Major award for NUI Galway Human Rights Expert

Wednesday, 20 December 2000

Release date: 20 December, 2000

Major award for NUI Galway Human Rights Expert

Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, which is based in NUI, Galway has been awarded the Medal of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law.

The presentation was made at an International Conference in Johannesburg, where Professor Schabas was delivering a paper on "Fair Trial and Fit Punishment: How International Human Rights is Transforming Criminal Justice". The opening address of the conference was delivered by former South African President, Dr. Nelson Mandela.

The International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law is an international non-governmental association of judges, legislators, lawyers, academics, and governmental officials, who have come together to work actively on the administration of criminal justice both in their own jurisdiction and internationally.

The Society publishes the Criminal Law Forum , whose current editor in chief is Professor William Schabas. The Forum is intended to promote new thinking about the fundamental principles of criminal law, to encourage comparative criminal law analysis, and trace the development of new international criminal law.

Established in 1987, when over 200 experts from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, other Commonwealth Countries, the United States, Europe, and Israel, gathered at the Inns of Court in London, to discuss the reform of criminal law and the criminal justice system, the Society encourages joint research and policy development among individuals and government bodies from different jurisdictions.

The Society participates as a professional organisation in the work of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Program, through the International Scientific and Professional Advisory Council. Members of the Society have participated in numerous UN meetings. In September 1991, the Society was accorded observer status on crime problems, by the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The Society s participation in the work of the Council in this area provides criminal justice policy makers in Europe with another valuable link with their counterparts in the jurisdictions in which the Society has members.

Professor Schabas recently published Genocide in International Law, which is currently being used by lawyers dealing with the criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

Ends

Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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