International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (January 2009)|
The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists strives to advance human rights everywhere, including the prevention of war crimes, the punishment of war criminals, the prohibition of weapons of mass destruction, and international co-operation based on the rule of law and the fair implementation of international covenants and conventions.
The Association is especially committed to issues that are on the agenda of the Jewish people, and works to combat racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, Holocaust denial and negation of the State of Israel.
IAJLJ was founded in 1969. Among its founders were Supreme Court Justices Haim Cohn of Israel, Arthur Goldberg of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize laureate René Cassin of France. Membership comprises lawyers, judges, judicial officers and academic jurists in more than 50 countries who are active locally and internationally as the need arises. Membership is open to lawyers and jurists of all creeds who share the organization's aims.
The Association has Category II Status as a non-governmental organization at the United Nations, enabling it to participate in the deliberations of various UN bodies. In this capacity, the representative of the Association has been actively involved in the work of the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva and of related bodies, and as of 2007 will be engaged with the work of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which has replaced the Commission on Human Rights.
The Association also publishes Justice, which examines a variety of relevant issues and current topics and is mailed to thousands of lawyers and jurists throughout the world.
In 2006, the Association held its inaugural Justice Haim H. Cohn Lectureship in Rishon LeZion, Israel. The lecture, on Human Rights in a Constitutional Framework, was delivered by William M. Treanor, Dean of the School of Law at New York’s Fordham University.
The Association holds its triennial international congress in Jerusalem, as well as conferences and seminars in many other countries. It holds international conferences in European cities to commemorate Jewish lawyers and jurists who perished in the Holocaust and to mark their contribution to the legal systems of their countries. Conferences have been held in Salonika (Thessaloniki), Berlin, Warsaw, and Budapest in November 2006.
In January 2000 the Association held a conference in Strasbourg under the auspices of the Council of Europe and with the participation of high-ranking officials of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights. Discussions were held on cooperation between IAJLJ and the Council of Europe on ways to combat racism, anti-Semitism and denial of the Holocaust.
In August 2000 the Association convened its first conference in North America. “Pursuing Justice in the Global Village” was the theme of this conference, held in Toronto, Canada. Among the participants were several Canadian judges and federal and provincial government ministers, as well as Judge Thomas Buergenthal of the International Court of Justice in The Hague; Jerome Shestack, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and former President of the American Bar Association; and Neal Sher, Chief of Staff, International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims and Immediate Past President of the American Section of IAJLJ.