The Denver Journal of International Law and Policy (DJILP) at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law offers a leading voice in the discussion of cutting edge issues in international law. On Saturday April 14th, in conjunction with a celebration of its 40th anniversary, the DJILP will host an all-day symposium covering Emerging Issues in International Law with a Special Focus on the Americas. Prominent scholars, practitioners and dignitaries – including the current Attorney General of Peru and former United Nations Assistant Secretary General for Legal Affairs – will share their insights regarding topics such as prosecution of international war criminals, international corporate social responsibility, and other topics critical to the current state of international law.
The symposium will begin with a focus on the Prosecution of Mass Atrocities in the Americas. This discussion will feature Dr. Jose Antonio Peláez Bardales, current Attorney General of Peru, who served as lead prosecutor in the ground-breaking prosecution of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori. Fujimori was tried for corruption and human rights abuses that occurred during his presidency. His conviction is the first conviction by a domestic court of a democratically elected president for crimes against humanity. According to Human Rights Watch the trial would “go down in history as a model of what we want to see in terms of rule of law and justice … in Latin America.” Mr. Peláez Bardales will share his observations about the Fujimori trial and its legacy.
Ms. Katie Doyle, Senior Analyst with the National Security Archive, will discuss her observations of the current landmark Guatemalan prosecutions of mass atrocities – including last year’s important Dos Erres Massacres convictions – and the lessons learned about witnesses and evidence in historical prosecutions. The National Security Archive was founded to declassify government documents. Since 1992, Doyle has worked with Latin American human rights organizations and truth commissions – in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras – to obtain the declassification of U.S. government archives in support of their investigations.
The morning session also features Mr. Robert Petit, Counsel with the War Crimes Section of Canada’s Federal Department of Justice and Former Co-Prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge prosecutions in the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia. A lunch session will highlight the work of Professor Larry Johnson, Adjunct Professor at Columbia Law School, who share his extensive experience with the United Nations as former United Nations Assistant Secretary General for Legal Affairs, and former legal adviser to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The afternoon discussion will focus on “hot topics” in international law that have been published in DJILP’s 40th Anniversary book, Perspectives on International Law in an Era of Change. Three eminent scholars and authors featured in the book will discuss cutting edge issues applicable to international law today. Professor David Aronofsky from the University of Montana School of Law will address the “War on Terror: Where We Have Been, Are, and Should Be Going.” As described in his written piece, “the greatest casualty of [the war on terror] is a loss of the core rule of law focus which differentiated the U.S. from so many other countries on the global stage decades before this war began.” Among other topics, he will discuss how the war on terror has recently shaped the rule of law in the U.S.
Professor Jennifer Moore from the University of New Mexico School of Law will speak on the topic of humanitarian law and transitional justice in Africa within the context of the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect, as outlined by the United Nations Millennium Goals. She describes her written piece as a “peaceful call to arms” based on a belief that ending human rights abuses will entail a non-military understanding of humanitarian intervention and the use of force.
Dr. Daniel Warner, Assistant Director for International Affairs at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, will address “Establishing Norms for Private Military and Security Companies.” As described in his written piece, “the subject of the intersection [of public and private military], and of private military and security companies, is of the highest importance as violence is no longer limited to interstate conflicts.” Dr. Warner will expound on the connections between these sectors as a means of correcting abuses of the law. This panel discussion will be led by Professor Ved P. Nanda.
The symposium will also cover Emerging Issues in Corporate Social Responsibility, including conversations regarding Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability and Human Rights. Distinguished panelists include: Mr. Bart Alexander, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, MolsonCoors; Professor John Cerone, Director, Center of International Law and Policy, New England School of Law; Ms. Luella D’Angelo, CEO, Western Union Foundation (invited); Mr. Stephen Gottesfeld, General Counsel, Newmont Mining Company; Mr. Mark Wielga, Nomogaia Human Rights; Professor Edward H. Ziegler, University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
The Emerging Issues Symposium is part of a larger celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy. The celebration weekend includes events for students, staff, alumni, scholars and community members. The kickoff event for the weekend is an inaugural dinner lecture beginning at 5:00 pm on Friday, April 13. The dinner will honor Sturm College of Law alumna and international environmental law expert, Sheila Slocum Hollis, JD’73, of Duane Morris, LLP. This inaugural dinner is followed by the symposium and concludes with a champagne reception honoring Professor Ved P. Nanda, founder of both the DJILP and the International Legal Studies Program, and official book launch of the 40th Anniversary Book published in Professor Nanda’s honor.