Through a carefully-selected series of public activities, the WCRO serves as an educational resource for the WCL community and the public at large. Notice of public events sponsored by the WCRO can be found on the homepage, on MyWCL, and through our listserv. Media inquiries may be directed to the Staff Assistant at warcrimes@wcl.american.edu or (202) 274-4067.

Featured News

WCRO Invites Students to an Interactive Hague Summer Program Information Session

WCRO Invites Students to an Interactive Hague Summer Program Information Session

November 30, 2022

The War Crimes Research Office invites you to an interactive session on the 2023 Hague Summer Law Program with Professor SáCouto and alums of the program. All JD/LLM students and international students are invited to attend the session on November 30 at 12:00pm in Room Y403! Summer Program Alums Ben Crawford (Hague Program 2022) and Natalie Landau (Hague Program 2022) will be joining us to share their experience and answer your questions! Please RSVP here:

Read more
The War Crimes Research Office Commemorates 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence with Discussion on "Women in human mobility and gender violence: cases and comparative experiences in the region"

The War Crimes Research Office Commemorates 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence with Discussion on "Women in human mobility and gender violence: cases and comparative experiences in the region"

November 29, 2022

The War Crimes Research Office, in collaboration with the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and ReLeG, commemorates 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence with various events. The first event, a discussion on "Women in human mobility and gender violence: cases and comparative experiences in the region," will be held on Tuesday, November 29 from 12:00 to 1:30 (EST) via Zoom. Link will be provided upon registration at:

Read more
WCRO Director Susana SáCouto Leads a Working Training Session at GNWP Activities Supporting Ukrainian Women Peacebuilders

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto Leads a Working Training Session at GNWP Activities Supporting Ukrainian Women Peacebuilders

November 20, 2022

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto leads a working session on "Lessons from the Sepur Zarco Case: A Model of Holistic Support for Documenting CRSV", as part of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) program on Activities Supporting Ukrainian Women Peacebuilders. The training aims to fill in the gap in accompaniment and support mechanisms for victims and survivors of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) and other war crimes in Ukraine.

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto Serves as a Panelist in the IV Plenary Meeting of the Specialized Gender Network (REG) of the Ibero-American Association of Public Prosecutors

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto Serves as a Panelist in the IV Plenary Meeting of the Specialized Gender Network (REG) of the Ibero-American Association of Public Prosecutors

November 14, 2022

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto attends the IV Plenary Meeting of the Specialized Gender Network (REG) of the Ibero-American Association of Public Prosecutors as a panelist on "Theoretical Reflection on Sexual Violence: Definition and Consent." The Plenary Meeting was a three-day event focused on the development of a regional protocol on sexual violence as well as on discussions of femicide, sexual violence, violence against women in the context of organized crime, and the mainstreaming of the gender approach within public prosecutor offices.

Read more
WCRO Director Susana SáCouto Participates in Panel Entitled "Aggressive War - State vs. Individual Responsibility"

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto Participates in Panel Entitled "Aggressive War - State vs. Individual Responsibility"

November 4, 2022

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto serves as a panelist on the topic of prosecuting the crime of aggression at the 2022 Annual International and Comparative Law Symposium on "Aggressive War - State vs. Individual Responsibility," hosted by the Maryland Journal of International Law and UM Carey's International and Comparative Law Program. The Symposium evaluates the legal and historical roots of the international norm of outlawing aggressive wars.

WCRO Meeting with Luz Marina Monzón Cifuentes

WCRO Meeting with Luz Marina Monzón Cifuentes

November 2, 2022

The WCRO would like to extend an invitation to all Spanish-speaking students interested in international justice issues to join us in a conversation with Luz Marina Monzón Cifuentes, Directora general de la Unidad de Búsqueda de Personas Dadas por Desaparecidas (UBPD) de la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (JEP) in Colombia. Luz Marina Monzón Cifuentes will be discussing (in Spanish) the work she has been doing over the past five years with UBPD in directing, coordinating, and contributing to the efforts to investigate the disappearance of thousands of people during the armed conflict in Colombia. The meeting will take place on Wednesday November 2, 2022, from 4:00 to 5:00pm at Y115. Please use the following link to register for the meeting: https://forms.gle/JE4ECdhtF8y4peiH6.

Read more
Newly Published Book"Gender and International Criminal Law," co-edited by WCRO Director Susana SáCouto, Receives ASIL WILIG Scholarship Prize

Newly Published Book"Gender and International Criminal Law," co-edited by WCRO Director Susana SáCouto, Receives ASIL WILIG Scholarship Prize

October 21, 2022

The newly published book "Gender and International Criminal Law," co-edited by WCRO Director Susana SáCouto, Valerie Oosterveld, and Indira Rosenthal, receives the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Women in International Law Interest Group (WILIG) Scholarship Prize for Best Book. The prize recognizes excellence in international scholarship surrounding women and girls, gender, and feminist topics.

Read more
WCRO Director Susana SáCouto Moderates Panel on "Assessing International Justice: Ukraine and Beyond"

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto Moderates Panel on "Assessing International Justice: Ukraine and Beyond"

October 21, 2022

The War Crimes Research Office, in partnership with AU International Law Review, hosts a luncheon panel on "Assessing International Justice: Ukraine and Beyond" as part of the International Legal Studies Program's 40th Anniversary Celebrations. WCRO Director Susana SáCouto moderates the panel, which features video remarks by Karim A. A. Khan KC (Prosecutor of the ICC), followed by remarks by Judge Ivana Hrdlicková (President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon), Diane Orentlicher (Professor of Law, AUWCL), Christian De Vos (Director of Research and Investigations at Physicians for Human Rights).

Cardozo Law Institute hosts U.S. Book Launch for Gender and International Criminal Law, edited by WCRO Director Susana SáCouto with Prof. Valerie Oosterveld and Indira Rosenthal

Cardozo Law Institute hosts U.S. Book Launch for Gender and International Criminal Law, edited by WCRO Director Susana SáCouto with Prof. Valerie Oosterveld and Indira Rosenthal

October 19, 2022

The Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights hosts the U.S. book launch for the newly released book, Gender and International Criminal Law, co-edited by WCRO Director Susana SáCouto, Indira Rosenthal, and Valerie Oosterveld. The book's three editors will discuss the key gaps in the understanding of gender within international criminal law. This event will be in person for the Cardozo community and will be online via zoom for the public. Register for the event:

Read more
WCRO Director Susana SáCouto attends Women and International Law conference at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto attends Women and International Law conference at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law

October 13, 2022

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto attends the Women and International Law conference gathered at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law on October 13-14. The event features discussion of the contributions for the forthcoming “Handbook on Women and International Law,” to be published by Oxford University Press. Director SáCouto serves as a panelist, presenting on "Feminist Approaches to Victim Witnesses and Victim Participants in Atrocity Crime Trials for Sexual and Other Forms of Gender-based Violence: Lessons Learned from Domestic Prosecutions in Latin America."

Moot Courts with the War Crimes Research Office

Moot Courts with the War Crimes Research Office

October 10, 2022

Interested in representing WCL in international criminal law (ICL) and humanitarian law (IHL) competitions? If you are an upper-level J.D. or LL.M. student, come learn more about the Jean-Pictet International Humanitarian Law Competition, Clara Barton International Humanitarian Law Competition, and ICC Moot Court Competition on October 10, 2022, from 12:00-1:00pm in Y403! Register for the event:

Read more
WCRO Director Susana SáCouto interviewed by RFE for story entitled "Prosecution of Russian leaders - difficult, but possible"

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto interviewed by RFE for story entitled "Prosecution of Russian leaders - difficult, but possible"

September 25, 2022

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto discusses the possibility of prosecuting Russian leaders with atrocity crimes and aggression in the context of the war in Ukraine in an interview by Radio Free Europe's Expose programme, entitled "Prosecution of Russian leaders - difficult, but possible".

Read more
The Rockefeller Foundation publishes the second Bellagio Bulletin featuring WCRO Director Susana SáCouto and Co-Director of the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Claudia Martin reflecting on the Latin American Network of Strategic Gender Litigation that emerged as a result of their conference at Bellagio Center in 2017

The Rockefeller Foundation publishes the second Bellagio Bulletin featuring WCRO Director Susana SáCouto and Co-Director of the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Claudia Martin reflecting on the Latin American Network of Strategic Gender Litigation that emerged as a result of their conference at Bellagio Center in 2017

September 15, 2022

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto joins Claudia Martin, the co-director of the Academy of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at AUWCL, and Daniela Kravetz, a lawyer specializing in human rights, international criminal law, and gender violence, to discuss the Latin American Network of Strategic Gender Litigation that emerged as a result of their conference at Bellagio Center in 2017. Scroll down Bulletin to access their story at:

Read more
Sydney Centre for International Law hosts a panel for "Gender and International Criminal Law" edited by WCRO Director Susana SáCouto with Prof. Valerie Oosterveld and Indira Rosenthal

Sydney Centre for International Law hosts a panel for "Gender and International Criminal Law" edited by WCRO Director Susana SáCouto with Prof. Valerie Oosterveld and Indira Rosenthal

September 7, 2022

Sydney Centre for International Law hosts a launch of the book "Gender and International Criminal Law" co-edited by Prof. Susana SáCouto, Prof. Valerie Oosterveld and Indira Rosenthal. In the panel, participants heard from some of the book's Australian authors and participated in a live 'question and answer' session with all panelists.

Introduction to the War Crimes Research Office

Introduction to the War Crimes Research Office

September 1, 2022

New and returning students are invited to come hear about the War Crimes Research Office's work and how they can get involved, including volunteer work, research as a Dean's Fellow or ICL practicum student, the Hague program, moot courts and more. The event will take place on September 1st at noon in Yuma Building classroom Y402. Register for the event:

Read more
Oxford University Press publishes "Gender and International Criminal Law," co-edited by Prof. Susana SáCouto

Oxford University Press publishes "Gender and International Criminal Law," co-edited by Prof. Susana SáCouto

July 14, 2022

On July 14, 2022, Oxford University Press published Gender and International Criminal Law, edited by Prof. SáCouto with Prof. Valerie Oosterveld and Indira Rosenthal. The book provides an in-depth examination of how gender is perceived and analyzed in international criminal law, identifies key gaps in the understanding of gender within international criminal law, and offers recommendations for how gender, including sexual violence and other gender-based crimes, can be more meaningfully addressed by international courts and tribunals.

Read more
WCRO Director Susana SáCouto serves as panelist on a panel organized by USIP entitled "Justice and Accountability for Khmer Rouge Atrocities: Perspectives from the United States and Cambodia"

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto serves as panelist on a panel organized by USIP entitled "Justice and Accountability for Khmer Rouge Atrocities: Perspectives from the United States and Cambodia"

July 6, 2022

On July 6, 2022, WCRO Director SáCouto serves as a panelist on a panel organized by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) entitled "Justice and Accountability for Khmer Rouge Atrocities: Perspectives from the United States and Cambodia." This event was part of a series highlighting themes from “Imagine: Reflections on Peace,” a multimedia exhibit from USIP and the VII Foundation that explores the themes and challenges of peacebuilding through an immersive look at societies that suffered — and survived — violent conflict. The recording of the session is available at:

Read more
WCRO Director Susana SáCouto interviewed for an article by Jesse Greenspan, entitled "What Is a War Crime?"

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto interviewed for an article by Jesse Greenspan, entitled "What Is a War Crime?"

March 28, 2022

WCRO Director SáCouto is interviewed for an article by Jesse Greenspan, entitled: "What Is a War Crime?" For centuries—and especially since World War II—countries have attempted to define the rules of war and determine punishment for violators.

Read more
WCRO Director Susana SáCouto interviewed in a segment on: "The Latest On Ukraine, Plus Is Putin Committing War Crimes?"

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto interviewed in a segment on: "The Latest On Ukraine, Plus Is Putin Committing War Crimes?"

March 15, 2022

WCRO Director SáCouto is interviewed on KPCC - NPR News for Southern California AirTalk with Larry Mantle in a segment on: The Latest On Ukraine, Plus Is Putin Committing War Crimes?

Read more
WCRO Director Susana SáCouto, together with alumna Ali Boyd, coached a team of students to compete in the 2022 Regional Round for the Americas and Caribbean of the International Criminal Court Moot Court Competition

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto, together with alumna Ali Boyd, coached a team of students to compete in the 2022 Regional Round for the Americas and Caribbean of the International Criminal Court Moot Court Competition

March 13, 2022

Together with WCL alumna Ali Boyd JD’19, Prof. SáCouto coached a team of students - Michelina Partipilo, Isabella Zink, and Maria Pantano, accompanied by researcher Karine Ghazaryan – to compete in the 2022 Regional Round for the Americas and Caribbean of the International Criminal Court Moot Court Competition. Competing against 14 other teams (including Georgetown University Law Center, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Emory University School of Law, University of Miami School of Law, William & Mary Law, and the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law), the WCL team finished as semi-finalists and Isabella Zink received Best Defense Advocate in the Preliminary Rounds.

Forthcoming book on Gender and International Criminal Law, co-edited by WCRO Director Susana SáCouto with Valerie Oosterveld and Indira Rosenthal

Forthcoming book on Gender and International Criminal Law, co-edited by WCRO Director Susana SáCouto with Valerie Oosterveld and Indira Rosenthal

December 1, 2021

In a pre-launch event of Gender and International Criminal Law, WCRO Director Susana SáCouto, University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law Professor Valerie Oosterveld and gender, human rights and ICL expert Indira Rosenthal joined leading feminist international criminal and humanitarian law practitioners to discuss misconceptions concerning gender in the prosecution of sexual violence and gender-based crimes in international criminal law (ICL). The side event was part of the 20th Annual Session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute held this December and co-hosted by the representatives of Uruguay, Canada, Australia, and Switzerland to the Netherlands; the International Gender Champions in The Hague; and Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice. View a recording of the panel discussion at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jX9iYVTxPw. Read more in the press release:

Read more
WCRO Director Susana SáCouto publishes UN Agora Blog on The ICC's New Chief Prosecutor

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto publishes UN Agora Blog on The ICC's New Chief Prosecutor

September 15, 2021

In recognition of the International Day of Democracy on September 15, the UN Agora Blog published Professor Susana SáCouto’s analysis of the challenges and opportunities facing the ICC as it welcomes the Court’s third prosecutor, Karim Kahn. Now in its 19th year, SáCouto notes that the Court is confronted by issues of legitimacy and serious financial constraints. Read the full analysis:

Read more
WCRO Director Susana SáCouto presents at 2021 UNDP Annual Meeting on Rule of Law & Human Rights

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto presents at 2021 UNDP Annual Meeting on Rule of Law & Human Rights

June 22, 2021

WCRO Director Susana SáCouto presents at the June 2021 UNDP Annual Meeting on the importance of sustained advocacy around the implementation of reparations ordered by a Guatemalan federal court in its groundbreaking 2016 verdict in the Sepur Zarco case. The decision marked one of the first convictions of former military members for acts of sexual violence committed in the context of the country’s civil war, and one of the first instances of a domestic court anywhere prosecuting sexual slavery as an international crime. Professor SáCouto stressed the role of victim-centered advocacy in the case’s successful litigation. And she emphasized the need for the international community’s continued public pressure on the government to fully implement promised reparations. Watch Professor SáCouto’s virtual presentation and find recordings of additional sessions from the Annual Meeting here. Learn more about WCRO’s partnership with UN Women to document good practice on accountability for conflict-related sexual violence in Guatemala.

Read more
The Life of Ben Ferencz, the Last Surviving Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials

The Life of Ben Ferencz, the Last Surviving Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials

June 2021

Benjamin Ferencz, the last surviving prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, was welcomed by AUWCL's War Crimes Research Office, under the direction of Professor Susana SáCouto. Speaking on a virtual panel, Mr. Ferencz reflected on his career, and inspired today's advocates for international justice to “never give up, never give up, never give up!” Watch a recording of the panel discussion:

Read more
Contributions to the ICC Draft Policy on Cultural Heritage

Contributions to the ICC Draft Policy on Cultural Heritage

May 2021

On behalf of WCRO, Professors Susana SáCouto and Diane Orentlicher submitted comments in May to the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor on the Court’s Draft Policy on Cultural Heritage. The professors’ comments urged the explicit inclusion of “archives” in the ICC’s conception of cultural heritage, as archives have played an indispensable role in advancing transitional and historical justice.

Read more
Partnership with UN Women on Documenting Good Practice on Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Guatemala

Partnership with UN Women on Documenting Good Practice on Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Guatemala

The War Crimes Research Office, Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and Women and the Law Program are thrilled to partner with UN Women on the “Documenting Good Practice on Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Guatemala” Project.

Read more
Film Screening: The Prosecutors

Film Screening: The Prosecutors

March 20, 2019

The War Crimes Research Office (WCRO) and Ferencz International Justice Initiative of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will host a screening of The Prosecutors on March 20, 2019 at 12:00 PM at American University Washington College of Law. The film follows the lives of three prosecutors in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina who have dedicated their lives to prosecuting perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict. The event will feature introductions by WCRO Director Susana SáCouto and the film’s director, Leslie Thomas, followed by a screening of the film. Kelley Currie, head of the Office of Global Criminal Justice at the U.S. Department of State, will offer reflections following the film. Leslie Thomas, Professor SáCouto, and Ferencz Initiative Director Anna Cave will then take questions from the audience. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please RSVP at:

Read more
16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence: Reaffirming Our Commitment to End Impunity for Sexual Violence

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence: Reaffirming Our Commitment to End Impunity for Sexual Violence

As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and the War Crimes Research Office of American University Washington College of Law reaffirm their commitment to end impunity for sexual violence in conflict and other situations of violence in Latin America.

Read more
Launch of "Some Kind of Justice"

Launch of "Some Kind of Justice"

April 4, 2018

On April 4, 2018, the WCRO and Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law hosted the launch of Professor Diane Orentlicher's new book, "Some Kind of Justice: The ICTY's Impact on Bosnia and Serbia," featuring a panel discussion with moderated by NPR's Tom Gjelten with Professor Orentlicher, Ivana Cvetkovic Bajrovic of the National Endowment for Democracy, and Dapo Akande of the University of Oxford.

Read more
Info
Photo credit: George Washington, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

War Crimes Speaker Series

The WCRO continues to enhance its educational program at WCL with the War Crimes Speakers Series, an informal forum for discussion with practitioners and other experts involved in the work of the various tribunals.

Past Conferences

20th Anniversary Conference on Prosecuting Serious International Crimes

20th Anniversary Conference on Prosecuting Serious International Crimes

In March 2016, the WCRO hosted a conference on Prosecuting Serious International Crimes: Exploring the Intersections between International and Domestic Justice Efforts in celebration of its 20th anniversary to was to broaden the conversation about effective accountability mechanisms between the transitional justice and rule of law communities.

Read more
2012 Conference on Addressing Gender-Based Crimes

2012 Conference on Addressing Gender-Based Crimes

On February 1, 2012, the War Crimes Research Office and the Women and International Law Program co-hosted a conference with the Embassy of The Netherlands on the challenges faced by women in conflict and post-conflict situations.

Read more
2008 Conference on Prosecuting Gender-Based Crimes

2008 Conference on Prosecuting Gender-Based Crimes

This two-day conference brought together experts in international criminal law and feminist jurisprudence to examine advances and missed opportunities in the prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes before the International Criminal Court and the ad hoc and hybrid criminal tribunals.

Read more