International Commission of Jurists

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Group.png International Commission of Jurists   Twitter WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
International Commission of Jurists.jpg
HeadquartersGeneva, Switzerland
Sponsored byFord Foundation, Norway/Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Open Society Foundations, Sigrid Rausing Trust, UK/FCO, US/Department/State
Membership• Carlos Ayala
• Radmila Dragicevic-Dicic
• Nicolas Bratza
• Silvia Cartwright
• Roberta Clarke
• Shawan Jabarin
• Hina Jilani
• Sanji Monageng
• Belisário dos Santos Júnior
Exposed by CIA whistleblower Philip Agee as "set up and controlled by the CIA for propaganda operations". Sa

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJur) is, according to itself, an international human rights non-governmental organisation. It was created at the beginning of the Cold War by elite lawyers connected to the Council on Foreign Relations[1] and as CIA whistleblower Philip Agee exposed, "set up and controlled by the CIA for propaganda operations"[2]. According to the ICJur, it took steps to stop CIA support in 1967, after a period of reform under Secretary General Seán MacBride, and thanks to Ford Foundation funding.


The ICJur is supported by an International Secretariat based in Geneva, Switzerland, and staffed by lawyers drawn from a wide range of jurisdictions and legal traditions. The Secretariat and the Commission undertake advocacy and policy work aimed at strengthening the role of lawyers and judges in protecting and promoting human rights and the rule of law.

In addition, the ICJur has national sections and affiliates in over 70 countries. Given the legal focus of the ICJur's work, membership of these sections is predominantly drawn from the legal profession.


The impetus for the launch of ICJur and its predecessor the The American Fund for Free Jurists was a wish to launch a counterattack against a rival organisation, the International Association of Democratic Jurists (IADJ), which was launched in 1946 by leftist French lawyers who had been connected to the Resistance. In the name of legal principles, the IADJ directly attacked McCarthyism and supported the defence of the Rosenbergs.

Recognising the moral vulnerability of the United States, a small group of political lawyers – including Allen Dulles, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and deputy director of the CIA, and John J. McCloy, then High Commissioner for Germany and later called the «chairman of the establishment» - decided to engage the battle on the terrain of law. This founding group worried that pro-Soviet groups such as the IADJ had "stolen the great words – Peace, Freedom, Justice". The objective of the US counterparts was to create international organisations, financed through secret funds supplied by the CIA, that would "mobilise the forces" of the free world.

The strategy of founders was in their own overly elitist image: The American Fund for Free Jurists directors favoured the Council on Foreign Relations approach – the organisation of a highly exclusive elite, selected and governed by a small inner circle.[3]

The committee selected only members with high standing and considerable experience in public life – cabinet ministers, parliamentary deputies, appeal court judges. Elite status would give access to national officials as well as to international organisations. A further benefit of this strategy was that the multinational ICJur would inspire trust by the eminence of its members.

At the top of this hierarchical organisation, the ICJur represented a kind of high international court. It authenticated the criticisms made by lawyers expelled from communist countries and rejected the claim of the new communist regimes to the great universal principles of Western law. These judgements were used by the media or diffused through sympathisers of the national sections.

In April 2013, the ICJur was presented with the Light of Truth Award by the Dalai Lama and the International Campaign for Tibet. The award is presented to organisations who have made outstanding contributions to the Tibetan cause[4].

Ties to the CIA

The CIA whistleblower Philip Agee wrote of his experiences with the ICJur.

The Agency saw the ICJur as an organisation which it hoped would produce prestigious propaganda of the kind wanted on such issues as violations of human rights in the communist bloc. Reports on other areas like South Africa would, so far as the CIA was concerned, merely lend respectability to this object.
The CIA's involvement with the organisations whose names follow was generally effected through key leaders of the organisation or through other organisations controlled or influenced by the Agency. Thus only a very few members or leaders (sometimes none) of these organisations actually knew of their connection with the Agency.
For example, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJur) has stated that, in 1967, on becoming aware of the ultimate source of some of its funding it took steps to insure that no further support from the Agency was accepted.[5]


Employee on Wikispooks

Curt GasteygerResearcher19591961Later Bilderberg/1975 and Bilderberg/1978



Ford FoundationIn addition to its own billionaire agenda, also known to have been $$$ middleman for covert CIA funding.
Norway/Ministry of Foreign AffairsA significant donor to NGOs and planning organizations. Many of the recipients dovetail with NATO objectives like regime changes and controlling the narrative.
Open Society FoundationsA NGO operating in more countries than McDonald's. It has the tendency to support politicians (at times through astroturfing) and activists that get branded as "extreme left" as its founder is billionaire and bane of the pound George Soros. This polarizing perspective causes the abnormal influence of the OSF to go somewhat unanswered.
Sigrid Rausing Trust
UK/FCOThe UK government department dealing with foreign policy.
US/Department/StateSet up in 1789, the US State Department is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministry of other countries.


A document sourced from International Commission of Jurists

TitleTypeSubject(s)Publication dateDescription
File:ICJ report 16-2-09.pdfreport"War on Terror"
Civil Liberties
Human rights
2009This report of the Eminent Jurists Panel, based on one a comprehensive surveys on counter-terrorism and human rights, illustrates how 9-11 has influenced the rollback of civil liberties.
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  1. Yves Dezalay and Bryant G. Garth, The Internationalization of Palace Wars p62-63
  2. Philip Agee, Inside the Company: CIA Diary, Allen Lane, 1975, p 611.
  3. Yves Dezalay and Bryant G. Garth, The Internationalisation of Palace Wars p62-63
  5. From Inside_the_Company.pdf