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Signing of the founding documents of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy

22.11.2014

Joint press release by the Federal Foreign Office, the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice, the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance, Regional Development and Regional Identity, and the City of Nuremberg

Martin Ney, Legal Adviser to the Federal Government on international law issues at the Federal Foreign Office, Winfried Bausback, Bavarian Minister of Justice, Markus Söder, Bavarian Minister of Finance, and Ulrich Maly, Mayor of Nuremberg, signed the documents founding the International Nuremberg Principles Academy during a ceremony in Courtroom 600 of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice today. “Helping to safeguard peace through the means of the law is the key mission that we, as the founders of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy, are setting in motion today in these founding documents,” they said.

Martin Ney, Legal Adviser to the Federal Government on international law issues, said that the International Nuremberg Principles Academy highlighted Germany’s role in helping to shape international criminal law.

The idea is that the Academy will be a forum for research and dialogue, where researchers, practitioners, representatives of civil society and indeed people from all over the world with an interest in the topic can meet to exchange views and have free and open discussions.

Winfried Bausback, Bavarian Minister of Justice, observed that the Academy and the legal system as a whole would thus benefit from each other’s work. “In a state under the rule of law and in today’s international community, which is committed to justice, the law of the strong does not apply. Law is what counts. And ultimately, only the courts may decide.” Bausback said this was why the founding day of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy was also a very good day for justice in particular. “Safeguarding peace through the means of the law is a major undertaking. There is no doubt that great perseverance is often needed until justice wins through in the end. The cases tried at the International Criminal Court in The Hague are a good example of this. These cases also send a clear message, namely that in the end, justice has the last word. And rightly so!” Bausback said.

“Nuremberg is a city of human rights. Here, in the birthplace of international criminal law, we are setting up a research institute that will play a significant role in combating genocide and crimes against humanity,” said Markus Söder, Bavarian Minister of Finance and Regional Identity. “The historic location of the Nuremberg trials, which marked the end of the Nazi era and the beginning of the rule of law, was indeed the ideal home for the Academy.”

The Free State of Bavaria provided half of the initial capital, and will also provide the Academy with permanent premises in the east wing of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice free of charge. This will be made possible through the construction of a new courtroom building by the end of 2017 at a cost of some 27 million euros to the Free State of Bavaria.

“As a city of peace and human rights, Nuremberg is the ideal location for the International Nuremberg Principles Academy,” said Mayor Ulrich Maly. The origins of serious crimes against humanity, and how they are subsequently dealt with legally and in society, can be discussed against the backdrop of the Documentation Centre, the Memorium Nuremberg Trials and the city’s human rights work. “The Nuremberg trials wrote legal history in Nuremberg,” Maly said. “The Academy will now create an international forum for current issues in international (criminal) law.”

Background information:

The International Nuremberg Principles Academy will create a global forum for current issues in international criminal law. The international academy is being set up as a foundation under German Civil Law. Its founders are the Federal Republic of Germany, the Free State of Bavaria and the City of Nuremberg.

The aim is that the International Nuremberg Principles Academy will help to safeguard peace through the means of the law. Its tasks will include interdisciplinary research, training and consulting services for specific target groups, and human rights education. A further aim is that it will serve as an international forum for current issues in international criminal law for people involved in the theory and practice of this field, as well as for diplomats, multipliers and civil society.

The Nuremberg trials, which addressed National Socialist crimes and injustice, marked the birth of modern international criminal law. This historic heritage led to the idea of establishing an international academy. The Academy will initially be housed in temporary office space in Nuremberg. However, in the medium term it will move to premises close to Courtroom 600 of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, where the Nuremberg trials were held.

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