2017-2018 War Crimes Speaker Series

Launch of Some Kind of Justice

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." The book offers a groundbreaking  and  timely  account  of  how  an international criminal tribunal affects local communities and the factors that account for its changing impact over time. Drawing on interdisciplinary research as well as hundreds of interviews with Bosnian and Serbian citizens, the book illuminates two questions at the heart of contemporary debate on international criminal tribunals: What goals can we plausibly assign to these tribunals, and what factors determine their impact on societies that have seen mass violence?

The launch featured a panel discussion 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. 

Finding Oscar Film Screening & Panel Discussion

In 1982 during Guatemala’s brutal civil war, an elite group of soldiers invaded the village of Dos Erres and slaughtered more than 200 men, women and children. Two small boys survived and were raised by two of the commandos involved in the massacre. Finding Oscar is a documentary that tells the stories of victims and survivors, and their tireless efforts to seek justice.

On November 8, the WCRO, along with the Ferencz International Justice Initiative of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, hosted a screening of Finding Oscar, followed by a panel discussion featuring:

· Fredy Peccerelli, Director, Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation;

· Kate Doyle, Senior Analyst, National Security Archive;  and

· Jon Longo, Special Agent, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The discussion was moderated by Susana SáCouto, Director, War Crimes Research Office, American University Washington College of Law. Opening remarks were delivered by Anna Cave, Director, Ferencz International Justice Initiative of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Lisa Koven, Chief, Human Rights Law Section, Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Coming of Age of the African Human Rights System

On November 8, 2017, the WCRO, along with the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and the International and Comparative Legal Studies Program, hosted Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International Nigeria Director. Ms. Ojigho's discussion focused on Africa’s progress since the African Union’s predecessor adopted the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights in 1981 and established the African Court of Human and People’s Rights in 1987. 

Human Rights After Hitler Book Talk

On September 12, 2017, the WCRO hosted Dan Plesch, Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London, for a discussion on his new book Human Rights After Hitler: The Lost History of Prosecuting Axis War Criminals. The book examines thousands of forgotten US and Allied war crimes prosecutions against Nazi leaders and other Axis war criminals based on a popular movement for justice that stretched from Poland to the Pacific. Together with the Nuremberg trials and postwar conventions, these cases provide a great foundation for twenty-first-century prosecutions of grave crimes.