Center News

The 1998 academic year began with a lecture series sponsored by the School of Communication and the Kay Spiritual Life Center on January 29th with Zazi Sadou, a journalist and women's rights activist in Algeria, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a founder of the Algerian Assembly of Democratic Women, Zazi Sadou has affirmatively defended the rights of women against acts of terror including rape and mutilation. In early February, WCL sponsored a discussion with Kirk Childress, a Senior Staff attorney with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund. The discussion focused on the case of Timothy McVeigh, a sailor, who had an America On Line (AOL) user profile which identified his marital status as gay. Consequently the Navy accessed McVeigh's AOL account and discharged McVeigh for homosexuality. The discussion centered on Federal District Court Judge Stanley Sporkin's enjoinment of the Navy's discharge of M privacy.

The Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law continued the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the Asia-Pacific conference on January 30th & 31st which was co-sponsored by the Asia Pacific Center for Justice and Peace. The two day Conference explored the ongoing debate of the universality of human rights in the Asia Pacific context. Prominent human rights expert Professor Yash Gai, the keynote speaker from the University of Hong Kong addressed current issues in the Asia Pacific region and the history of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The conference included panelists from NGO's such as the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation, Bread for the World, and Amnesty International who held workshops that focused on socio-economic development, the right to free expression, and statehood and self-determination. WCL Professor Daniel Bradlow and Professor Herman Schwartz participated in the different panel discussions.

On February 27, 1998, WCL sponsored a panel discussion entitled "Is the Experience of the Landmines Campaign Unique or is it a Model for International Lawmaking?" The informal round table brought together practitioners from various fields to discuss whether and how the international landmines campaign experience could be translated into a model for international treaty-making and policies in other areas such as human rights, the environment, development, and arms control. Panelists included WCL Associate Professor Kenneth Anderson, WCL Professor Daniel Bradlow, Steve Goose, Program Director for Human Rights Watch Arms Division, David Hunter from the Center for International Environmental Law, Patricia Irvin from Cooper, Liebowitz, Royster & Wright, Charlotte Ku from the American Society of International Law, Bob Lawson from Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, Charles Maynes, President of the Eurasia Foundation, Ann Peters, Director of the Open Society Institute La David Rieff, journalist, and Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

An upcoming conference, cosponsored by the Center's War Crimes Research Office and the American Society of International Law, and supported by the Open Society Institute, is the War Crimes Tribunals: The Record and the Prospects. The conference, to be held at WCL on March 31st and April 1st, will assess The International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR), evaluatinig their track record and the importance of their contributions to the international humanitarian law. Panelists and commentators will include Judge Gabrielle Kirk MacDonald, President of the ICTY, Louise Arbor, Chief Prosecutor for the ICTY and ICTR, defense counsel, international professors, journalists, legal experts and government officials. These participants will discuss both the tribunals' work and the implications of the tribunals' experience for the successful establishment and operation of the proposed international criminal court, whose draft statute is to be finalized at a diplomatic conference in Rome this summer.

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