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"Safeguarding peace through the means of the law"

26.11.2014 - Article

The International Nuremberg Principles Academy will create a global forum for current issues in international criminal law.

The International Nuremberg Principles Academy will create a global forum for current issues in international criminal law and will help to safeguard peace through the means of the law.

The founding documents for the International Nuremberg Principles Academy were signed in Nuremberg on 22 November.

The Academy’s tasks will include research, training, consulting and human rights education.

The signing ceremony in historic Courtroom 600 of the Palace of Justice
The signing ceremony in historic Courtroom 600 of the Palace of Justice© 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 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.

Historical location

The Nuremberg trial against the major war criminals (November 1945 to October 1946) in Courtroom 600 of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice
The Nuremberg trial against the major war criminals (November 1945 to October 1946) in Courtroom 600 of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice© picture alliance / akg-images

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.

A ceremony for the signing of the founding documents took place in Courtroom 600 on Saturday. The documents were signed by 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.

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.

The rule of law as a “key task for German foreign policy”

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomed the foundation of the Academy:

It is vital to defend the strength of the law against the law of the strong, especially in times when international law is being violated once again in Europe and the principles of international law are being undermined and ignored by many sides. Reinforcing the rule of law at the international level is, and will remain, a key task for German foreign policy.

The foundation of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy makes a significant contribution to this work. I am very pleased that it has been possible to establish the Academy in cooperation with the Free State of Bavaria and the City of Nuremberg.

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.

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