UCLA Law School’s Sanela Diana Jenkins Human Rights Project has launched a new partnership with the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor, to create an online forum for discussing legal issues that might or have arisen for the prosecutor. The forum is at UCLALawForum.com. One of the difficulties for the prosecutor offices at the ICC or other tribunals is a general tendency to be within a confined range of inputs and frames, in what is, of course, clearly as much or more a political body as a legal one. So initiatives that can open up that process for people from outside of it to comment and debate seem to me a good idea. Below the fold, I’ve put part of the announcement.
The Forum’s first issue addresses whether the Prosecutor of the ICC has the authority to open an investigation into alleged crimes committed in the 2008-09 Gaza conflict. Several experts in the field have contributed opinion pieces on the question, including Professor George Fletcher of Columbia Law School, Dr. Marlies Glasius of the University of Amsterdam, Dr. Michael Kearney of Al-Haq, Professor John Quigley of the Ohio State University School of Law and Professor Yaël Ronen of Sha’arei Mishpat College in Israel. Visitors are invited to contribute to the discussion.
“The Forum will provide an opportunity for a serious global public debate on some of the most important human rights problems of the day,” said Professor Richard Steinberg, director of the Sanela Diana Jenkins Human Rights Project. “This project also provides amazing opportunities for UCLA law students, who are able to collaborate directly with world renowned human rights practitioners and scholars.”
Five topics are scheduled to be discussed in the Forum this year. The second topic will address Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir’s genocide charges, focusing on how to arrest a head of state and manage the Darfur conflict. The third topic will address gender crimes under ICC jurisdiction, in particular those in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kivu Provinces and Darfur.