Washington and Lee law professor Mark Drumbl was recently appointed Visiting International Fellow at the Monash University School of Law in Melbourne, Australia. Professor Drumbl taught a course to JD and LLM students titled ‘Victims, Law, and Mass Atrocity’. The course explored “the tensions that may inhere between various communities of victims, between victim involvement and due process, and also how narratives of victimization may enfeeble as much as they protect.”
While in Melbourne, Professor Drumbl also presented at the University of Melbourne.
Washington and Lee law professor Mark Drumbl was invited by the International Courts Center at the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law to spend a week in residence in Denmark this June.
He spoke on the merits of the International Criminal Court at a panel organized at the Euroscience Open Forum 2014 Convention in Copenhagen with other speakers from Canada, Australia, and Denmark. The panel addressed questions of how best to deal with perpetrators of serious human rights abuses, including questions of whether international criminal trials served any meaningful deterrent purposes. This is an issue that Drumbl confronted in his book Atrocity, Punishment, and International Law. Drumbl also participated in a research round table held at iCourts.
A few days earlier, Drumbl participated in a two-day round table organized by the International Center for Transitional Justice, a prominent non-governmental organization, at its head office in New York. The roundtable addressed issues of the agency of child soldiers with a view to improving their rehabilitation, restoration, and citizenship following demilitarization and demobilization. Questions of agency and juvenile justice animated his 2012 book Reimagining Child Soldiers in International Law and Policy. This round table was deeply interdisciplinary in nature and drew from expertise in law and political science, but also public health, anthropology, psychology, and developmental studies.
Washington & Lee law professor Mark Drumbl spoke as a panelist at the recent annual meeting of the American Society of International Law. On Friday, April 11, 2014, Professor Drumbl joined other international criminal law scholars for a discussion entitled “Punishment and Sentencing in International Criminal Law”.
From the program:
International criminal law (ICL) has sought to establish effective mechanisms to hold accountable perpetrators of atrocity crimes and grave breaches of international humanitarian law. ICL sentencing, however, remains under-examined doctrinally, conceptually, and empirically. This panel will address various aspects of ICL sentencing, including an empirical assessment of the sentencing jurisprudence, the relevance and viability of the domestic experience with punishment, and the advancement of new theories and doctrinal frameworks sui generis to international criminal justice.
This is a subject Professor Drumbl explored in his book Atrocity, Punishment and International Law and continues to address in his scholarship. Read more of Professor Drumbl’s scholarship here.
Washington and Lee law professor Mark Drumbl will be speaking this week at Law, Peace, and Violence: Jurisprudence and the Possibilities of Peace, a symposium held at the Seattle University School of Law. Professor Drumbl will speak on a panel “War and Peace” and discuss his work on child soldiers.
In addition to his book published in 2012, Reimagining Child Soldiers in International Law and Policy, Professor Drumbl published a piece in the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law (2013) titled The Effects of the Lubanga Case on Understanding and Preventing Child Soldiering on the first trial of the International Criminal Court in the case of Thomas Lubanga, who was convicted for child soldier charges.
Professor Drumbl is also a contributor on child soldiers to the Oxford University Press commentaries on the Convention on the Rights of the Child. His book Reimagining Child Soldiers in International Law and Policy (Oxford University Press) challenges much of conventional wisdom when it comes to preventing child soldiering, meaningfully reintegrating child soldiers, and engaging with former child solders as vibrant contributors to post-conflict reconciliation. Drumbl suggests a number of reforms to international law and policy on this most topical issue. To date, this book has been reviewed in several venues: American Journal of International Law, Social and Legal Studies, Canadian Yearbook of International Law, Melbourne Journal of International Law, Journal of the Philosophy of International Law, European Journal of International Law, British Yearbook of International Law, Political Studies Review, Chinese Journal of International Law, Lawfare blog, and Think Africa Press. Chapter 1 has been translated into German as Die Überwindung der Opferrolle. Zum Bild des Kindersoldaten im internationalen Recht, and appearing in Zeitschrift fuer Friedens- und Konfliktforschung 249-274 (2012).
Read more of Professor Drumbl’s work here.
Washington & Lee law professor Mark Drumbl traveled to Hong Kong to participate in a major conference on the Historical Origins of International Criminal Law. Part of the purpose of this gathering is to look beyond the ‘usual suspects’ — for example, Nuremberg and international institutions – when we think about the history of war crimes trials. Many national courts have played a crucial, although unheralded, role in the process of building the field and seeking justice in the aftermath of atrocity. The conference is hosted by the City University of Hong Kong.
Professor Drumbl will deliver a keynote lecture that looks at the work of the Supreme National Tribunal of Poland. Between 1946 and 1948, this institution prosecuted 49 individuals in seven cases. The Tribunal delivered the first conviction ever of a leading Nazi for waging aggressive war, was groundbreaking in denouncing the Holocaust as genocide before the international community recognized the crime, and was pivotal in setting out the details of the Auschwitz concentration camp and its functioning. It was the first institution to declare the concentration camps as criminal organizations. The Tribunal delivered its first two judgments before the Nuremberg Tribunal’s judgment was issued, and continued its work thereafter. Studying the work of the Polish Tribunal also opens a number of other doors. While the decrees that established the jurisdictional base of the Tribunal (to punish enemies of the state) helped bring justice for World War II crimes, these very same decrees also served to enable the post-War Communist government to prosecute, detain, and punish citizens who dissented from its orthodoxies who were also determined to be enemies of the state. This shows how criminal law passed to prosecute war criminals can come to serve repressive ends. Second, the Tribunal was geared to highlight Polish suffering in the War, and extended genocide to the context of Poles, Slavs along with European Jews. Poland pushed for representation at Nuremberg, but the Allies rebuffed this request. The Tribunal was a response thereto.
Professor Drumbl specifically discusses these issues through the lens of the Tribunal’s conviction and execution of Rudolf Hoess (the Kommandant of Auschwitz) and Amon Goeth (the Kommandant of forced labor camps in Krakow – who was played by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s list). Hoess was the consummate bureaucrat, who murdered because that was what his job called for; he ironically disliked seeing people suffer and this was among the reasons for developing Zylkon B gas at the camp. Goeth was a sadist who lorded over grotesque displays of gratuitous violence; he routinely flouted SS guidelines about how to run a prison death camp and stole so many of the prisoners possessions for personal use (rather than for Reich use) that he was arrested by the SS in 1944. In this regard, the work of the Tribunal also helps our study of the different kinds of personal profiles that perpetrators of massive war crimes may share.
In addition to delivering a keynote, Professor Drumbl will speak on the closing plenary session.
On Friday, Feb. 21, The Transnational Law Institute at Washington and Lee University School of Law hosted its first spring lecture, featuring international law expert Leila Nadya Sadat of the Washington University (St. Louis) School of Law.
At WashU, Prof. Sadat teaches in the areas of criminal law, foreign affairs, terrorism, and international criminal law. She has an extensive record of impactful scholarship and policy-making. In December 2012, she was appointed Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, and earlier that year was elected to membership in the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. Sadat has published more than 75 books and articles in leading journals and academic presses throughout the world.
During her talk at W&L, Prof. Sadat discussed her work on the Convention on Crimes Against Humanity, focusing on the legal definition of crimes against humanity, the persistent nature of these crimes world-wide, how international law might best respond, and the role of domestic courts in this regard. Her remarks offered insights regarding how international treaties are actually made, and the role that activists and non-state actors can play in this process.
The next TLI lecture is scheduled for Friday, Mark 7 at 2 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room. W&L will host Prof. Diane Marie Amann, Emily and Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law at the University of Georgia School of Law. Prof. Amann will give a lecture titled “Children and International Criminal Law.”
Washington and Lee law professor Mark Drumbl presented during this year’s Washington and Lee University Nobel Prize Symposium, in which W&L faculty members present on the year’s Nobel Prizes, giving background on the winners and the work that earned those honors.
Prof. Drumbl spoke on this year’s Peace Prize, which was awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons, an intergovernmental organization that implements the Chemical Weapons Convention. Prof. Drumbl’s subjects included the law of war, the Organization and its work, the effects of chemical weapons, and the Syrian situation.