46 I.L.M. 974 (2007)
Introductory Note

handle is hein.journals/intlm46 and id is 988 raw text is: INTRODUCTORY NOTE TO THE FIRST CHAUTAUQUA DECLARATION
[August 29, 2007]
+Cite as 46 ILM 974 (2007)+
On August 28-29,2007, a majority of the living international chief prosecutors-from Nuremberg to the International
Criminal Court-convened at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Marking the 100h anniversary of the 1907
Hague Rules on the conduct of armed conflict, the meeting focused on the legacy of a century of law-making and
the challenges ahead for the enforcement of international humanitarian law. It was co-hosted by the American
Society of International Law, Syracuse University School of Law, the Robert H. Jackson Center, the Chautauqua
Institution, and the Whitney R. Harris Center at Washington University. The conveners hope that the meeting will
be the first of a regular gathering of international prosecutors to discuss common challenges and devise solutions
to them. In a concluding press conference, the prosecutors issued the First Chautauqua Declaration.
The Declaration is a general call for respect of international humanitarian law and an end to impunity for those
who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is, in this regard, a somewhat unremarkable, collection
of platitudes. At the same time, reading between the lines, one sees reference to many of the most significant
challenges surrounding the enforcement of international humanitarian law at the beginning of the 21st century.
Indeed, nearly every line reflects a current development or controversy in this field of law, and the prosecutors'
effort to stake out their collective position on it. Thus, while unremarkable today, it may be that decades hence,
the declaration will represent an interesting historical record of the issues of the day.
The Development of New Institutions for Enforcement
Referencing the legal tools ... now in place to prosecute those who bear the greatest responsibility, the
declaration reflects the dramatic development of institutions of adjudication and enforcement of international
humanitarian law between 1907 and 2007. After little progress in the first half of the 20th century, the Nuremberg
trials made good on the promise of 1907, only to be followed by another lull in enforcement during the Cold
War. The nineties then saw a burst of activity in the development of both law and enforcement bodies, first with
the ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and then with a permanent body intended to have
global reach, the International Criminal Court (ICC). Limitations in the ICC's jurisdiction and capacity have
continued to make ad hoc arrangements necessary, and thus we have the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.
Each new institution has reflected the lessons learned and refinement of these legal tools, including the value
of complementarity, hybrid domestic-international courts, and outreach programs that in various ways increase
local understanding and support for prosecutions. The declaration reflects the evolution of accountability efforts
from the small fish prosecutions in the early days of the Yugoslav tribunal to the ICC's focus on those bearing
responsibility for the most serious crimes of international concern.1 It highlights too the growing impatience
of the international community with lengthy expensive trials and the pressure on these institutions to seek justice
efficiently and effectively.2
The Challenge of Continued Impunity
While the declaration acknowledges the lessons learned and reflects the dramatic development of new legal
tools and institutions in the international criminal law field, it also underscores the principal challenge facing
these institutions-the continued impunity of many of those most culpable.
Even as the prosecutors met at Chautauqua and declared their belief that truth and justice create sustainable
peace, controversy continued to swirl around this proposition and confound their efforts to seek accountability.
Where justice proponents see accountability bringing warring parties to the negotiating table and securing a lasting
peace,3 opponents see it impeding conflict resolution.4 In their declaration, the prosecutors seek to put this debate
to rest, or rather, rise above it, declaring that it is no longer about whether individuals agree or disagree with
the pursuit of justice in political, moral or practical terms; now, it is the law. In this respect, the declaration
mirrors closely the increasingly urgent appeals of ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo over the past year.5 Having
Executive Director, American Society of Int'l Law, Chair, Editorial Advisory Committee, International Legal Materials.

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