Originally founded by philosopher Bertrand Russell in 1967 to investigate war crimes committed in Vietnam, the Russell Tribunal is an international people’s tribunal that considers allegations of war crimes. It has been reconstituted to promote peace and justice in the Middle East.
A jury made up of prominent intellectuals and activists is presented with evidence and deliberates. The jury includes Amercian author Alice Walker, South African activist and former government minister Ronnie Kasrils, American political activist Angela Davis and several more. It is supported by a number of prominent individuals, including Tariq Ali, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Tony Benn, Breyten Breytenbach, Eric Cantona, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Ken Livingstone, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Peter Mullan, Ilan Pappe and many more.
Here is Noam Chomsky on the need for the Tribunal:
Although the Tribunal has no legal status, the moral authority of its jury and supporters lends weight to its deliberations and findings.
As the Tribunal states,
“The Russell Tribunal has no legal status but acts as a court of the people, a Tribunal of conscience, faced with injustices and violations of international law, that are not dealt with by existing international jurisdictions, or that are recognised but continue with complete impunity due to the lack of political will of the international community. Today, and in the same spirit, the Bertrand Russell Foundation supports the setting up of a Russell Tribunal to examine the violations of international law, of which the Palestinians are victims, and that prevent the Palestinian People from exercising its rights to a sovereign State.
This Tribunal has been named the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. It will reaffirm the supremacy of international law as the basis for a solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. It will identify all the failings in the implementation of this right and will condemn all the parties responsible for these failings, in full view of international public opinion.”
Many high profile individuals will hear evidence of Israeli war crimes, the non-application of UN resolutions, and corporate complicity in the commission of these crimes.
You can follow the proceedings through the website.
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