Ghosts of the Past: Atrocity Crimes, Diplomacy, and the International Criminal Court

David Scheffer, Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law and Director, Center for International Human Rights, Northwestern University

During the atrocities that enveloped the Balkans twenty years ago, the United States led in creating a war crimes tribunal to render justice. The Clinton Administration asserted its leadership again in building tribunals to investigate atrocity crimes in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia. This international gamble to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes culminated in the establishment of the permanent International Criminal Court (ICC). All of these courts continue to adjudicate cases, but the future lies with the ICC as it expands its jurisdiction. Although it played a key role in negotiating the Rome Statute, the ICC’s treaty, the United States has not joined the Court. What challenges confront the ICC as it seeks the participation and cooperation of nation states, especially the United States? Will a powerful international justice system emerge in the years ahead? Join The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and David Scheffer as he discusses his experiences at the intersection of conflict, domestic politics, and diplomacy, and shares an insider’s perspective on the building of five war crimes tribunals and America’s destiny with international justice.

Speaker Bio

Additional Information

His new book, All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crime Tribunals, will be available for purchase and signing following the program.