Brussels Tribunal 2022
For 20 years, Europe has been pursuing an increasingly radical and inhumane policy of sealing off and deterring refugees. International conventions and applicable law are shamelessly violated. Governments and state officials commit crimes against humanity and crimes such as failure to render assistance, aiding and abetting murder, torture and rape. Inhumane agreements are concluded with unjust states and criminal gangs.
As a result of this shameful policy, thousands of people have died miserably or drowned in the Mediterranean. Countless protests against this scandalous policy have fizzled out and the policy of deterrence is constantly being tightened and expanded with the result that thousands have to seek ever more dangerous escape routes and many risk their lives in the process.
Those responsible for these crimes have a name. The fact that crimes go unpunished must no longer be accepted. In constitutional states, even those in power have to respect the law. We hold them accountable and bring them to ordinary courts or, if necessary, to a tribunal in Brussels.
Brussels is the centre of European politics and the symbolic lion’s den.
Friday to Monday (4 days)
A maximum of 24 cases could be heard from Friday to Sunday. This means that there will be an average of two hours for each case. The fourth day will be reserved for rehabilitation.
Who will be charged?
Individuals, not countries or institutions, will be indicted. For the first session of the Tribunal, we want to focus on persons from the dominant North, (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg Netherlands and France). These are the ones who determine European policy. In addition, there will be responsible persons from the EU Commission and the FRONTEX agency.
In a later session (probably 2023), more people will be charged with offences in other countries.
Which offences will be admitted and tried?
The following offences may be submitted to the Tribunal for preliminary examination and admission.
- Failure to render assistance resulting in death Prevention of private rescue at sea resulting in thousands of deaths
- Administrative, strategic measures and procedures against public participation
- Violation of the Convention on Human Rights ECHR
- Crimes against humanity and humanity Aiding and abetting murder, torture and rape in Libya
Composition of the Tribunal
The panel of judges consists of at least six recognised and respected judges from different countries and a clerk. Special judges may be appointed for the hearing of the rehabilitation applications (on Monday). Two panels of judges could be appointed.
Preparation of charges and dossiers
In total, about 22-24 cases would be heard. For all indictments, detailed and exemplary indictment dossiers are prepared by lawyers and experts. These are handed over to the judges in good time before the tribunal so that they can familiarise themselves and prepare and ask any questions. The indictment dossiers are presented by lawyers for the prosecution and supplemented by statements from witnesses, victims and experts. Witnesses, and victims may be questioned by the judges. In justified exceptional cases, witnesses and experts may be connected and questioned by video.
Public rectification and rehabilitation.
On Monday, the Tribunal will investigate the vilification, discrimination and criminalisation of refugee aid workers. Providing assistance is not a crime, it is a duty and a right. Cases of wrongly convicted rescuers and helpers will be thoroughly investigated and proposed for rehabilitation.
Manifestation of the “Other Europe
We also want to offer a powerful platform to the “Other Europe”. For this purpose, a manifestation will take place in parallel during 4 days in a large forum. With activists, mayors, municipalities, NGOs, etc.. This rally can take place in a cultural centre or campus, for example. This relocation is also necessary because there will be too few seats in the actual tribunal.
We want to ask committed humanists, artists, musicians, writers and public figures for support.
Parallel events to the tribunal and the pronouncement of judgement
Press, radio and television will be able to report live from the tribunal and the accompanying events after accreditation. The proceedings at the Tribunal will be simultaneously translated into several languages via livestream and transmitted to possible locations of parallel events (public viewing).
After the actual trial, the judges will retire for deliberation. The verdict will be announced by the judges a few days later in Brussels.
Verdict pronouncement, press conference
At the press conference to announce the verdict, Front-Lex will announce which defendants will be tried in ordinary courts.
Budget and financing
The budget for the Tribunal and the ongoing cases of the Legal Department is € 650’000. The start-up funding has been secured by the Front-Lex Foundation. For the overall funding, a broad-based crowdfunding campaign will be launched and organisations and foundations will be asked for help and support.