International Criminal Practice

This course taught by Professor David M. Crane, founding Chief Prosecutor of the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone, focuses on the practice of modern international criminal law, which finds its origins in the principles laid down at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. These principles, law, and procedures were cast aside and almost forgotten during the Cold War only to be resurrected after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the advent of the Balkan tragedy in the early 1990s. From this conflict, we see the creation of various ad hoc tribunals in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and hybrids such as in East Timor and Cambodia, and the flourishing of new jurisprudence, rules, and procedure, which were further codified with the establishment of the new permanent International Criminal Court. Now after more than two decades, the law and procedure are starting to settle and the practice of international criminal law is showing signs of standardization. Yet in 2023, despite all of these advances, the international community is stepping away from atrocity accountability in an Age of the Strongman and is faced with the aggression by the Russian Federation on Ukraine. 2023 is a seminal year in using the rule of law to restore international peace and security. This course will show how this can be done by the one person who has done it before in West Africa.