Leading War Crimes Experts to Address Trinity Conference

Posted on: 23 February 2006

Professor Bob de Graaff, author of the report on the fall of Srebrenica, which brought down the Dutch government in 2002, will be in Dublin on Friday 24 February 2006 to address the conference Crimes against Humanitarian Law: International Trials in
Perspective to be held at the Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College. Professor de Graaff, from the University of Utrecht will speak on the “difference between legal proof and historical evidence: the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia trial of Slobodan Milosevic and Srebrenica.”

Other speakers at the conference include: Professor Lawrence Douglas, Amherst College, Massachusetts, the internationally acclaimed author of a study of war crimes trials, The Memory of Judgement: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust (Yale, 2001), Dr Donald Bloxham, University of Edinburgh, author of
studies of the Holocaust and the Ottoman Turkish genocide of the Armenians,
Dr Rosemary Byrne, Trinity College, Dublin who monitored the trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and Professor William Schabas, director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, author of Introduction to the International Criminal Court (Cambridge, 2000) and participant in many international human rights missions. A full programme of the conference is available on the web at: www.tcd.ie/iiis.

Conference organizer John Horne, Professor of Modern European History at Trinity, describes the theme of the conference as follows: “International criminal proceedings for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide have never been more topical than today. How successful such trials have been in practice, however, is a matter of assessment. In order to further that process, the Institute for International Integration Studies (IIIS) in Trinity College Dublin is bringing together internationally-known legal scholars and historians to debate the issue in a one-day conference on Friday, 24 February 2006. From their origins after the First World War to their coming of age with the Nuremberg and Tokyo War Crimes Trials after the Second World War, and to the special tribunals that were set up in the 1990s to deal with atrocities committed during the wars in former Yugoslavia and with the genocide in Rwanda, there has now been eighty-five years’ experience of  an international justice system to deal with crimes under international humanitarian law, culminating in the creation of the International Criminal Court in the Hague in 2002. The
conference will address the nature and implications of this experience in both
its historical and contemporary settings.”