Save the Date: Quo Vadis? The Prosecution of Atrocity Crimes from Myanmar to Ukraine

May 2022

The Vance Center will host a virtual panel event “Quo Vadis? The Prosecution of Atrocity Crimes from Myanmar to Ukraine” on June 21, 2022 at 2:30 – 4:00 pm on Zoom.

Conflicts in Myanmar, Tigray, Syria, Yemen and most recently Ukraine have prompted renewed attention to the effectiveness of international criminal justice to deter atrocity crimes (war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide) and hold perpetrators accountable. International criminal justice has improved significantly in the past decades, as the following developments indicate:

  • the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC),
  • the establishment of hybrid courts such as the International Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY),
  • the increased involvement of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in adjudicating atrocity crimes cases,
  • the rise of domestic prosecution of these crimes under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction.

However, as conflicts continue to spread and atrocities worsen, it is clear that more needs to be done to deter such crimes. Several proposals have emerged, including the creation of new tribunals, reform of the UN system and the Rome Statute of the ICC, and the codification of new crimes, among others.

The Vance Center and the Global Center on the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P) are convening a panel of international justice experts to explore how lessons learned and best practices from the last decades can inform current proposals to improve the international criminal justice system. The panel will discuss the role of international tribunals, the United Nations, and domestic prosecutions, as well as legal norms such as the Responsibility to Protect, in deterring and prosecuting atrocity crimes. Panelists will explore the use of these tools in recent conflicts and the application of lessons learned and best practices from these experiences to inform accountability initiatives related to the war in Ukraine and other ongoing conflicts.

Speakers will include:

  • Ambassador Ivan Simonovic, Permanent Representative of Croatia to the UN, former UN Special Adviser on R2P, former UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights
  • Katherine Gallagher, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Arsalan Suleman, Counsel at Foley Hoag, Counsel for The Gambia in the case Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar) at the ICJ
  • Akila Radhakrishnan, President of the Global Justice Center
  • Karen Mosoti, Head of the Liaison Office of the International Criminal Court to the United Nations

Marie-Claude Jean-Baptiste, Vance Center Programs Director, will provide opening remarks, and Savita Pawnday, Executive Director of GCR2P, will moderate.

Registration is available here.