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International Criminal Justice: Lessons from the Past, Reflections on the Future

The Fifth Colloquium of Prosecutors of the ICTR, ICTY, SCSL, ECCC, STL, ICC entitled “International Criminal Justice: Lessons from the Past, Reflections on the Future”, organized by ICTR Prosecutor, was opened today in Kigali by the Honorable Prime Minister of Rwanda, Mr. Bernard Makuza in the presence of Prosecutor General of Rwanda, Mr. Martin Ngoga, Steven Rapp, US Ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Issues, senior staff of the various Tribunals, former senior officials of the Tribunals, NGOs, Representatives of Diplomatic Missions in Rwanda, Government Officials and Representatives of the Judicial Sector.

In his opening remarks, Justice Jallow who is hosting the colloquium, highlighted the importance of this year’s theme. He said that the theme has been deliberately chosen, for today the administration of international criminal justice stands at an important crossroads which requires us to seek to draw on the lessons of the past and to indeed reflect on the future directions of this system.

He added that one of the most remarkable developments in modern times has been the speed with which international criminal justice has developed and the efficacy with which it has operated.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Rwandan Prime Minister, His Excellency Bernard Makuza thanked the ICTR for organizing the Colloquium saying that it was a unique opportunity to share experience on matters concerning the promotion of International Justice. He pointed out that the country has been undergoing all the necessary judicial reforms in order to speed up the process of justice, unity and reconciliation in the country.

During the three-day Colloquium ending 13 November 2009, the participants will hold discussions on matters related to the application of International Criminal Justice, winding down and Legacy of the Ad hoc tribunals. The participants will also visit the Genocide memorial sites in Kigali and Murambi.

The previous colloquia were hosted by the Special Court of Sierra Leone in 2005, the ICTY and the ICC in The Hague in 2006 and the ECCC in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2007. The first Colloquium was hosted by the ICTR in 2004.

The Colloquium builds on progress made at the National Prosecutors’ Forum held in November 2008 in Arusha, Tanzania that dealt with the challenges of cooperation in the fight against impunity after closure of the tribunals. Both Colloquia were supported by the McArthur Foundation.

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