The conference explored, in a practical and policy-focused way, the place of courts and other justice-seeking mechanisms in the international response to situations of mass atrocity.
In recent years, the international community has embraced a wide variety of different approaches to seeking accountability in the midst of humanitarian crises – ranging from referrals to the International Criminal Court in Darfur and Libya, to supporting peace settlements in Afghanistan and Yemen where questions of accountability were deferred in the interests of peace.
With the conflict in Syria again raising questions about how peacemaking and the search for justice should be combined, this conference offers an opportunity to work towards a more coherent understanding of how the international community should approach this issue.
European Council on Foreign Relations and The Hague Institute convened high-level participants from a range of different areas to integrate ideas and perspectives that are sometimes kept separate. Those participating included representatives from EU member state and other governments (working on justice and atrocity prevention), officials from international institutions, scholars and researchers and representatives of NGOs.