Comfort Women AGAINST Japan

The Korean Council
26 February 2021, 3rd International Symposium
Restoring the Right to Justice and Truth

Comfort Women against Japan

Joachim Lau   Lawyer, Ferrini v. Germany case
Panel 2. State immunity vs. Grave human rights violations

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Colleagues,

With the Hague Convention of 18 October 1907, the international community of states had recognized some fundamental rights of the individuals, because the states involved in a war do not have an unlimited right in the choice of means to harm the enemy. The protection of these rights - human rights, we would say today - is expressed through the prohibition of certain measures and actions. These include the right to life and physical integrity of the non-combatant population, which is expressed by the corresponding prohibition of assassination and the prohibition of the use of weapons that cause unnecessary suffering; the protection against sexual abuse of the population of the enemy state is expressed by the command to respect the honors and rights of the family and citizens of the enemy state.

What was forgotten in the following 100 years and even concealed by the International Court of Justice in the case Germany v. Italy, General List 143 /2008, was the legal fact that international law itself guarantees the liability and enforceability of these rights.

Indeed, Article 23H of the Hague Convention prohibits states from abrogating or temporarily suspending the rights and claims of members of the other party or the exclusion of those liability and enforceability.

Art. 23: In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden ..................(h) To declare abolished, suspended, or inadmissible in a court of law the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party.

Download pdf