International Criminal Law Practicum (Law-850A)

International criminal law (ICL) is a developing area of law. While ICL is enforced in a number of international or internationally-supported tribunals, it is also increasingly enforced in domestic courts, usually through domestic penal statutes or codes incorporating international norms. This practicum is intended to give students an opportunity to engage in real-life projects dealing with the investigation and prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Students will work on projects of the Washington College of Law’s War Crimes Research Office (WCRO) undertaken in partnership with organizations involved in the investigation and prosecution of serious international crimes, including international and internationalized courts and tribunals; domestic courts with jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute such crimes; and government offices and inter- or non-governmental groups working in support of the investigation or prosecution of such crimes. Under close supervision of the instructor and in collaboration with WCRO’s professional staff, students will work on specific projects and develop some of the fundamental research, writing and advocacy skills critical for practice in this rapidly evolving field. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their: participation in seminar, project rounds and individual supervision; completion of two short writing assignments; and completion and presentation of assigned projects. The projects vary and may involve several types of legal and advocacy work, including drafting memoranda of law in response to issues raised by the practice or jurisprudence of tribunals tasked with prosecuting war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide; amicus briefs on particular issues raised in one or more cases; practitioner training manuals; legislative/rule-making proposals; or fact-finding reports or analyses. As such, projects may fulfill the upper level writing requirement.

Students wishing to take this course should request permission from Professor Susana SáCouto at

Course prerequisites: International Law (LAW-660) and at least one of the following courses (previously or concurrently) or instructor permission: International Criminal Law (LAW-850), International Criminal Law: In Search of Accountability (Law-906), International Humanitarian Law (LAW-620), International Human Rights Law (LAW-626), Criminal Procedure (LAW-508) or Evidence (LAW-633).