SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

Accountability for War Criminals: lost lessons from WW2

Justice Richard Goldstone, Dr Dan Plesch (CISD), Megan Hirst (Doughty Street Chambers)

Date: 19 June 2019Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 19 June 2019Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: TBC

Type of Event: Panel Discussion

The United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC), was a multilateral organization with full diplomatic status operating from 1944 to 1948, which assisted national governments of its Member States (and Ethiopia) with 36,000 indictments leading to 10,000 convictions in 2,000 trials worldwide. Today attention is turning to international assistance for national prosecutions of international crimes. The panel will discuss the powerful lessons from the work of the UNWCC. Crimes Against Humanity and the crimes of irradicating a nation were hotly debated in the Commission in 1944- 18 months before the Charter for the IMT.

Justice Richard J. Goldstone was born on the 26th October 1938. After graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand with a BA LLB cum laude in 1962 he practised as an Advocate at the Johannesburg Bar. In 1976 he was appointed Senior Counsel and in 1980 was made Judge of the Transvaal Supreme Court. In 1989 he was appointed Judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. From July 1994 to October 2003 he was a Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Since the spring of 2004, Justice Goldstone has been teaching as a visiting professor of law at number of United States Law Schools including Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, NYU Law School, Fordham Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, and the University if Virginia Law School. During 2016 he also taught at the Central European University in Budapest and at Oxford University.

Dr 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.

Megan Hirst practices in international criminal law, public international law and human rights. She has over a decade of experience in international institutions and courts, with a particular focus on victims’ representation and the post-conflict protection of human rights. Although Megan has significant experience in all aspects of international criminal proceedings, she has a particular interest in victims’ representation before international criminal tribunals. She is currently representing victims before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the case of The Prosecutor v Dominic Ongwen, a former LRA commander in the conflict in Northern Uganda.

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Organiser: CISD

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