— Civitas Maxima is founded on the conviction that victims of international crimes must hold the keys to their own quest for justice.

Alain Werner
Director of Civitas Maxima

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The Mission

Civitas Maxima ensures the coordination of a network of international lawyers and investigators who work for the interests of those who have been victims of international crimes, particularly war crimes and crimes against humanity. The three core functions of Civitas Maxima are the documentation of these crimes, including the preservation of the information as long as necessary, the pursuit of justice for victims in any national or international legal forum with jurisdiction and building the capacity of partner organizations in countries where the crimes were committed whenever appropriate. Civitas Maxima targets only situations where no legal action has been successful in holding perpetrators accountable.

The Vision

Civitas Maxima was founded upon the belief that all victims of international crimes must be leading actors in their own quest for justice. Thus, in situations where political will or resources are lacking, in order for investigations into international crimes to advance, the victims of these crimes must be enabled to pursue justice. With the assistance of independent and professional lawyers and investigators, victims can make every effort to bring to trial those suspected of atrocities. In cases where political circumstances make it temporarily impossible for investigations to happen, the effective documentation of crimes and the preservation of evidence is paramount and the only way to ensure that there could one day be justice for victims.

The Name

Civitas Maxima is a Latin term used for the legal doctrine that maintains that all human beings, as members of the international community, share certain core values. The doctrine thus promotes the idea that the most egregious violations of these values call for a vigorous and equitable response. Further, the doctrine contends that there is a common interest among states, which surpasses their own national interests, and obligates them to punish the most serious crimes against those values.