Compilation of Government Reactions to the International Law Commission’s Project on Crimes Against Humanity

The Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute presents a compilation report of government reactions on the International Law Commission’s Project on crimes against humanity during four sessions of the United Nations General Assembly Sixth Committee (68th, 69th, 70th and 71st Sessions). Read More

ICC-ASP Side Event: “Draft Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity”

1:30 – 3 PM | Room Oceania 2 | World Forum Convention Center, The Hague

On Monday, 21 November 2016, the Harris Institute, and the Governments of Germany and Korea will host a side event during the Fifteenth Session of the ICC Assembly of State Parties. The panel discussion will provide a briefing by the Special Rapporteur on crimes against humanity, Professor Sean Murphy, on the work of the UN International Law Commission to elicit reactions from key expert panelists who will comment briefly on the Commission’s work from their perspectives. After their interventions from the podium, the floor will be opened for questions and comments from the audience. more

Former Chadian Dictator Hissène Habré Convicted of Crimes Against Humanity

On 30 May 2016, a groundbreaking ruling from the Extraordinary African Chambers in the Senegalese courts convicted Former Chadian Dictator Hissène Habré of crimes against humanity (rape, sexual slavery, kidnapping and ordering the killings 40,000 people) and sentenced him to life in prison.  Habré fled to Senegal in 1990 after being overthrown and was first indicted by a Senegalese judge in 2000.  His trial was stalled several times over the years but significant progress was made when Macky Sall became Senegal’s President in 2012 and the International Court of Justice ordered the prosecution or extradition of the former dictator.
Read more from the BBC and Human Rights Watch.

BBC’s Law in Action Focuses on Crimes Against Humanity

Professor Leila Sadat recently spoke to BBC Legal Affairs Correspondent, Joshua Rozenberg, in his Law in Action segment on crimes against humanity.  In this segment, Rozenberg explores the origins of international criminal law, particularly the difference between “genocide” and “crimes against humanity.”  Other featured guests include Special Rapporteur for Crimes Against Humanity, Professor Sean Murphy, and Professor Philippe Sands who gives an historical overview of the two lawyers who introduced these two concepts, Raphael Lemkin and Hersch Lauterpacht.
Listen to the 30 minute segment here.

Leading NGOs Support the Work of the UN International Law Commission on Drafting Articles for a New Global Convention

On 16 February 2016, several leading non-governmental organizations submitted a letter to Special Rapporteur Professor Sean Murphy in support of the current work of the International Law Commission on crimes against humanity.  The letter underscored the importance of certain key provisions for the ILC’s consideration as the Commission prepares to meet in summer 2016 to discuss the Second Report on the draft articles for a global convention on crimes against humanity.  Read the Letter from the NGOs.

UN General Assembly Sixth Committee Discusses a Global Convention on Crimes Against Humanity

In November 2015, the UN General Assembly’s Legal Committee (also known as the Sixth Committee) in New York discussed the need for a global convention on the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity. Thirty-seven countries specifically addressed the proposed draft articles presented in the Report by International Law Commission Special Rapporteur on Crimes Against Humanity, Professor Sean Murphy, largely in support of international collaboration.  more 


Simultaneously, Members of the International Law Commission, international and national legal experts in international criminal law, and members of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative’s Steering Committee also met in Nuremberg, Germany for a Workshop on the Drafting of a Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity.  Discussions at the two-day workshop will inform the next draft report by Professor Murphy, and presumably the views of the Commission next summer when it reconvenes.  more