Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Conference: Justice? Whose Justice? Punishment, Mediation or Reconciliation

SOLON, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, and the Centre for Contemporary British History will host the 2nd Biennial War Crimes Conference, March 3-5, 2011, in London. The conference theme is "Justice? Whose Justice? Punishment, Mediation or Reconciliation." The program is here. Here's the idea:
This conference is an initiative between SOLON, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the Centre for Contemporary British History to explore themes surrounding judicial roles and responses to war crimes (broadly construed)– past, present and future – and also responses to such initiatives, from victims/victors, interested agencies and commentators, including the UN, NATO and various local, regional and international NGOs. Papers presented at this conference will consider questions such as whether the history of such prosecutions indicate that they should simply expose/reveal or whether they should always punish; what is the role of mediation in the interests of revelations of ‘truth’, and what impact can strategies for reconciliation have. Developments in areas like forensic anthropology will also be considered, and the issues surrounding how witness testimony should be managed within the legal process. Consideration of the ethical or moral basis for war crimes prosecutions, and the problem of their chronological dimensions provide a focus for other discussions. Speakers and delegates will debate when, if ever, it ceases to be practical or useful, in terms of successful post-conflict reconstruction to pursue war crimes prosecutions? A particular focus will be on the International Criminal Court, where the Court’s actions indicate that it is taking on the role of the conscience of the world. Does the future of war crime prosecutions lie solely, or mainly, with the ICC? Is this acceptable, given the lack of universal global support for the ICC? As this is the second Biennial Conference, we will also be hearing reports from delegates at the first conference of developments with which they have been associated.