Policymakers, scholars and civil society leaders from around the world will examine the role that international criminal prosecution should play in the strategy to end the violence in Darfur and other massive conflicts in a Yale Law School conference on Friday, Feb. 6.
Titled "The Pursuit of International Criminal Justice: The Case of Darfur," the conference will take place as judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will consider whether to issue an arrest warrant charging Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir with genocide. The Sudanese government has renounced the jurisdiction of that court, and countries are divided on the question of whether the United Nations Security Council should compel the ICC to defer its work.
"Darfur is today's most prominent example of the inability of the international community to induce or compel a state to protect the basic rights of its own population," says Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh. "This conference will explore the challenge of closing the gap between the growing global commitment to international justice and the reality that millions continue to suffer from the perpetration of serious human rights abuses."
The conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a keynote speech by Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor of the ICC. The two roundtable discussions that follow will examine "What Would Peace Look Like in Darfur?" and "The Role of Justice." Koh will moderate the discussions. Participants include Richard S. Williamson, U.S. special envoy to Darfur; Amre Moussa, secretary-general of the League of Arab States; Jean-Marie Guéhenno, former head of U.N. peacekeeping operations; Daniel Bethlehem, legal adviser to the United Kingdom Foreign Office; and Jerry Fowler, president of the Save Darfur Coalition.
The morning keynote address and the roundtable discussions are free and open to the public.
"The Case of Darfur" conference is the third in a series of four regional conferences on international justice supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. It is sponsored by the Orville H. Schell Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School.