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Russian Federation: Martens Readings International Conference to open

30-05-2011 News Release 11/123

St Petersburg (ICRC) – On 1 and 2 June, the Law Faculty of St Petersburg State University will host the annual Martens Readings International Conference, which it will co-organize with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Russian International Law Association. This year, the 65th anniversary of the Nuremberg trial, the conference will focus on international criminal justice.

The conference will be attended by over 100 leading scholars and specialists in the field of international law and by representatives of the Russian Federation and other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Among the guests invited to the conference will be a number of high-ranking United Nations and ICRC officials, and judges from the international criminal tribunals and the International Criminal Court.

The subject matter of the conference will be centred upon the contemporary system of criminal justice and stages of its historical development, which attest to positive trends in the adoption of measures to prevent violations of international humanitarian law and to prosecute those responsible for violations that do occur. Nevertheless, international justice cannot completely replace the system of national courts, as States retain primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with the rules of humanitarian law, preventing violations and punishing offenders. "No legal regime is really complete unless it embodies some form of enforcement of the rules it establishes," said François Bugnion, a member of the ICRC Assembly who will speak at the conference. Total adherence to the provisions of humanitarian law can only be achieved by taking effective measures at the national level.

For further information, please contact:
Monique Nanchen, ICRC Moscow, tel: +7 903 545 35 34