The second “EU Day Against Impunity” for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes took place in Brussels on Tuesday, 23 May 2017. ICTY President Carmel Agius attended an event hosted at the Permanent Representation of Malta to the European Union, along with other guests including legal practitioners, academics, representatives from international criminal courts and tribunals, Member States, European and international institutions, and NGO’s.
Following opening remarks and Keynote Speeches by high representatives of the Maltese Government, the European Union and Eurojust, the event featured a panel debate on national jurisdictions leading the fight against impunity, focusing on increased collective action and cooperation within the European Union. As a member of this panel, President Agius highlighted: “It is crucial that those who support the rule of law and the fight against impunity continue to support international courts and tribunals – particularly those that will continue into the future”. He added that: “This goal cannot and must not fall prey to real politik. We must continue to shine a light on the most despicable crimes, and reveal them to be just that, through a robust and fair judicial procedure.”
The event aimed to raise awareness about the most heinous crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and to exchange views on the best ways to strengthen the domestic response to such crimes. In addition to promoting national investigations and prosecutions, the panel discussion provided an opportunity to reinvigorate a Europe-wide commitment to the continuing fight against impunity.
The EU Day Against Impunity was created following a recommendation of the European Network for investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes (Genocide Network), to raise awareness for these crimes, the victims and the problems inherent in bringing perpetrators to justice. This year’s event was organised by the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the Genocide Network and Eurojust. The first EU Day Against Impunity took place in The Hague last year, under the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union.