“To Prevent and to Punish: A Conference Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Genocide Convention”
SEP 28, 2007
8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Sixty years ago, on June 11, 1947, Raphael Lemkin, working with the U.N. Secretariat legal staff, completed the first draft of the Genocide Convention, launching the intense negotiations that would conclude in the U.N.'s adoption of the Convention in December 1948. Today, the Genocide Convention has 137 parties, and after years of dormancy, it has become an important legal tool in the international effort to end impunity for the worst crime known to humankind. The past year alone has witnessed important cases based on the Genocide Convention before the International Court of Justice, the ad hoc international criminal tribunals, and the domestic courts of several countries. To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the negotiation of the Genocide Convention, the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center is hosting a major international symposium featuring two-dozen of the world's leading academic experts, high-level government officials, and most distinguished jurists and practitioners in the field.
This symposium is made possible by a generous grant from the Wolf Family Foundation, and is co-sponsored by the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence (Case Western Reserve), the International Bar Association, the Robert H. Jackson Center, the Irish Centre for Human Rights, and the Cleveland Council on World Affairs and serves as a Regional Meeting of the American Society of International Law, a Regional Conference of the International Law Association, and the Annual Meeting of the International Association of Penal Law (American National Section).
Among the distinguished speakers:
Co-Prosecutor, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
Robert Petit has significant experience in international criminal law. He served as a Legal Officer in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, from 1996 to 1999; Regional Legal Advisor for the U.N. Mission in Kosovo from 1999 to 2000; Prosecutor, Serious Crimes Unit, for the U.N. Mission of Assistance to East Timor in 2002; and Senior Trial Attorney, Office of the Prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone from 2003 to 2004. Prior to that, Mr. Petit worked as a criminal prosecutor in Montreal for eight years.
Juan E. Méndez
President of the International Center for Transitional Justice.
Juan E. Méndez is President of the International Center for Transitional Justice. Until March 31, 2007, he was also, concurrently, the Special Advisor to the Secretary General (UN) on Prevention of Genocide. At Human Rights Watch he directed the Americas division (1982-1993) and was later General Counsel (1994-1996). He was Executive Director of the Inter American Institute of Human Rights in Costa Rica (1996-1999). From 2000 to 2003 he was a member – and in 2002 the President – of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Organization of American States. He has taught at the University of Notre Dame Law School (1999-2004) where he was also the Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Earlier he had taught at Georgetown Law School and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and he teaches regularly at the Oxford Masters Program in International Human Rights Law. He has published several articles and edited volumes on prevention of genocide, on the Inter-American system of human rights protection, on transitional justice, on torture and forced disappearances, and on human rights developments in Latin America. He was born in Argentina and has practiced law there and in the United States.