Month: March 2015

The National Offices’ Conference

Recently in the CISD office, we’ve been looking through the minutes of the National Offices Conference. This was one of the key events in the history of the UNWCC – a summit bringing together representatives of all sixteen national offices that worked with the Commission in the Royal Courts of Justice, in May/June 1945, with the aim of coordinating and giving impetus to the unprecedented set of war crimes trials planned. You can see some footage of the NOC here and here, although in both cases, the sound track has been lost (if you know of any Movietone or British Pathe archives that might have intact sound, get in touch!). One of the major occasions for the conference was the tide of the war. While the UNWCC had been founded back in 1943, when the outcome of the war was still not certain, by May 1945, much had changed. Concentration camps – and entire occupied countries – had been liberated, and a few weeks before the National Offices Conference met, VE day had been celebrated. The chairman of the Commission – Lord Wright – stated the new direction that the organisation would take: ‘The time had come when the mere collection of information must be changed into action, and action meant the trial of criminals and their conviction, sentence, and punishment where appropriate. To be effective, justice had to be expeditious. Punishment...

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Women Leaders in International Criminal Law

Check out this op-ed by War Crimes Project Assistant Director Shanti Sattler and former International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia war crimes prosecutor Eliott Behar about the recent election of an all-female presidency at the International Criminal Court and the history of women in leadership roles in international criminal law, including women who represented their countries at the...

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