Recent Developments

Former Chief Prosecutor David Crane Discusses Allegations of Crimes Against Humanity in Syria

David Crane, former Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the head of the Syrian Accountability Project, recently spoke about a report alleging the commission of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Syria.

Click here to watch the interview.
Click here to read the report

Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity

Lecture by Professor Leila Nadya Sadat
March 27, 2014 | Vermont Law School | South Royalton, VA

Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity

Distinguished Lecture by Professor Leila Nadya Sadat
February 21, 2014 | Washington and Lee University School of Law | Lexington, VA

A Proposed Convention for Crimes Against Humanity

Presentation by Professor Leila Nadya Sadat
November 20, 2013 | The John Marshall Law School | Chicago, Illiniois
[More]

Panel on Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity

October 26, 2013 | 9 a.m. | McNally Amphitheatre, Fordham Law School | New York City, New York

This panel at the International Law Weekend – New York considered the need for an International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity, and the possibility of its elaboration by the International Law Commission. It also considered the risks and benefits of a new Crimes Against Humanity convention, examined how such a treaty could assist with atrocity crime prevention, and explored how the proposed instrument could complement the work of the International Criminal Court as well as international human rights bodies. [More]

Crimes Against Humanity Initiative Objectives Gain Support from UN International Law Commission

The work of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative recently bore fruit when the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC) voted on July 30, 2013, to add the elaboration of a treaty on “crimes against humanity” to its long-term work program. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, the ILC is tasked with promoting the progressive development of international law and its codification, and this recent vote is a critical step toward the adoption of an international treaty to punish and prevent crimes against humanity. [More]

Crimes Against Humanity in the Modern Age

Leila Nadya Sadat | 107 American Journal of International Law 334 (April 2013)

This article analyzes the centrality of crimes against humanity prosecutions to the International Criminal Court’s fulfillment of its mandate to prevent and punish atrocities committed in strife-torn regions. Adhoc international criminal tribunals established in several states will complete their work soon, leaving the Court as the sole functioning international criminal authority. But the Court’s jurisprudence since its 1998 founding raises serious concerns about its interpretation of, and willingness to fully utilize, the powers conferred by its jurisdictional statute. [More]

Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity

Presentation by Professor Leila Nadya Sadat, Ambassador Hans Corell, and Judge Van den Wyngaert

November 20, 2011 | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. | 11th Session of the ICC Assembly of States Parties | The Hague, The Netherlands

[More]

Charles G. Taylor Found Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes

April 26, 2012

Charles G. Taylor, the former president of Liberia and once a powerful warlord, is the first head of state to be convicted by an international court since the Nuremberg trials after WWII. Taylor was convicted by Special Court for Sierra Leone tribunal for arming, supporting and guiding a brutal rebel movement that committed mass atrocities in Sierra Leone during the civil war in the 1990s.

[More]

President Barack Obama Announces a New Atrocities Prevention Board

April 23, 2012

President Barack Obama recently announced the establishment of an Atrocities Prevention Board as part of his comprehensive strategy to prevent genocide and mass atrocities.

The Atrocities Prevention Board is a key feature of the reforms package initiated following the Presidential Study Directive in August 2011 that made the prevention of atrocities a key thrust of U.S. foreign policy. The Board is made up of senior officials from throughout the federal government including the State Department, USAID and Defense, and will convene once a month to create and implement policies to prevent atrocities and respond urgently to situations as they arise.

[More]

“Widespread and Systematic!” – Crimes Against Humanity in the Shadow of Modern International Criminal Law

Fifth International Humanitarian Law Dialogs

August 28-30, 2011 | Chautauqua Institution, New York

This unique event invites past and present international prosecutors, leading experts in the field of international criminal law, and the general public to discuss the scourge of crimes against humanity and the role of modern international criminal law in preventing and punishing their commission.

Prosecutors:

Daniel A. Bellemare

Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Fatou Bensouda

International Criminal Court

Serge Brammertz

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Andrew T. Cayley

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

H.W. William Caming

United States Military Tribunal, Nuremberg

David M. Crane

Special Court for Sierra Leone

Hassan Jallow

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

Brenda J. Hollis

Special Court for Sierra Leone

Robert Petit

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Ambassador Stephen Rapp

Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues

Speakers:

Diane Marie Amann

University of Georgia School of Law

Elizabeth Andersen

American Society for International Law

John Q. Barrett

St. John’s University School of Law

M. Cherif Bassiouni

DePaul University School of Law

Ambassador Hans Corell

Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel of the United Nations

Mark Drumbl

Washington and Lee University School of Law

Mark Ellis

International Bar Association

Mike Newton

Vanderbilt University School of Law

Leila Nadya Sadat

Washington University, St. Louis School of Law

Beth Van Schaack

Santa Clara University School of Law

William Schabas

Irish Center for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway

Michael P. Scharf

Case Western University School of Law

Amb. David J. Scheffer

Northwestern University Law School

[more]

Live Seminar: “Countries in Upheaval: Developing a Protection Network in Situations Short of Armed Conflict”

July 28, 2011 | 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. | Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, Harvard University

A range of states around the world continue to experience serious violence and social disruption without the situation qualifying as an armed conflict to which the framework of international humanitarian law would apply. Questions arise as to what international legal frameworks may apply for government and humanitarian professionals working to develop a protection strategy aimed at enhancing the security of the civilian population. Amid recent or ongoing violence in places such as Syria, Bahrain, and Kyrgyzstan, this Live Web Seminar will address the following questions:

• What protections does human rights law provide in such contexts?

• In what ways might international humanitarian law provide a relevant framework to consider?

• What accountability mechanisms and normative protections does international criminal law provide?

• What doctrines – such as Responsibility to Protect – provide a normative or operational framework to promote protection of civilians?

Presenters:

Vincent Cochetel, The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International

Professor Leila Sadat, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

Professor John Cerone, New England Law | Boston

[more]

Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity

Presentation by Professor Leila Nadya Sadat

June 23, 2011 | Irish Center for Human Rights, Galway, Ireland

Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity

Presentation by Professor Leila Nadya Sadat

June 16, 2011 | International Criminal Court, The Hague, The Netherlands

Expert Meeting on the Crimes Against Humanity Project

May 4, 2011 | 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. | French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, Paris, France

Presentation:

  • Professor Leila Nadya Sadat, Director, Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute; Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law, Washington University Law; Alexis de Tocqueville Distinguished Fulbright Chair, University of Cergy-Pontoise, France

Roundtables:

  • Roundtable 1: Legal and technical aspects of the project
  • Roundtable 2: Political feasibility of the project

Moderator:

  • Emmanuel Decaux, Professor, Université Paris II

Development Dialogue – Dealing with Crimes Against Humanity

Issue no. 55 | March 2011

This issue of Development Dialogue focuses on the continuing efforts to create normative global frameworks to address prevention and punishment of atrocity crimes. Following earlier volumes (nos. 50 and 53), this is the third installment in a series dealing with the challenges of how to take appropriate action in the face of genocide, mass violence, and crimes against humanity. [more]

Panel Debate: Responses to Crimes Against Humanity

March 8, 2011 | 5:15 – 6:45 p.m. | Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala, Sweden

Organized by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study.

Welcoming remarks:

  • Björn Wittrock, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study

Discussants:

  • Nanci Adler, NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies/The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Iain Cameron, Swedish Institute of International Law/Uppsala University
  • Knud Haakonssen,
 Sussex Centre for Intellectual History/University of Sussex, Boston University, currently a fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study
  • Leila N. Sadat, Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute/Washington University School of Law, St. Louis (currently Alexis de Tocqueville Distinguished Fulbright Chair, University of Cergy-Pontoise, France)
  • Marie Tuma, Raoul Wallenberg Institute/University of Lund

Moderator:

  • Henning Melber, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation

Closing remarks:

  • Paul Levine, Hugo Valentin Centre/Uppsala University

[more]

Panel Discussion: Book Launch and Conversation on Crimes Against Humanity

March 4, 2011 | 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. | The City University of New York, New York City

Organized by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.

Discussants:

  • Edward Luck, International Peace Institute
  • Henning Melber, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation
  • Lawrence Woocher, United States Institute of Peace

Moderator:

  • Monica Serrano, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

[more]