The Hague Proceedings against Slobodan Milosevic


Int`l Conference, The Hague, 26 Feb 205

First Announcement

I n t e r n a t i o n a l C o n f e r e n c e
The Hague Proceedings against Slobodan Milosevic:
Emerging Issues in International Law
The Hague, 26 February 2005

The idea of international law – in particular international criminal law – is undeniably appealing to jurists and non-lawyers alike, as generations have sought to establish a permanent criminal jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes in the wake of the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials. Beyond the prosecution of the crimes that are committed in war, however, the Nuremberg precedent clearly articulates that the supreme international crime is the instigation of a war of aggression. Indeed, the Nuremberg Tribunal held that:

"War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

The ICTY, a Security Council institution, does not have the jurisdiction to prosecute the "supreme international crime". Some argue that it in fact legitimizes aggression, which can be exemplified by the serving of an indictment against President Slobodan Milosevic at the height of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, contrary to international law. As the defence phase of the proceedings continue to delve into the destruction of Yugoslavia by Western interests, legal questions emerge which will be discussed in this conference:

-The right to self-representation in international and comparative law;
-Joint criminal enterprise, tailor-made to convict and a tool of de-nazification
-What is "relevant" testimony in a political prosecution?
-War crimes prosecutions by the Security Council: justifying aggression, eliminating national sovereignty
-Self-determination and self-defense of Yugoslavia under international law
-"Equality of arms": what is left after The Hague?
-Armed conflict under international law and in the Milosevic case
-Effect of media coverage and lobbying on the right to a fair trial
-Misuse of genocide charges and trivialization of Nuremberg precedent and Holocaust
-Denying the right to defend oneself – stepping on the fundamentals of law
-The right to a fair trial in international and comparative law: has it been respected in the Milosevic case?
-How can the Hague be judged, and who will judge it?

After the presentation of the invited contributions, the conference will end with a panel discussion. The list of speakers include:

- Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney General (USA) – keynote address
- Professor Velko Valkanov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Human Rights Committee (Bulgaria) – keynote address
- Professor Aldo Bernardini, international law, Teramo University (Italy)
- Dr Branko Rakic, international law, Belgrade University, legal associate to President Milosevic (Serbia)
- Tiphaine Dickson, international criminal lawyer, legal spokesperson of the ICDSM (Quebec)
- Christopher Black, international criminal lawyer, Chair, Legal Committee of the ICDSM (Canada)
- Dr John Laughland, author of the book: "The International Criminal Tribunal: Guardian of the New World Order" (UK)
- Dr Alexandar Mezhyaev, international law, Kazan (Russia)

The Conference will take place in the Golden Tulip Bel Air hotel, Johan de Wittlaan 30 (close to the ICTY) from 1:30-7:00 pm. Conference admission is 10 EUR.

Organized by the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic (ICDSM) and
Vereinigung für Internationale Solidarität e.V. (Association for the International Solidarity)
Contact person: Vladimir Krsljanin, Secretary of the ICDSM, e-mail: , tel.: +381 63 8862 301