Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group Publishes Final Report

YEREVAN (A.W./Asbarez) – The Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group on Monday issued its final report, entitled “Resolution with Justice—Reparations for the Armenian Genocide,” offering an unprecedented comprehensive analysis of the legal, historical, political, and ethical dimensions of the question of reparations for the Armenian Genocide.

In September 2014, the group completed the report, and released the introduction. With the announcement on Monday, the AGRSG is making the entire report available for download, free of charge.

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Conference: The Armenian Genocide Legacy 100 Years On

Conference-The-Armenian-Genocide-Legacy-100-years-March5-7-2015-The-Hague-Netherlands-photo1 (1)

THE HAGUE – On 5, 6 and 7 March 2015, 22 experts gathered for a conference at The Hague Institute for Global Justice to look at the legacy of the Armenian Genocide from the perspective of law, humanities, media, arts and letters, politics and education. Speakers focused on the influence that the Genocide and its denial have had on research and practice in their disciplines. The conference was organized by Alexis Demirdjian (Centennial Project Foundation), the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD) and the University of Southern California Institute of Armenian Studies (USC IAS).
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New Web Site Assesses Armenian Genocide Losses

Yerevan – Armenian Genocide Losses 1915, armeniangenocidelosses.am, is a new web site created by an independent research group in Armenia, including Tom Samuelian, David Davidian, Hovhannes Asryan, Tigran Sahakyan and others too numerous to name here. “The goal is to provide a framework for informed discussion on the extent of the harm resulting from this genocide.”

Reversible and Irreversible Harm-large

It presents a formula based on international norms and precedents, which call for reversible harm to be reversed and irreversible harm to be compensated. Reversible harm includes land, property and rights that can be restored. Irreversible harm includes lost lives, destroyed property, and other intangible harm caused and benefit gained by delay and denial of the Armenian Genocide. The total harm caused and benefit gained from the Armenian Genocide is estimated to be in excess of $3 trillion.
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Nolwenn Guibert and Sun Kim: Compensation for the Armenian Genocide: A Study of Recognition and Reparations

Nolwenn Guibert, a French lawyer and Sun Kim, an attorney from California presented the paper, “Compensation for the Armenian Genocide: A Study of Recognition and Reparations,” at a conference at The Hague. The conference organized by Alexis Demirdjian, the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies was entitled “The Armenian Genocide’s Legacy 100 Years Later.”

Nolwenn Guibert (Legal Officer) and Sun Kim (Associate Legal Officer) are in the Chambers Legal Support Section of the ICTY. The views expressed in this chapter are those of the authors alone and do not reflect those of the ICTY or the UN. The views expressed in other chapters of this book do not necessarily reflect Ms Guibert’s and Ms Kim’s personal views.

Abstract

On 16 December 2005 the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 60/147 on the ‘Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law’ (‘Resolution 60/147’), affirming the importance of addressing the question of compensating victims of such violations in a systematic and comprehensive manner at national and international levels. Referring, inter alia, to various forms of reparation, namely restitution, compensation and satisfaction, Resolution 60/147 makes clear that the remedies to which victims are entitled should be envisioned along two broad spectra; first in acknowledging the wrongdoing caused and second in compensating the harm suffered.

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Susan Karamanian: The International Court of Justice and the Armenian Genocide

Susan Karamanian, the Associate Dean for International and Comparative Legal Studies at the George Washington University Law School spoke at a conference organized by Alexis Demirdjian, the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies at The Hague entitled “The Armenian Genocide’s Legacy 100 Years Later.” Karamanian spoke about the Armenian Genocide and the International Court of Justice.

Abstract

The Ottoman Empire’s massacre of Armenians in 1915–16 is one of the early genocides of the 20th century. Suggestions about how to provide legal accountability to the Armenians range from the filing of lawsuits in municipal courts, to the establishment of a claims process similar to that for victims of the Nazi Holocaust, to the creation of a truth and reconciliation commission like that established in South Africa to address apartheid.

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Geoffrey Robertson: Armenia and the G-word: The Law and the Politics

Founder and Head of Doughty Street Chambers, Geoffrey Robertson QC spoke at a conference organized by Alexis Demirdjian, the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies at The Hague entitled “The Armenian Genocide’s Legacy 100 Years Later.” Robertson’s speech was entitled, “Armenia and the G-Word: The Law and Politics.”

Abstract

‘Genocide’ in common parlance is the word that comes to mind whenever a massive death toll results from a state-backed onslaught on people of a disliked, demeaned and different ethnic group. As a matter of international law, a state is responsible for genocide when its agents, with the intention of destroying in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, kill or cause serious mental or bodily harm to, or inflict destructive conditions of life on, such a group. There is never much doubt about the sufferings undergone by the group — the question of responsibility generally hinges on whether there is proof that political or military leaders intended to rid the country of the group as a social unit. It is not sufficient just to disperse its members, but it is certainly not necessary to liquidate them all. Size, in fact, does not matter — the World Court (the ICJ) held that there was genocide at Srebrenica, which involved the killing of 7,000 Muslim men and the deportation of 18,000 women and children.

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Alexis Demirdjian: The Failure of Judicial Systems during Armed Conflicts

Alexis Demirdjian is the Director of the Centennial Project Foundation and organizer of the conference at The Hague entitled, “The Armenian Genocide’s Legacy 100 Years Later,” along with the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies. Demirdjian is also the editor of an academic book associated with the conference, “The Armenian Genocide Legacy.”

The author thanks Evelyn Anoya for reviewing and editing this chapter. The author also thanks Maud Marchand for her assistance in reviewing the colossal amount of ICTY evidence relating to the judicial system in the former Yugoslavia.

Member of the Quebec Bar (Montreal); Trial Lawyer, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court; LL.M. International Law. The views expressed in this chapter are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the International Criminal Court.

Abstract

On 3 June 1992, in the third month of the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a group of 30 men of Serb ethnic background stormed the Northern Bosnian town of Teslić which was under Bosnian Serb control. This paramilitary group nicknamed the Miće Group3 managed to arrest hundreds of Bosnian Muslim and Croat civilians in less than three weeks, detained them in inhumane conditions, and repeatedly beat them, some succumbing to the beatings. On 30 June 1992, 16 members of the Miće were arrested when Serb authorities learned that they were persecuting Serb citizens, their ‘own people’. It was only then that Serb authorities acted and investigations began shortly thereafter.4 However, both the military and civilian police leadership quickly lodged protests with the prosecutor’s office, requesting the Miće’s release. The men were released one by one under threats and pressure and, by early August, they had reintegrated into their respective units. Meanwhile, thousands of Muslims and Croats had fled Teslić. This once multi-ethnic community had turned into a mono-ethnic municipality, crippled by terror and criminality. The ICTY deals mainly with leadership cases and six separate trials have addressed these atrocities in Teslić. The actual perpetrators, the members of the Miće Group, were arrested only in November 2014.

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Najwa Nabti: Legacy of Impunity: Sexual Violence against Armenian Women and Girls during the Genocide

Najwa Nabti, the Director of the Undergraduate Law and Master of Legal Studies Programs at the University of Arizona presented a paper at a conference at The Hague entitled, “Legacy of Impunity: Sexual Violence against Armenian Women and Girls during the Genocide.” The conference organized by Alexis Demirdjian, the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies was entitled “The Armenian Genocide’s Legacy 100 Years Later.”

Professor of Practice, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. Thanks to Chris Robertson, Roy Spece and Darren Modzelewski for their insightful comments.

Abstract

Sexual violence against Armenian women and girls during the Armenian Genocide a century ago has been well-documented by survivors, diplomats, missionaries and other eyewitnesses. The means used to subjugate and persecute female Armenians were as diverse and widespread as they were brutal. Unfortunately, such acts have only been repeated in subsequent conflicts, with similarly devastating consequences for the victims, their families and their entire communities. With few exceptions, such devastation has been achieved with impunity. For the past 20 years, however, increasing efforts have been made to prosecute these acts as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The plight of Armenian women and girls, whose trauma has been passed down through generations, reinforces the importance of these efforts.

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