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CISD event in US hosts Justice Richard Goldstone to discuss human rights standards

30 April 2014

‘Reinforcing Human Rights Standards’, co-organised by SOAS, University of London's Centre of International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) War Crimes Project, hosted Justice Richard Goldstone and a panel of international scholars for a discussion based on new research on uncovering lessons from the United Nations War Crimes Commissions (UNWCC) of 1943-1948 in the US earlier this week.

The former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, Justice Richard Goldstone, was joined by CISD Director Dr Dan Plesch, Susana SáCouto and Chante Lasco, both from the American University Washington College of Law War Crimes Research Office and Kip Hale, American Bar Association Center for Human Rights at Georgetown University Law Center.

The research examined newly accessible archives of the UNWCC, almost all of which have been closed to governments, courts, and media for more than 60 years. Greater access to these files was the result of a campaign led by Dr Plesch. The scholars focused on thousands of overlooked prosecutions from the 1940s and provided key precedents in international law concerning sexual and gender-based violence, forms of responsibility and other international offenses of great global concern in the twenty first century.

The event was co-organised with the International Bar Association, the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights, the American University Washington College of Law War Crimes Research Office and the Grotius Centre of Leiden University.

The event also marked the Special Edition Symposium of the journal Criminal Law Forum devoted to the UNWCC.

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