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"International Responses to State Crimes": An International Human Rights Symposium at Yale, March 26


The symposium seeks to explore global responses to states' violations of human rights in the post-Cold War world, in which it was envisioned that new global actors would protect potential victims and bring wrongdoers to justice before international tribunals. "Although the global failure to intervene to prevent genocide in Rwanda shook this optimistic vision, it also contributed to the UN's establishment of an ad hoc criminal tribunal for Rwanda and ultimately to the creation of a new International Criminal Court," explained James Silk, executive director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights, which sponsors the symposium. "But the war on terrorism is now invoked, not to reinforce the capacity for multilateral responses to state crimes, but to justify unilateral U.S. military intervention and a go-it-alone approach to justice for accused terrorists."

The first panel on Friday, March 26, at 1 p.m. will take a retrospective look at Rwanda on the tenth anniversary of the genocide. Panelists are Bill Berkeley, author of The Graves Are Not Yet Full: Race, Tribe, and Power in the Heart of Africa, and adjunct professor at Columbia School of International and Public Affairs; Alison Des Forges, senior consultant, Africa Division, Human Rights Watch, and author of Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda; and Charles Mironko, former associate director, Genocide Studies Program, Yale University.

At 3 p.m., a second panel looks to the future, focusing on the crisis of global expectations brought about by U.S. foreign policy. Panelists are Peter Galbraith, Senior Diplomatic Fellow, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, and former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia; Chibli Mallat, EU Jean Monnet Chair in European Law, Universite Saint Joseph, Beirut; Linda Fasulo, author of An Insider's Guide to the UN, and UN correspondent for NBC News/MSNBC; and Jonathan Schell, Coca-Cola World Fund Fellow, Yale, and Harold Willens Peace Fellow, The Nation Institute.

The annual Robert L. Bernstein lecture, entitled "Establishing Global Justice: Challenges Faced by the Prosecutor of the ICC," will be given by Luis Moreno Ocampo, the first prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, at 5 p.m. in Room 127.

The Robert L. Bernstein Fellowships in International Human Rights were established in 1997 to honor Robert Bernstein, the former chair, president and CEO of Random House, Inc., and the founding chair of Human Rights Watch. The fellowships provide financial support to allow two recent Yale Law School graduates to pursue full-time international human rights work for one year.

Former Bernstein Fellows have worked on projects promoting and protecting human rights in such diverse locations as Eritrea, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Thailand, and Tibet. The current Bernstein Fellows will discuss their work on Friday, March 26, at 10 a.m. in the Faculty Lounge at Yale Law School. Brent Wible '03 is developing strategies to combat sexual abuse and sexual harassment of girls in schools in B?n, West Africa. Tara Melish '00 is working with the Center for Justice and International Law in Washington, D.C., to bring economic, social and cultural rights cases in the inter-American human rights system.

The 2004-2005 Bernstein Fellows will be announced at a reception immediately following the Bernstein Lecture on Friday in the Law School's Alumni Reading Room.