SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

On the origin of Crimes Against Humanity - an American Hero: A discussion of FDR's Ambassador for war crimes prosecution, Congressman Herbert Pell

Dr Graham Cox (University of North Texas), Dr Dan Plesch (CISD SOAS), Chair: Leah Owen, Oxford University

Date: 11 July 2019Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 11 July 2019Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: KLT

Type of Event: Panel Discussion

Herbert Pell (father of Senator Pell) served as FDR's Ambassador to the 1943-1948 UN War Crimes Commission. The Commission whose work was suppressed by the exigencies of the Cold War supported thousands of successful prosecutions of the Axis, and backed indictments of Hitler and others for the death camps in 1944. A key figure in this prelude and sequal to Nuremberg, Pell enthusiasm led to his dismissal.

Panellists will be Dr Graham Cox, author of "Seeking Justice for the Holocaust, Herbert Pell vs the US State Department, and Dr Dan Plesch, author of Human Rights After Hitler.

Graham Cox is a Senior Lecturer at the University of North Texas. His research focuses on the intersection of law, war, and society. He is the author of “Herbert C. Pell, U.S. Representative on the UNWCC,” in Diplomats at War: The American Experience and has written an article on the UNWCC in a special edition of the Criminal Law Forum. His book on the development of international law covering crimes against humanity, Seeking Justice for the Holocaust: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert C. Pell, and the Limits of International Law with the University of Oklahoma Press will September 2019.

Dan Plesch is the author of Human Rights After Hitler which was reported on All Things Considered and in the Guardian, Independent, Chicago Tribune amongst others. His previous publications include: America Hitler and the UN, Wartime Origins and the future UN (with Prof. Weiss) and the Beauty Queen's Guide to World Peace. He leads research on the UN and on Disarmament.

The event will be chaired by Leah Owen, co-author Weiss, Thomas G. and Plesch, Dan and Owen, Leah (2016) 'The UN War Crimes Commission and International Law: Revisiting World War II Precedents and Practice.' In: Global Community: Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence 2015. Oxford: Oxford University Press and Plesch, Dan and Owen, Leah (2019) 'The United Nations War Crimes Commission: a model for complementarity today?' In: Griech-polelle, B, (ed.), The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial and its Policy Consequences Today. Nomos. (Forthcoming)

Organiser: CISD, Eccles Centre

Contact email: