What is the RToP?

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine is an International People’s Tribunal created by a large group of citizens involved in the promotion of peace and justice in the Middle East

About RToP →

Russell Tribunal on Palestine Sessions:

Barcelona Session

The first international session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) took place in Barcelona. This session’s objective was to consider the complicities and omissions of the European Union and its member states in the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel and the perpetuation of the violations of international law committed by Israel, in total impunity.

London Session

The second international session of the RToP took place in London, on 20, 21 and 22 November 2010. It examined International corporate complicity in Israel’s Violations of International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, and War Crimes.

Cape Town session

The third international session of the RToP took place in Cape Town, on 5, 6 and 7 November 2011. It asked the question: “Are Israel practices against the Palestinian People in breach of the prohibition on apartheid under International Law?”

New York Session

The fourth session of the Russell Tribunal continued its historic mission of articulating civic protest and giving voice to insufferable conditions at a moment when world society is facing its most incredible challenges. The session took place in New York and focused on UN and U.S. complicity in Israel’s violations of international law.

Brussels Session

The final session of the RToP will take place in Brussels on 16-17 March 2013. Jury will comment on the final findings of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

“May this Tribunal prevent the crime of silence“…

…declared Lord Bertrand Russell to define the spirit and the objective of the International War Crimes Tribunal constituted in 1966 to investigate crimes committed in Vietnam and judge them according to international law. Initiated by Lord Russell, Nobel Prize of literature in 1950, and supported by eminent intellectuals such as Jean-Paul Sartre, who chaired the Tribunal, Lelio Basso, Guenther Anders, James Baldwin, Simone de Beauvoir, Lazaro Cardenas, Stokely Carmichael, Isaac Deutscher, Gisèle Halimi, Laurent Schwartz…, this Tribunal was named the Russell Tribunal.

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.

It will thus examine the various responsibilities that lead to the continued occupation of the Palestinian Territories by Israel and the non-application of the United Nations resolutions, from Resolution 181 of the 29th of November 1947, on the partition of Palestine, to Resolution ES-10/15 of the 20th of July 2004, that acknowledges the Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – of the 9th of July 2004 – on the construction of the Wall by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and requests all the UN Member States to acquit themselves of their legal obligations as defined by the ICJ Opinion. The responsibilities of Israel and also of other states, particularly the United States and the Member States of the European Union, the Arab States and the international organisations concerned (United Nations, the European Union, the Arab League) will be scrutinised.

The Tribunal also aims, through this approach, to contribute to the mobilisation and the involvement of civil society in all the states concerned on the question of Palestine.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine is composed of eminent people from all states, including Israel, which will be one of the states investigated. The legitimacy of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine does not come from a government or any political party but from the prestige, professional interests and commitment to fundamental rights of the Members that constitute this Tribunal.


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