Robert H. Jackson Center

IHLD 2008

The Genocide Convention: A 60th Anniversary Celebration

The second annual International Humanitarian Law Dialogs recognized the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Genocide Convention. The dialogs addressed issues of international law and criminality, including “ethnic cleansing,” forced service of children in wars, and how international courts identify the perpetrators of such crimes and bring them to justice.

The Dialogs began with the arrival of the prosecutors and participants and a presentation of the documentary "Dafur Now" at the Chautauqua Cinema in the afternoon of August 24th, 2008. The next morning Greg Peterson, the Chairman of the Robert H. Jackson Center, and Tom Becker, the President of the Chautauqua Institution welcomed the participants and officially began the dialogs.

Omar Ishmael of ENOUGH! gave the keynote address and was followed by an introductory lecture on the the sixtieth anniversary of the Genocide Convention by Mark Drumbl from Washington & Lee University School of Law. After a world situation report from the current prosecutors Ambassador at large for War Crimes Issues Clint Williamson addressed the group. After lunch Professor Michael Scharf moderated a dialog with the prosecutors on "Atrocity and Genocide: The Challenge of Semantics". The first day of the dialogs ended with a talk from the president of the American Society of International Law Lucy Reed.

The second day of the dialogs began with a status report of International Criminal Law from Michael A. Newton of Vanderbilt University School of Law. This was followed by a discussion of Nuremberg and Genocide, with Henry King, Whitney Harris, and Ben Ferencz moderated by John Q. Barrett. During lunch former child soldier author and activist Grace Akallo spoke. The culminating event of the weekend came next, when the group gathered to sign the second annual Chautauqua Declaration.

The Dialogs were attended by international prosecutors Hassan Jallow, Serge Brammertz, David M. Crane, Fatou Bensouda, Robert Petit, Stephen Rapp, Benjamin Ferencz, Henry T. King and Whitney Harris. Additionally, Robert C. Krueger, Mark A. Drumbl, Omar Ishmael, Clint Williamson, Michael P. Scharf, Leila Nadya Sadat, Lucy Reed, Michael A. Newton, John Q. Barrett, and Grace Akallo spoke at the dialogs.

To view a slide show of the Second Annual Dialogs, click here.

Sponsoring organizations included the American Society of International Law; the Chautauqua Institution; Case Western Reserve University School of Law; Enough!, the project to end genocide and crimes against humanity; the Robert H. Jackson Center; Syracuse University Law School; and the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute at Washington University Law.