Today is the International Day of Peace at the United Nations. It is celebrated with a theme, with meetings, with videos, and is undertaken each year with a view to bringing the voice of peace into the halls of the United Nations during the Organization’s plenary opening sessions each year. It is a beautiful event. I had the opportunity to be present the day before to moderate an important event on the eve of International Peace Day entitled “Completing the Legacy of Nuremberg: Activating the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court Over the Crime of Aggression in 2017.”
Although one can fault the Obama administration for its tepid policy towards Syria, President Donald Trump’s April 6 air strikes against a Syrian military base take the U.S. policy towards Syria to a new low, said an expert on international war crimes at Washington University in St. Louis.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry this week said that the United States has determined ISIS’ actions against Yazidis and other minority groups in Iraq and Syria constitute genocide. The allegations of genocide by the United States government reinforce similar findings made last year by United Nations bodies and provide a clear path for ISIS leaders to be tried in international and domestic courts for their crimes, said Leila Sadat, an expert on crimes against humanity in the School of Law.
President Barack Obama this week announced his intention to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The decision to open the facility in the first place was a bad idea in theory, made even worse in practice, said Leila Sadat, professor of law and renowned expert on international criminal law.
The Syrian civil war began in 2011. Its spread since that time has caused refugees to spill across its borders and created a fertile environment for the rise of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). How can the international community get a handle on a conflict that already has claimed some 220,000 lives? One possible solution is to refer the Syrian situation to the International Criminal Court, says Leila Sadat, PhD, an expert in international criminal law at Washington University in St. Louis.