2005-2006 War Crimes Speaker Series

Celebration of the WCRO's 10th Anniversary: International Criminal Tribunals in the 21st Century Conference

In celebration of a decade of service, the WCRO convened more than 250 international law experts, NGO representatives, practitioners, government officials and students to discuss issues at the forefront of international criminal law, many of which are critical to the effective functioning of international criminal justice mechanisms.

Justice and Accountability in Serbia and Montenegro

Andrej Nosov, executive director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, and two of his colleagues discussed the challenges they face, and also their successes, in raising awareness and supporting increased accountability for war crimes in Serbia. They also discussed the new Serbian war crimes chamber, the importance of transparency and outreach in building domestic support for prosecutions of perpetrators of human rights violations, and possible internships for US law students monitoring Serbian war crimes trials.

Finding Closure in Cambodia: Accountability for the Khmer Rouge

More than 25 years after the end of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime, surviving leaders are finally expected to face justice. Since 1995, Youk Chhang has served as director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia(DCCAM), which has played a leading role in compiling and organizing information, sources and testimony that may serve as evidence in the trials before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. In his remarks, Mr. Chhang discussed DCCAM's outreach efforts in support of the Extraordinary Chambers, including bringing Cambodians from around the country to see the court's work first-hand. He also outlined some of the cultural, political and logistical challenges facing the Extraordinary Chambers.

War Crimes, Military Accountability and Civilian Contractors

Geoffrey Corn, Assistant Professor at South Texas College of Law, discussed questions of accountability in military operations, including the standards governing civilian contractors. Professor Corn has served as Special Assistant to the US Army Judge Advocate General for Law of War Matters, and Chief of the Law of War Branch, US Army Office of the Judge Advocate General International and Operational Law Division.

Human Trafficking and UN Peacekeeping

Martina Vandenberg, an associate at Jenner & Block LLP, spent five years at Human Rights Watch's Women's Rights Division, where she documented the trafficking of women for forced prostitution, war crimes and other forms of gender-based violence. She has also testified before the House Armed Services Committee about US military policy on human trafficking by contractors. Her most recent publication is a chapter entitled "Peacekeeping, Alphabet Soup, and Violence against Women in the Balkans," in the book Gender, Conflict, and Peacekeeping.

The Reaffirmation of Custom as an Important Source of International Humanitarian Law: Conference to Mark the Publication of the ICRC Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law

The Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and the War Crimes Research Office hosted the US launch of a new study by the International Committee of the Red Cross evaluating customary international humanitarian law and its application to the protection of people affected by war.