Safeguarding Peace through International Criminal Law
War on War by Law
Sun, May 25, 2014 11 am CEST, Lecture

At the conclusion of the European Culture Days, Christoph Flügge gives a lecture on international criminal law. The lecture is followed by a discussion which is moderated by Harald Range, Federal Prosecutor General at the Federal Court in Karlsruhe. Dr. Frank Mentrup, Major of the City Karlsruhe will be present as well.

Armed conflict erupts throughout the world repeatedly. Only on rare occasions does the international community intervene in due time since potential mediators are at fundamental odds – as could be observed recently in the example of Syria. In cases in which it has proved impossible to avoid such civil wars in time, the international community has at least able to concur about sanctioning certain forms of behavior in such conflicts.

The foundation of the still young international criminal law is constituted by The Hague Convention (1907) and the Geneva Convention (1949). International criminal law was first introduced with the trials of the allied International Military Tribunal established to bring to justice the chief war criminals of the Third Reich in Nuremburg 1945/46, the so-called Nuremburg Trials. Whereas, the political will to implement international criminal law in the ensuing Cold War was lacking, the United Nations reactivated its peacekeeping system once it came to an end.

Two ad-hoc criminal tribunals were established for the purposes of processing crimes committed during the civil war in former Yugoslavia and during the genocide in Ruanda in 1994: the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia based in The Hague, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha/Tanzania. The international common law on which international criminal law is based was thereby endorsed. One milestone in international criminal law is the so-called Rome Statute, which came into effect at the end of June, 2002. Thus, the permanent International Criminal Court – existing independently of Ad-hoc International Criminal Tribunal − was founded in The Hague, punishable offences were defined, and a procedural code fixed, according to which, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes are indictable.

Project team

Christoph Flügge, one of the total of eighteen judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, has been judge there since 2008. Crimes committed on former Yugoslavian territory after 1991 are tried at this court. Christoph Flügge has also been judge at the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, which has functioned as successor institution of the two Ad-hoc International Criminal Tribunals, since 2001. Christoph Flügge is currently Presiding Judge in the process against former Serbian General, Ratko Mladic.

Also present are Dr. Frank Mentrup, Mayor of the city Karlsruhe and Harald Range, Federal Prosecutor General at the Federal Court in Karlsruhe.


In Cooperation with the Prosecutor General at the Federal Court In the Context of the 22nd European Culture Days