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Justice beyond Borders: Prosecuting War Crimes

Leila Sadat, David Scheffer, and Anjli Parrin discuss the challenges of defining, investigating, and prosecuting war crimes.
Leila Sadat
David Scheffer
Anjli Parrin
Event Date

About This Event

From Vladimir Putin’s forced deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia to the burning of Rohingya villages in Myanmar to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, war crimes shock the collective conscience, demanding a resolute response from the international community. Moreover, according to the United Nations, evidence of war crimes is emerging in real time in the latest outbreak of violence in Israel and Gaza.

But how exactly is a war crime defined, and how do states actually bring perpetrators of war crimes to account? What happens when governments are uncooperative or try to shield perpetrators of these crimes from prosecution? And what are the limitations of prosecution when it comes to holding perpetrators of war crimes accountable? Join the Council for a discussion of how international lawyers and human rights advocates investigate and prosecute war crimes, and the role of prosecution in securing justice for survivors.

About the Speakers
Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity to the ICC Prosecutor
Photo of Leila Sadat
Leila Sadat is the James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law at Washington University Law School. From 2012 to 2023, she served as Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity to two International Criminal Court Prosecutors. Sadat is the Director of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative and the Gun Violence and Human Rights Initiative.
Photo of Leila Sadat
Former U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues
Council Expert David Scheffer
David Scheffer is a nonresident senior fellow of international law and human rights at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He was the first U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, serving during the second term of the Clinton Administration.
Council Expert David Scheffer
Director, Global Human Rights Clinic
Photo of Anjli Parrin
Anjli Parrin is a Kenyan human rights advocate and lawyer. She currently serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and directs the Global Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School.
Photo of Anjli Parrin