Irish Famine Tribunal
Fordham University Law School April 20 and 21
140 W. 62nd St. NYC
The Irish Famine of 1845-1852 (also known as the Great Hunger or An Gorta Mór) is one of the most catastrophic famines in modern history. It is estimated, that out of a population of 9 million in Ireland at that time, one million died, two and a half million emigrated, and 300,000 small holdings disappeared. Most of those who survived in Ireland were destitute for decades afterwards.
On April 20-21, 2013, Fordham Law School will be hosting the Irish Famine Tribunal to examine the responsibility of the British Government, under international law, for the tragic consequences of this period. Was it the case, as John Mitchel famously (or infamously) asserted, that “the Almighty, indeed, sent the potato blight, but the English created the famine”?
The Tribunal will consider whether the British role during the Famine amounted to either genocide or a crime against humanity. Prosecution and defense teams, including law students from Fordham Law School and Dublin City University, will present their cases before an international panel of judges: Judge Adrian Hardiman, a justice of the Supreme Court of Ireland and regarded as one of Ireland's foremost jurists; Judge John Ingram, a renowned New York Supreme Court judge who has presided over many high profile criminal trials; and, Judge William Schabas, professor of international law at Middlesex University in London, chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland Galway, and widely considered the world’s leading authority on genocide.
Joining them will be authors Tim Pat Coogan (“The Famine Plot: England's Role in Ireland's Greatest Tragedy”) and John Kelly (“The Graves Are Walking: The Great Famine and the Saga of the Irish People”), along with historian Dr. Ruan O’Donnell, Head of the Department of History at the University of Limerick.
In 1997, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated that “[t]hose who governed in London at the time failed their people through standing by while a crop failure turned into a massive human tragedy.” Does that failure, however, give rise to liability under international criminal law?
Amongst the other questions that will be asked:
For further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Irish Famine Tribunal will be held at McNally Auditorium, Fordham University Law School, 140 W. 62nd Street, New York City
April 20: 10:00 am (Registration at 9:30) and April 21: 11:00 am (Registration at 10:30)