Al-Quds Bard College, Al-Quds University, Palestine

Russell Tribunal on Palestine – Upcoming London Session, 20-22 November, 2010

See the website of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, here.

See the agenda for the upcoming London Session, here.

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About the Russell Tribunal on Palestine

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) is an International People’s Tribunal created by a large group of citizens involved in the promotion of peace and justice in the Middle East. These past years, following, inter alia: the international community’s failure to implement the International Court of Justice’s 2004 Advisory Opinion on the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory ; the lack of implementation of the resolution ES-10/15 confirming the ICJ Opinion, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 July 2004 ; and the Israeli offensive on Gaza in December 2008 – January 2009, committees have been created in different countries to promote and sustain a citizen’s initiative in support of the rights of the Palestinian people, with public international law as a legal frame of reference.

The RToP is imbued with the same spirit and espouses the same rigorous rules as those inherited from the Tribunal on Vietnam created by the eminent scholar and philosopher Bertrand Russell (1966-1967) and the Russell Tribunal II on Latin America (1974-1976) organized by the Lelio Basso International Foundation for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples.

Members of the International Support Committee of the RToP include Nobel Prize laureates, a former United Nations Secretary-General, two former heads of state, other persons who held high political office and many representatives of civil society, writers, journalists, poets, actors, film directors, scientists, professors, lawyers and judges.

The RToP proceedings comprise a number of sessions which deal with different aspects of complicities and omissions by states, international organisations and corporations in the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel and the perpetuation of the violations of international law committed by Israel.

London Session of the Tribunal

The second international session of the RToP will take place in London, on 20, 21 and 22 November 2010. It will examine International corporate complicity in Israel’s Violations of International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, and War Crimes.

After establishing the responsibilities and obligations of corporations under international law, this session will assess the conduct of a series of companies regarding different aspects of Israel’s violations of the rights of the Palestinian People. The Tribunal will also seek to uncover the system that allows corporations to act in such unlawful ways, and to show in what ways States and international organisations could be held accountable for this.

During this session, the jury will be examining cases on:

  • Corporations providing tangible services and infrastructure that support illegal Israeli settlements and the occupation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
  • Foreign banks and other financial institutions providing financial services to illegal settlements and Israeli banks etc. trading abroad who provide financial services to illegal settlements.
  • Foreign companies that manufacture products inside the settlements and industrial zones in the West Bank and Israeli companies that export agricultural and other products from the settlements and industrial zones in the West Bank,
  • Foreign companies involved in the export of arms and the infrastructure of war, occupation, colonisation and repression in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israeli companies that export arms and repressive hardware/knowledge abroad

Just as in the Barcelona session, experts and witnesses will be invited to present these cases to the jury. Challenged corporations will also be invited to defend their position, before the jury presents its conclusions in an international press conference.

Following this session, another international session is foreseen for 2011 in South Africa, which should be followed by a session in the United States of America in the same year. The whole process of the RToP will end with the organisation of an International final session, which will make a final judgement that will encompass conclusions of each session.

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