International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will keynote “Children & International Justice,” an international experts’ conference, to be held Tuesday, October 28, 2014, at the University of Georgia School of Law in Athens. The law school is home to Professor Diane Marie Amann, who serves as Bensouda’s Special Adviser on Children in and affected by Armed Conflict.
Taking part will be more than 2 dozen experts in children’s rights, international criminal law, and transitional justice, who will address a range of issues in a public morning session and in closed afternoon workshops. Experts will be drawn from academia and the practice; from international organizations like UNICEF and the Office of the Special Representative to the U.N. Secretary-General for Children & Armed Conflict; and from nongovernmental organizations like Human Rights Watch, the International Center for Transitional Justice, the International Committee of the Red Cross, No Peace Without Justice, Protect Education in Insecurity & Conflict, Save the Children, and The Carter Center. They will consider legal doctrines, field research, and policy options.
These discussions will assist advising in the ongoing process of development of the Office of the Prosecutor Policy Paper on Children.
The keynote address and the plenary presentations, along with student rapporteurs’ Chatham-House-Rules accounts of the breakout sessions, will be published in the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law.
Sponsors, in addition to the journal and the law school, are the law school’s Dean Rusk Center for International Law & Policy, the Georgia Law Project on Armed Conflict & Children, the African Studies Institute of the University of Georgia, the Planethood Foundation, and the American Society of International Law-Southeast.
The day’s schedule begins with a public plenary session from 9:15-11:15 a.m. in the law school’s Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom, as follows:
► 9:15 a.m. Welcomes will be followed by a panel on “Children & International Criminal Justice: An Overview,” featuring Professor Mark A. Drumbl, Washington & Lee University School of Law, on Children, Armed Violence and Transition: Challenges for International Law & Policy; Kerry L. Neal, Child Protection Specialist, Justice for Children, UNICEF, on Child Protection in Time of Armed Conflict; Professor Linda A. Malone, College of William & Mary/Marshall-Wythe School of Law, on Interrelation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court; Alec Wargo II, Program Officer, Office of the Special Representative to the U.N. Secretary-General for Children & Armed Conflict, on Securing Prevention and Accountability for the Six Grave Violations against Children; and Jo Becker, Advocacy Director, Children’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch, on Civil Society’s Role with Respect to Children in Armed Conflict. Moderating will be Professor Charles C. Jalloh, Florida International University School of Law.
► 11:30 a.m. Following introduction by Georgia Law Dean Rebecca H. White, Prosecutor Bensouda will deliver the keynote address.
► The afternoon will feature workshops sessions open only to expert invitees and moderated by my Georgia Law Professors Diane Marie Amann, Harlan G. Cohen, and Andrea L. Dennis. Topics to be discussed include:
►► Regulatory Framework (Child-specific and child-related crimes, such as recruitment and use of children, sexual violence / trafficking, education, attacks on hospitals / denial of humanitarian access; legal instruments / jurisprudence other than Rome Statute; children’s rights and human rights law; humanitarian law; law of peace / weapons control treaties; gravity: charging and sentencing)
►► Witnesses, Testimony, and Witness Protection (Identifying and preparing child witnesses, in general, and with relation to specific offenses like sexual violence, against girls and boys; living conditions of children in conflict/postconflict zones; support and witness protection issues; enhancing child witness reliability / challenging of factfinding reparations)
►► Global Child (Children’s vulnerability/victimhood/agency; developmental factors / difficulty of drawing age line; children’s convention: rights and best interests; child protection and child participation: issues of consent; children in militias / conflict zones: roles and experiences; child-friendly dissemination and education)