The Fight against Impunity: An Appraisal

Esil Conference 2017 > Theme > The Fight against Impunity: An Appraisal

The fight against impunity is a core fundamental purpose of international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law. In the past four decades, regional human rights courts, the United Nations Human Rights system and international criminal courts and tribunals have advanced the fight against impunity for serious violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law as imposing positive obligations on states to investigate, prosecute and punish perpetrators. What is more, the fight against impunity has given rise to formulations of new rights and approaches including the right to truth and victim- centred approaches to international and domestic adjudication and remedies.

Topics that can be addressed in this agora include the following: Has the fight against impunity attained the status of a global public good or a fundamental value in international law? What is the current state of the customary international law status of the duty to fight impunity in international law? What prohibitions attract duties to fight against the impunity of perpetrators? How has the fight against impunity across different branches of international law interacted with the law of state immunity, the principle of subsidiarity, the principle of complementarity, and national democratic decisions to grant amnesties? What has been the contribution of international criminal law to advance the fight against impunity, in particular through the International Criminal Court? What contribution has the United Nations Security Council made to the fight against impunity? What is the current state of the extra-territorial obligations of states to fight against impunity?




Lorna McGregor (University of Essex)



Patricia Jimenez Kwast (University of Oxford) “Testing the Limits of Obligations to Cooperate with the ICC”

 Patryk Labuda (Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights) “Assessing the Impact of International Criminal Tribunals on the Fight against Impunity”

 Patricia Uribe (Leiden University) “Assessing the Enforcement of IACtHR’s Order Prosecute and Punish Past Human Rights Violations”