April 5 saw the Human Rights Lawyers Association collaborate with the South Eastern Circuit to host a particularly pertinent discussion about the role of human rights in international criminal law.

 

HRLA Executive Committee Member Michael Polak chaired a panel which, although far from a conflict-zone in Middle Temple’s Parliament Room, brought together practitioners with first had experience of human rights hotspots around the world.

 

Richard Rogers, international human rights expert and partner at Global Diligence, spoke first regarding his work in Cambodia and his representation of victims of land-grabbing before the International Criminal Court.

 

Next, Wayne Jordash QC, described the difficulties faced by the Ukrainian government in ensuring justice in a country which, up until recently, international criminal law had only been the interests of academic.

 

Finally, Megan Hirst, described “world’s worst practice” she has experienced while representing victims in the East Timor Tribunal; particularly the logistical difficulties of trying to secure valuable engagements for a huge number of victims with few resources and with the Tribunal’s limited jurisdiction.

 

The Chair then brought the packed room into the discussion, and the panel considered thoughtful questions which ranged in topics from former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to the right to reparations and how international criminal law could be more proactive.

 

Even after the panel discussion ended, the conversation continued with drinks which were kindly provided by South Eastern Circuit.

 

Thank you to our fascinating speakers, wonderful host and engaged audience for making the evening such a success.

 

The Human Rights Lawyers’ Association has a busy schedule of events coming up over the next few months, details of which can be found here, so we look forward to seeing you again soon!

 

Ian Browne

Chair, Young Lawyers Committee

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