “Available mechanisms to ensure accountability for violations of international law”.
The Roundtable will review the legal aspects and mechanisms to ensure accountability for violations of international law. The Roundtable also aims at strengthening capacity-building for the State of Palestine and its personnel vis-à-vis the Geneva Conventions, the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.
The opening session, on 20 May, from 10:00 to 10:30 will be addressed by H.E. Mr. Zahir Tanin, Vice-Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and H.E. Mr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, as Representative of the State of Palestine.
The first part of Session I on 20 May, on the “Fourth Geneva Convention: Strengthening compliance with international humanitarian law: engaging High Contracting Parties” will run from 10:45 to 13:00. It will tackle inter alia International Humanitarian Law and opportunities and strategies for the State of Palestine to engage State Parties to the Geneva Conventions. In the afternoon the session will focus on options to address the issue of Israeli settlements in international courts; third-party responsibilities and promoting corporate responsibility in relation to settlements. Expected speakers are: Mr. John Dugard, Former Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 2001-2008; Chair of Arab League Fact-finding Mission on Gaza 2008-2009 and Professor Emeritus of Law, Universities of Leiden and Witwatersrand; Honorary Professor of Law, University of Pretoria and Judge ad hoc at the International Court of Justice and Mr. Ardi Imseis, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge. Session I will continue from 15:00 to 18:00 on “Israeli settlements as a war crime” with Mr. Richard Falk, Former UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 and Professor Emeritus of International Law and Practice at Princeton University and Ms. Christine Chanet, Former Head of the UNHRC Fact-finding Mission on Israeli Settlements as speakers. The session will be moderated by Mr. Victor Kattan Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.
On 21 May from 9:30 to 13:00, the participants will pay a visit to the premises of the International Criminal Court (ICC). From 15:00 to 18:00, Session II is entitled “State Parties at the ICC: Procedures, methods and strategies” and will tackle applicability of the Rome Statute to the situation in the State of Palestine and advantages and disadvantages of referring a situation to the ICC. Expected speakers for this session are Ms. Paolina Massidda, Principal Counsel, Office of Public Counsel for Victims at the International Criminal Court, and Mr. Kai Ambos, Chair for Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Comparative Law and International Criminal Law, Department for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Georg-August University, Göttingen; Judge, Appeals Court, Braunschweig. The discussion will be moderated by Mr. Michael Bothe, Professor Emeritus of Public Law, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University.
The Roundtable will resume on 22 May at 10:00 with Session III entitled “The State of Palestine and the ICJ - building on the advisory opinion on the separation wall” will feature as speakers Mr. Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh, Former Prime Minister of Jordan, Former judge, International Court of Justice, and Mr. Iain Scobbie, Professor of Public International Law, School of Law, University of Manchester. They will discuss the impact of the 2004 ICJ advisory opinion and ways for the State of Palestine to further engage the international community on the matter.
Session III will resume at 14:30 focusing on the next possible avenues available for the State of Palestine at the ICC and ICJ. Tackling these issues will be Ms. Susan Akram, Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney, International Human Rights Program at Boston University School of Law, and Mr. Michael Bothe, Professor Emeritus of Public Law at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University. The moderator in Session III will be Mr. Peter Bekker, Professor and Chair in International Law at the University of Dundee. Mr. Fausto Pocar, Professor Emeritus of International Law, Former Dean and Vice-Rector at the University of Milan and currently an Appeals Judge (since 2000) of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda and formerly Rapporteur and Chairman in the UN Human Rights Committee, will also participate in the proceedings.
The closing session, on 22 May, from 17:30 to 18:00, will be addressed by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Representative of the State of Palestine.
All sessions of the Seminar will be closed to the public and the media.
Updated versions of the programme, documents, as well as information on previous Meetings, will be available on the website of the Division for Palestinian Rights, United Nations Secretariat, at http://www.un.org/depts/dpa/qpal/calendar.htm. Please contact the Roundtable Secretariat at email@example.com for additional information.
The Summary of the Chairman on the outcomes of the Roundtable will be available at the above link shortly after the Roundtable finalizes its work. The full report on the Roundtable proceedings will be issued, in due course, as a publication of the Division for Palestinian Rights.