Feb 9, 2009
On Friday, February 6, 2009, a joint Ritsumeikan Center for Asia Pacific Studies (RCAPS) and the Institute of International Strategic Studies (ISS) seminar was held under the theme of "Peace and Justice: Mass Atrocities and How We Respond".
The seminar, convened by TAKASHIBA Yukiko, Director of the ISS in partnership with the Murata Science Foundation and the Asian Society of International Law, welcomed 3 guest speakers.
Associate Legal Advisor Michael P McVICKER (Human Rights Law Division,Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, Immigration and Customs Enforcement,Department of Homeland Security) spoke about the progress of the Bosnian War Crimes Chamber.
He also discussed U.S. efforts to prosecute and deport individuals who have committed or assisted in mass atrocities outside of the U.S., and about cooperation between Bosnia and the U.S. in bringing perpetrators of human rights violations to justice.
Senior Assistant Prosecutor, United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT) Mr. Anees AHMED talked about the "hybrid" (i.e. composing of both international and national elements) trial system currently in action in Cambodia to prosecute the perpetrators of the crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime.
The final speaker, Mr. Lars WALDORF Director, Human Rights Program at the University of London's Institute of Commonwealth Studies spoke of the local "gacaca" (pronounced Gachacha) courts in Rwanda readjusted to bring to justice perpetrators of the genocide committed over the course of 100 days in 1994 in which up to 1 million people perished.
The seminar proved to be an invaluable opportunity to learn from highly acclaimed experts in the field of Transitional Justice by exploring different forms of response around the world to provide justice in the wake of such massive atrocities. Together with a lively Q and A session, the seminar was well received by the many students and faculty staff who attended.
A 2nd year APS student gave this positive comment:
"Not just for me, but for many APU students, this seminar will probably be one of those things that have a profound effect on what one decides to do for the future."
The "International Strategic Studies Institute" is one of the five Crossover Advanced Programs (CAP) and aims to provide a high level of education with a view to nurturing the future world leaders.