The Challenges of International Criminal Justice
July 22, 2013
The second live webinar version of an MCLE was hosted by the TJSL Alumni Association on Tuesday, July 16. Lacy J lodes ‘08 introduced newly appointed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Linda Keller as the presenter for “The Challenges of International Justice” MCLE event.
Dean Keller presented on the complexities of international criminal law and gave a brief background of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, which covers crimes such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Dean Keller served as a visiting professor at the International Criminal Court during the 2011-12 academic year and has published on international criminal law and human rights in journals including the American University International Law Review.
According to Dean Keller, international criminal cases can only be heard by the ICC if they are referred by the UN Security Council, by a State Party or if the prosecutor receives pre-trial chamber approval. Jurisdictions and the principle of complementarity also applies when the ICC is determining whether or not they will accept a case.
Another limitation of the ICC, according to Dean Keller, is that the ICC has no arrest powers. That has led to the situation where the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir al-Bashir’s for alleged crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur, but has so far not been able to bring him to justice.
Dean Keller’s presentation highlighted the Kenya Case Study and the challenges that came along with the investigation. She also discussed how the United States has thus far decided not to join the ICC.
The presentation concluded with questions from the alumni and others in the audience.
“Dean Keller’s presentation raised some interesting aspects of international criminal law,” said TJSL alumna Camille Guerra ‘04. “I took the same class several years ago with Professor Keller and it’s interesting that the ICC is still grappling with issues related to prosecution. On its face, it would seem somewhat easy to prosecute for crimes against humanity, but as the presentation pointed out, it can be quite difficult. It was a timely presentation one the state of international current events.”
Another alumna who attended was Rebeca Valenzuela ’09, who said, “Professor Keller’s first-hand knowledge of the workings of the international criminal court was impressive and interesting.”