The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) is an international opinion tribunal competent to rule on any serious crime committed to the detriment of peoples and minorities. The Tribunal was founded in Bologna in 1979 in the context of the Universal Declaration of Peoples’ Rights (1976) and following the intuition of jurist and politician Lelio Basso. Basso transformed the experiences of the Russell Tribunals on Vietnam (1966-67) and on the dictatorships in Latin America (1973-76) and created a permanent institution devoted to listening to peoples forced to deal with the absence of law and impunity. The PPT is composed of a network of internationally recognised experts and personalities, convened periodically to form a panel for each session. It is based in Rome and represents one of the project expressions of the Fondazione Lelio e Lisli Basso Onlus.

To date, the Tribunal has held more than 50 sessions worldwide, ensuring the participation of peoples and social movements and creating a working agenda for human and peoples’ rights at the global level. It promotes reporting, documentation, and research activities for the formulation of proposals and their effective implementation. It promotes the development of human rights in the international arena by comparing existing categories of law and guarantee instruments with the direct life experience of peoples.

The Tribunal’s main areas of intervention refer to:

  • people’s rights
  • liberation and self-determination struggles
  • the reappearance of war in international law
  • labour rights
  • common goods
  • environmental issues and the right to land
  • food sovereignty
  • migration
  • globalisation

The Tribunal has highlighted numerous cases of gross violations of human rights, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide. Due to the complexity of the phenomena investigated and the large scale of violations caused by policies and economic actors, the Tribunal’s field of investigation has also extended to economic, ecological, and systemic crimes.

Fondazione Basso
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