Event Date: November 10, 2017 - 9:00am to 10:30 Location: FSS4006, 120 University Private, Ottawa
Presented by CIPS, the International Commission of Jurists- Canada and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre
The Syrian crisis has claimed the lives of an estimated 475,000 people as of July 2017, and all sides to the conflict have committed serious crimes amid a climate of impunity. International efforts to achieve justice for past and ongoing crimes in the country have proved elusive despite the wealth of information and materials available. Meanwhile, authorities in Sweden and Germany, applying the principle of “universal jurisdiction,” are working to investigate and prosecute grave international crimes such as torture, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, even though they were committed elsewhere and neither the accused nor the victims are nationals of the country. Such prosecutions are an increasingly important part of international efforts to hold perpetrators of atrocities accountable, provide justice to victims who have nowhere else to turn, deter future crimes, and help ensure that countries do not become safe havens for human rights abusers. Balkees Jarrah will talk about Human Rights Watch’s recent research on these efforts in Europe, with a focus on Swedish and German cases.
Balkees Jarrah is senior counsel in the International Justice Program where she focuses on the Middle East and North Africa region. She is a former law clerk at the Federal Court of Canada and has worked at the Brookings Institution supporting the mandate of the special representative of the UN Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons. She holds degrees in common law and civil law from McGill University and a masters from the University of Oxford.