Olympia, Washington, July 17 2021 – The Congress of Nations and States continues to work on drafting a new crimes treaty which will serve as the foundational instrument for a permanent international justice mechanism for Indigenous Peoples. This treaty, which will be formally presented in 2022 at the first Assembly of the Congress, will be open for signature by all Indigenous Peoples, Nations, and states.
Establishing a legal platform through which Peoples can fully exercise their right to self-determination, the treaty directly addresses gaps in the current international system which prevent Peoples from redressing crimes committed against them. The new instrument further defines certain crimes that are specific to Indigenous Cultures — such as purposefully or knowingly destroying or violating a life form, place, or item that is held as sacred to Peoples.
Development of the treaty, began in January 2020 and has continued as a result of the work of the Justice Commission. At that time, a “zero draft” was submitted to all states and Indigenous communities globally, along with a request for initial comments. The Commission continues to perform an exhaustive study of the existing body of national and international caselaw concerning indigenous justice, and has engaged expert practitioners from the intersection of international, national, and indigenous law systems.
“This is essentially an instrument without any precedent,” said Justice Commission Specialist Timothy Franklin. “We’re seeking to fuse and integrate the cultural traditions, structures, and social organizations of Peoples and Nations from all over the world, and each of their legal systems, while also considering the existing state-based international law system. Ultimately, though, we will have a new international tool which we didn’t have before, and everyone will benefit from it.”
For more information about the Congress of Nations and States Commissions please contact the Secretary General, email@example.com