Incumbent and former judges of the European Court of Human Rights, practicing lawyers, scientists and researchers from 13 countries of the world are discussing the issues of international humanitarian law and international human rights law at an international conference opened for the first time in Georgia at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) on September 29.
George Sharvashidze, Rector of TSU; Tamaz Zarandia, Dean of the TSU Faculty of Law; Irine Kurdadze, Director of the TSU Institute of International Law; Pierre d'Argent, President of European Society of International Law (ESIL); Grigol Giorgadze, Deputy Minister of Defense of Georgia; Khatuna Totladze, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia; Valentina Kim, Deputy Head of Delegation of International Committee of the Red Cross in Georgia; Besarion Bokhashvili, OHCHR Human Rights Officer attended the conference opening.
The international conference “Emerging Issues of Relationship between International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law” is being held in a hybrid format and it will discuss the role of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the world, the ways of averting the war and conflicts through legal methods, as well as the ways of achieving peace and security.
Scientists, researchers, incumbent and former judges of the European Court of Human Rights, practicing lawyers from the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, Israel, Spain, Ukraine, Turkey, Romania, India, South Africa, Nigeria, Serbia and Georgia are participating in the conference. The following persons will address the conference: Lado Chanturia, judge of European Court of Human Rights, TSU Professor; Ganna Yudkivska, co-organizer, former judge of the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Ukraine; Marko Milanovic, Doctor of Law, Professor of Public International Law at the University of Reading School of Law; Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou, Doctor of Law, Professor in Human Rights Law & Associate Dean for Research and Impact Law, University of Liverpool; Marco Longobardo, Doctor of Law, Senior Lecturer in International Law at University of Westminster; Veronika Bilkova, Doctor of Law, ESIL Secretariat; Sarah Cleveland, former vice chair of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, Columbia Law School; Yaël Ronen, Professor of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Gleb Bogush, Doctor of Law at the University of Copenhagen.
TSU Rector George Sharvashidze noted that the international conference will help provide more information about international law and share experience between Georgian and foreign scientists. “All the reports presented at the international conference describe the grave situation persisting in our region, namely the facts of violations of international law and the mechanisms for eliminating these violations. The conference is a very good opportunity to share the views of the European Society of International Law with each other, with Georgian and foreign colleagues,” he added.
The conference is organized by the European Society of International Law (ESIL), TSU and International Protection Center (CPI, France). Irine Kurdadze, head of the International Law Institute at the TSU Faculty of Law, said that the European Society of International Law is holding a conference in Georgia for the first time. Moreover, it is the first time that so many internationally recognized scientists are visiting Georgia to attend the same event. “Scientists from all over the world will share experience with each other and talk about what we can do, as experts in international law, to offer legal ways to the public in the context of solving the problems in such an unstable world,” Irine Kurdadze noted.
Ganna Yudkivska, former judge of the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Ukraine, who is attending the conference, noted that Georgians and Ukrainians have a hard experience of war, and such international conferences help find the ways that are necessary and important for building peace and security. She also stressed that there is an excellent international law school in Georgia. “We want them to be part of the European Society of International Law. Unfortunately, we, Ukrainians and Georgians, are facing the same problems; international law can give answers about the ways of averting the war and conflicts,” she said, expressing hope that the unification of international community, dialogue, and cooperation will help build a system that guarantees peace and security.
“The topic itself, covering the relationship between international humanitarian law and human rights law, is relevant to Georgia, especially during the hostilities, because Georgia itself had been a victim of this international aggression. Therefore, the agenda issues will be extremely useful and interesting not only for scientists, but also for international law and international community,” Lado Chanturia, judge of the European Court of Human Rights, said. He also noted that the university is first of all a scientific institution; therefore, allocating a place for scientific discussions and organizing these discussions will portray the university as one of the leaders in the world. “We welcome the fact that representatives of European universities and the European Court of Human Rights are attending the forum,” he added.
Tamar Zarandia, Dean of the TSU Faculty of Law, stressed the importance of discussing the issues of relationship between international humanitarian law and international human rights law in an academic area, because the forum will promote deepening of cooperation and discussing human rights issues in the future.
Deputy Minister of Defense, Grigol Giorgadze noted that the Ministry of Defense actively cooperates with Tbilisi State University, especially its International Law Institute. “Within the framework of the memorandum, we had planned and implemented a number of courses, and we plan to do the same in the future, especially covering the issues of international law. It is very important for our country to organize such conferences with the involvement of experienced experts and practitioners. I think, the conference will be very fruitful for both the university students and other people participating in the conference,” he added.
The two-day conference is dedicated to the memory of Levan Aleksidze, professor, academician, founder of the International Law School.