On April 14, 2015, the American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights and its International Criminal Court Project hosted a closed-door meeting of experts entitled “Atrocity Accountability in Syria: What Criminal Investigations Have Uncovered”, which featured a distinguished panel including Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice, Professor Larry D. Johnson, Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and former U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, Dr. William Wiley, Executive Director of the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA), and Chris Engels, Head of Regime Crimes Team for CIJA. Senior Counsel of the ABA Center for Human Rights and the Director of the ABA’s ICC Project, Kip Hale, moderated the discussion.
The event focused on the atrocity crimes investigations conducted by CIJA in Syria, specifically investigations of widespread detention centers crimes committed by Assad regime officials throughout Syria. The panelists’ remarks covered such issues such as the need for contemporaneous criminal investigations during the commission of atrocities, CIJA’s model and mandate, the results of CIJA’s investigations, and how all of this may impact policy on Syria. An informative and engaging discussion followed between the panelists and the assembled experts from the US government, policy think tanks, human rights and rule of law organizations, diplomats, and other members of civil society.
The American Bar Association’s (ABA) International Criminal Court (ICC) Project is an independent initiative of the ABA Center for Human Rights that advances international criminal justice and US-ICC relations through advocacy, education and practical legal assistance. More information about the ABA’s ICC Project can be found at its website.