Presentation of the Benjamin Ferenczpad in the Hague, named after the last surviving prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials.
Technology, accountability and international law. These were the main themes of the fourth annual Justice Stephen Breyer Lecture, which was held on April 13, 2017. The event was organized by the Brookings Institution, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington D.C and the municipality of The Hague. The Lecture focused on the intersection of the three main themes and the different ways in which new technologies both advance as well as complicate international law and justice.
The Hague Deputy Mayor Saskia Bruines started off the event by emphasizing the importance of bringing together international law and new technologies. As a Deputy Mayor of the city of Peace and Justice, renowned for its unique position in international law, Bruines encouraged all parties to engage in a dialogue. After an insightful key note speech by John Carlin, former U.S. Assistant Attorney for National Security, a panel of experts moderated by Jeroen van den Hoven, a professor of ethics and technology at Delft University, further engaged with issues such as the use of technology in prosecutions of human rights violations, and the intersection of international law and cyber security. During the following luncheon, it was reaffirmed that cyber security is a new field in international law, and international cyber security laws are yet to be developed.
Another event concerning international was the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Conference, exploring the theme of “What International Law Values”. Not only did Liesbeth Lijnzaad, senior legal advisor to the Dutch Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, take place in a panel on the role of women in international law, also did Prof. Dr. Ernst Hirsch Ballin of the Asser Institute moderate the ASIL’s closing plenary on “Building Trust in International Law and Institutions”. At the end of the Conference, the last surviving prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials Benjamin Ferencz was honored by the municipality of The Hague, by naming a street next to the Peace Palace after him.
Mr. Ferencz gave an impressive speech and shared some of his remarkable experiences. To conclude, he provided the audience with three pieces of advice: when dealing with the international prosecution of war criminals: ‘One, never give up. Two, never give up. And three, never give up!’.
Promoting international law, human rights, and rule of law are a top priority for the Netherlands because these universal values form the foundation of civilized societies, ensure long-term global security, and allow social progress and economic mobility.