IAGS2017 Session 6

Day 2, 11 July 1430-1600 Session 6

National Mechanisms for Atrocity Crimes Prevention

Location W332, Level 3, Forgan Smith
Chair Susan Braden; Cardozo Law Institute
National Mechanisms for Atrocity Crimes Prevention
Authors Samantha A. Capicotto, Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation
Abstract The field of atrocity crimes prevention has witnessed a trend over the previous three to four years in which states around the world are employing a new approach to the development and implementation of preventive policies. This trend has manifested in the establishment of what are called National Mechanisms for Atrocity Crimes Prevention. From the perspective of the Auschwitz Institute, National Mechanisms are officially established bodies that include representatives from multiple areas of government relevant to the prevention of atrocity crimes. They are established to lead the development of a coordinated national strategy for the prevention of such crimes on behalf of the state. National Mechanisms are vehicles through which a state is able to exercise its responsibility to prevent genocide under its obligation as a party to the UN Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as well as its responsibility to prevent atrocity crimes as party to other relevant international treaties, regional protocols, and its own national legislation. The inclusion of representatives from all relevant areas of the state enables National Mechanisms to carry out a system wide assessment of strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of atrocity prevention. Following this assessment, it is the role of the National Mechanism to support the development and implementation of the necessary preventive policies to bolster the state’s resilience to atrocity crimes.
Biography Originally from Buffalo, New York, USA, Samantha graduated from St. John’s University School of Law magna cum laude. She is admitted to practice law in New York State and is a member of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association. She graduated valedictorian from her undergraduate studies at the University at Buffalo, with a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Philosophy. She has been with AIPR since 2010 as the Program Director of the Global Raphael Lemkin Seminars, and assists the Executive Director in the overall programmatic planning of the organization.
The Tanzanian National Committee for Genocide Prevention
Authors Miraji Magai, Tanzanian National Committee for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and All Forms of Discrimination
Abstract The Tanzanian National Committee (TNC) was established under the auspices of the International Conference on the Great Lakes (ICGLR) Protocol for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and All Forms of Discrimination. Tanzania established their National Committee in February of 2012—the first ICGLR Member State to do so. The Committee is comprised of members of the government, human rights institutions, civil society, religious institutions and academia, and seeks to prevent atrocity crimes through: 1. Regularly monitoring situations and processes that could lead to the above crimes; 2. Collecting and analyzing information related to the above crimes; 3. Alerting the government and proper authorities in a timely fashion to undertake immediate measures to prevent the commission of the above crimes; 4. Recommending measures to effectively prevent the above crimes; 5. Fighting against impunity for the above crimes; 6. Raising awareness of the processes of these crimes and educating others about prevention to further peace and reconciliation programs; 7. Recommending policies and measures to guarantee the rights of victims of such crimes to truth, justice, compensation and rehabilitation; and 8. Carrying out any further task the Minister of Justice may entrust to the Committee under its mandate.
Biography Mr Miraji Magai has been a Member of the Tanzanian National Committee since its establishment in 2012 as an inter-ministerial body mandated by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. This Committee is comprised of representatives of government, civil society, religious institutions and the academic community of Tanzania, and is working towards atrocity prevention within the country and region. Mr. Magai is also the Program Officer with the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation whose mission is to advocate for peace, unity and people – centred development in Africa and the world through research, policy advice, consultative exchange and partnership.
The Legal Reparations Program of Ecuador
Authors José Luis Guerra Mayorga, Office of the Ombudsman of Ecuador
Abstract As of the current date, Ecuador does not have a National Mechanism for the prevention of atrocity crimes as defined by the above description. Nevertheless, there is a great deal of preventive work being done through the country’s legal reparations process that involves the coordination of multiple government offices and ministries. These efforts are laying the groundwork for a National Mechanism to be established under the auspices of the Office of the Ombudsman. Following the efforts of the Ecuadorian Truth Commission, which was established to investigate and analyze gross violations of human rights by the State between the years of 1983 – 2008, a law for victim reparations was enacted to create a process for adjudicating such claims. One of the main purposes of this statute is to provide a guarantee of non-repetition to victims and their families, with the goal of preventing the country from cycling back into the violence of the past. The transitional justice process has led to the coordination of many departments within the government to administer this preventive programming. While a National Mechanism that would tackle broader risk areas for atrocity crimes has not yet been established, the reparations process has many qualities that are indicative of the emergence of a Mechanism, and the Ombudsman is currently working towards this goal.
Biography Mr José Luis Guerra Mayorga is the Senior Director of Protection at the Ecuadorian Office of the Ombudsman. He is an active member in programs organized by the Auschwitz Institute, having participated in the 2014 Global Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention and the 2016 Lemkin Seminar Alumni Meeting, among others. Mr. Guerra also acts as the Ecuadorian Focal Point in the Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention, having recently represented his country at the V, VI and VII Focal Points Meetings of the Network.

Peace, Justice and Atrocity Prevention in the African Great Lakes Region

Location W349, Level 3, Forgan Smith
Chair Judith Herrmann; James Cook University
Peace Talks and Peace Agreements: Tools to Prevent or Trigger a Genocide and Mass Atrocities? Case of Burundi
Authors Raphael Manirakiza, University of Sydney
Abstract This paper will discuss the failure to implement peace agreements as a challenge to genocide prevention using the current situation in Burundi as an example. The Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement was signed in August 2000 between Burundian political actors with the mediation of Nelson Mandela who succeeded the first facilitator, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. A ceasefire was also signed in 2003 between the army of Burundi and the main armed movement but the fighting continued until 2008, primarily because the Arusha agreement was signed with a number of reservations and the armed movement did not attend the peace talks. The unrest resumed in April 2015 when the President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to stand for a third term against the Arusha Peace agreement and the Constitution. The Opposition, civil society organisations and media objected and international actors including the United Nations condemned the move. The Government responded with a violent crackdown against those seen as opposed to the ruling party, leading to massive refugee flows and fears that the country is on the verge of another genocide as political divisions are becoming re-ethnicised. This paper will review developments in Burundi since the renewal of political violence, the indicators for impending genocide and how these can be linked back to failings in the implementation of the Arusha Peace agreement.
Biography Raphael Manirakiza is a community activist and researcher with the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, where he is working on projects relating to trauma healing, transitional justice and peacebuilding in Burundi and refugee communities in Australia. He has worked previously in international, government and not-for-profit organisations. Raphael also has a political background from his native country of Burundi where he was Executive Committee member and Spokesperson for the Parti for National Restoration (PARENA). It was in this capacity that he attended the Burundi Peace Talks in Arusha, Tanzania from 1998-2000. His experience and interest in genocide and mass atrocities led him to joining AC Genocide-Cirimoso, an association responsible for denouncing and fighting against genocide in Burundi. Raphael is a clinical psychologist with a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Rights and Conflict Resolution from the UNESCO Chair in Peace Education and Conflict Resolution, University of Burundi.
Transitional Justice, Peacebuilding and Mass Atrocity Prevention in Burundi
Authors Wendy Lambourne, University of Sydney
Abstract Burundi has experienced cycles of political and interethnic violence and mass atrocities starting soon after gaining independence from Belgium in 1962. Contestations and contradictions abound in attempting to account for this turbulent past organised primarily around conflict between the Tutsi minority and the Hutu majority, but also around internal and cross-cutting divisions within the political elite. Accusations of genocide have been made in both directions, focusing on the crisis of 1972 and subsequent massacres targeting each ethnic group in turn. In attempting to deal with the past and build peace for the future, the 2000 Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement called for the establishment of transitional justice mechanisms including both a truth and reconciliation commission and a tribunal for prosecuting past mass human rights violations. A culture of impunity has prevailed, however, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has only recently been established and began operations in March 2016. At the same time, the political crisis triggered by the President’s announcement in April 2015 of his intention to stand for a third term in office, which many regard as against the Constitution and Arusha Peace Agreement, has reignited fears of a return to the genocidal violence of the past. Drawing on field research conducted in Burundi between 2012-2016, this paper will examine the dynamics of conflict in Burundi with a focus on how approaches to justice, reconciliation and peacebuilding have affected the response to the current crisis and the implications for genocide prevention.
Biography Dr Wendy Lambourne is Senior Lecturer and Director of the Master of Peace and Conflict Studies program at the University of Sydney. Her interdisciplinary research on trauma healing, reconciliation, transitional justice and peacebuilding after genocide and other mass violence has a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa and Asia/Pacific. Her recent publications include chapters in Dimensions of Peace (Palgrave Macmillan 2016), Restorative Justice in Transitional Settings (Routledge 2016), Breaking Cycles of Repetition (Budrich 2016) and Transitional Justice Theories (Routledge 2014), as well as articles in the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, International Journal of Transitional Justice, Human Rights Review, Genocide Studies and Prevention and African Security Review. She is a co-convenor of the Reconciliation and Transitional Justice Commission for the International Peace Research Association, and a former member of the Executive of the Peace Studies Section of the International Studies Association.
Violent Conflicts, Mass Atrocities and Attempts for Withdrawal from the ICC: Crises of Post-Coloniality or Failure of Peacebuilding Norms? The Case of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo
Authors Aime Saba, University of Sydney
Abstract This paper is concerned with the challenges of prevention of political violent conflicts and mass atrocities in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, with a particular focus on Burundi and Congo DRC. Recent election-related violent events in both countries have demonstrated the complex nature of demands and supplies of accountability by external and local actors working in the space of conflict prevention through the implementation of mechanisms and norms of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. The author particularly analyses the behaviours and discourses of the Burundian State leading to its decision executive and legislative decisions to withdraw from the Rome Statute, founding treaty of the International Criminal Court. The main argument is around the implications of such decisions for unstable neighboring states such as the DRC and the difficulties by international actors in navigating the twin spaces of legal accountability and regional sustainable peacebuilding in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
Biography Aime Saba is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney, working on post-conflict reconstruction challenges in post-war societies. He has previously worked as a research assistant at CPACS (under Dr Wendy Lambourne) on a research project exploring transitional justice and reconciliation processes in the aftermath of mass war atrocities. He is currently completing his PhD thesis, focusing on interactions between external actors and local actors in peacebuilding and statebuilding processes in Somalia and Burundi. His Honours thesis was on conflict prevention and genocide prevention in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. He is a graduate of the University of Bradford, UK (MA in Peace and Conflict Studies). Aime also worked for the Australian Government’s overseas aid program (AusAID) on various country desks including Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Philippines, Pakistan, and North Korea and as a civilian peacekeeper for the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

Definitions of Genocide IV

Location W431, Level 4, Forgan Smith
Chair Wolf Gruner; University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Genocide Studies and Its Discontents: Lessons from the Field of Peace Studies
Authors Kristina Hook, University of Notre Dame
Abstract Over the past seventy years, genocide studies has succeeded in forging a widening research path for the scientific study of “unfathomable evils.” Successive decades of research gains indicate a field that is empirically grounded, analytically robust, and methodical in approach. However, some state-of-the-field assessments (Straus, 2012; Apsel and Verdeja, 2013) have flagged ontological and epistemological tensions that may constrain continued growth in specific areas. These issues can be conceptualized as theoretical in two ways. First, the field is experiencing both the theoretical benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary representation. Second, having been isolated for analysis from other types of violence, genocide needs to be re-contextualized without losing sense of what makes it distinct. Fortunately, genocide studies is not the first disciplinary community to work through such analytic obstacles, nor is it the first normatively-oriented discipline to do so. The related field of peace studies has faced similar challenges from its World War II inception to the present day. This paper juxtaposes the historical developments of genocide studies and peace research, examining how peace studies’ parallels and promising trends may inform the continued growth of genocide studies. In particular, this paper will consider how each field has dealt with conceptual disagreement, with case selection, and with the problematics of theory development. Finally, this paper will note how embracing genocide studies’ own foundational frictions and disciplinary character will help define parameters of study, and in doing so will allow genocide scholars greater opportunities to share their expertise in wider conversations of violence.
Biography Kristina Hook is a doctoral candidate in peace studies and anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. She previously earned an MA degree in international development from the University of Denver and a BA in anthropology from the University of Florida. Prior to her doctoral studies, Kristina served as a Policy Officer at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, specializing in mass atrocities prevention and response. A former U.S. Presidential Management Fellow, she also served as a Political Officer at a U.S. Embassy abroad. Kristina is a Fellow with the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program. She is currently conducting anthropological fieldwork in Ukraine on violence dynamics of the Soviet-era Holodomor mass atrocities and how this legacy continues to ripple across modern interpretations of Ukraine’s current armed conflict. Kristina has previously published on topics including genocide causality, post-conflict reconstruction, and humanitarian lessons learned.
Genocide and Its Political Use: A Conceptual History
Authors Renato Sabbagh Bahia, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro
Abstract This paper is an attempt to make sense of the inherently political dispute that revolves around the concept of Genocide. By suggesting one possible conceptual history of what “Genocide” is supposed to be, I attempt to bring light to a process that is as unstable as it raises certain claims of stabilisation: a process of identifying, claiming, comparing, enabling what one might or might not consider as the meaning of a certain idea of “Genocide”. The puzzle presented here can be better appreciated if we keep in mind how the field of Genocide Studies has been putting forward more than twenty different versions, different forms of conceptualising at least, of what “Genocide” must be since its first utterance in Lemkin’s Axis Rule over Occupied Europe in 1944. It is an issue that touches upon the limits and categories behind the possibilities for categorising certain kinds of events either as “Genocide” or as something else entirely. In other words, the proposed paper aims to put in perspective the limits and possibilities that might allow us to classify certain actions, events, narratives as a certain “core” of Genocide instances, as a “second circle”, or even as a “periphery”, as Professor Alexander Hinton once suggested. Thus, this paper will contend with what Genocide “was” or, better yet, what it must have been, in its early days: following from Lemkin’s first aims until its multiple frontiers of conceptual struggles – be it in academic or diplomatic circles - between 1944 and 1948.
Biography Renato Sabbagh Bahia is currently a Masters’ student in International Politics at the Instituto de Relações Internacionais at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (IRI/PUC-RIO) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For the past couple years, he has been dedicating himself to a study of the Concept of Genocide, particularly in terms of its meanings and understandings on its formative years, a research he plans on deepening in his future PhD. He is predicted to defend his Masters’ title in early March 2017.
Prevention Not Intervention: Social Justice and the Empowerment of the Grassroots
Authors Asoo Mohammed Sofi Qader, Iraq high Criminal Court (ret.)
Irene Victoria Massimino, Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero
Abstract Military and corporate intervention into sovereign state affairs has prepared the ground for genocide and human rights violations around the world. And yet, the international community still largely operates under the assumption that genocide is a domestic phenomenon. Funding priorities and disaster response models frame responses to genocide as humanitarian intervention, when in fact the sources of this aid are often important drivers of the genocidal tendencies in the first place. Furthermore, these priorities and models reflect the assumptions and interests of external parties and rarely engage with local communities in knowledge and resource sharing. This leads to a disconnect between on-the-ground realities and international aid, which can further fuel genocidal patterns. A new model of genocide prevention is necessary, one that accounts for both external factors as well as grassroots initiatives. This paper will critique the current intervention protocols from the perspective of the on-the-ground realities in Iraq, a country facing the ongoing challenge of Da’esh genocide. The analysis is based on interviews with government officials, religious leaders, local and international NGO workers, refugees and others involved in the genocide relief effort in Iraqi Kurdistan. It will focus on current efforts to set up tribunals, protect minorities and end the cycle of violence in the face of continuing challenges to the sovereignty of Iraq and Kurdistan. In the process, the paper will lay out a new approach to genocide prevention that prioritizes the knowledge, resources, dignity, and aims of local governments, religious and community organizations, refugee groups and others
Biography Irene Victoria Massimino is a lawyer from Argentina working as an officer of the High Criminal Court of Buenos Aires Province (Tribunal of Cassation); she holds a Master of Laws from the School of Law of Indiana University and Purdue University at Indianapolis, USA and a Master of Arts in Human Rights from the School of Advanced Study of the University of London, UK. She is currently a Professor of the Department of International Education at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Argentina and a Researcher at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Moreover, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Argentine NGO Asociación Pensamiento Penal; a member of the Global Alliance for Justice Education; a member of the Asociación Americana de Juristas (AAJ-American Association of Jurists), and a member and Co-Secretary-Treasurer of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

Justice Across Generational and Territorial Borders

Location W426, Level 4, Forgan Smith
Chair Rachel Killean; Queen’s University Belfast
Justice for the Victims of Stalin’s Reign of Terror (The Armenians)
Authors Rubina Peroomian, University of California, Los Angeles
Abstract Building on the qualitative and quantitative history of Stalin’s rule of terror—persecution of millions unfoundedly accused of being traitors, anti-revolutionaries, spies of foreign countries, and “enemies of the people”—and the vehicles of implementation, the NKVD and the GULAG, this paper will focus on Soviet Armenia as a case study of Stalin’s view of certain ethnic-national minorities as a threat. Based on Soviet Armenian NKVD documents, released after the collapse of the Soviet Union, as well as memoirs written by Armenian survivors of the GULAG, published after late 1980s, this paper aims to expose the Stalin-Beria conspiracy against Armenians, as dangerous nationalists, and the disproportionate quota of arrests put on them. Significantly, in these powerful memoirs, unknown to the world, a parallel is drawn between the Turkish genocide of Armenians and the deliberate and targeted elimination of Soviet Armenian crème of the crop which is symbolically called “The new April 24” (an epithet of the Armenian Genocide). The use of the word genocide, equally employed by others like Jasinski, Mangolis, and Naimark, is a strong metaphor to show the magnitude of the atrocities, but not a legally sound statement, since Stalin’s goal is still considered to be the elimination of political opposition. However, I will argue that disproportionately targeting Armenians is an evidences of genocidal attempt, so is Stalin’s mass arrests of particular groups on the basis of race. The West and the post-Soviet republics owe it to the memory of victims to lay bare Stalin’s racial policy.
Biography Rubina Peroomian, Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (Armenian Studies), University of California, Los Angeles. Formerly, instructor of Armenian Studies at UCLA, Glendale Community College, and the University of Laverne. Currently, independent scholar, author. She has lectured widely and presented papers in international symposia; contributed several research articles in scholarly journals and; chapters in books on genocide literature; authored textbooks in the Armenian language for high school students on the Armenian Question and Genocide. Her publications include: Literary Responses to Catastrophe: A Comparison of the Armenian and the Jewish Experience (1993); And those who Continued Living in Turkey after 1915, The Metamorphoses of the Post-Genocide Armenian Identity as Reflected in Artistic Literature (2008 and 2012); ×The Armenian Genocide in Literature, Perceptions of Those who Lived through the Years of Calamity (2012, 2014); The Armenian Genocide in Literature, The Second Generation Responds (2015).
Justice Delayed and the Second-Generation after Genocide: Young Cambodian Perspectives on Justice and Healing in Contemporary Experience.
Authors Kenneth Finis, Macquarie University
Abstract This paper explores the meaning of justice after the Khmer Rouge (KR) period from the contemporary perspective of children of survivors. It highlights a disconnect between current efforts and present-day felt needs of many second-generation Cambodians, examining possible implications of this for efforts towards transitional justice and healing after genocide. This paper draws on anthropological research with young Khmer people born after 1979, during periods of fieldwork across 2014-2017. This included ten months of participant observation conducted amongst communities in an urbanised town and a village outside of Phnom Penh, followed by qualitative key-informant interviews with 30 young people aged 18-35 drawn from those communities. Participants all had parents who experienced the KR years, and had themselves learned of those times through family stories, schooling, the media, and visits to memorial sites. Few respondents saw justice for the KR period as being possible, and many felt judicial or other healing efforts were marginal to present-day needs of their communities. While recognising the tragedy of those times, most placed greater emphasis on structural difficulties involving education, employment, poverty, and corruption. Through seeking emic perspectives on the question of intergenerational impact after trauma in Cambodia, this paper explores the disconnect many young people appear to feel from official processes meant to aid their healing. In addition to the importance of timeliness in justice efforts, persistent poverty and slow national reconstruction highlight the need for the transitional justice process to also address the reparative imperatives of social and developmental barriers arising after genocide.
Biography Kenneth Finis is a PhD candidate with the Anthropology Department of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. His current research focuses on the question of the intergenerational transmission of trauma, and the relationship between history and contemporary society in Cambodia today. He has a professional background in Social Work and has practiced in both clinical and community settings.
A Refugee Truth Commission: Doing justice and creating accountability for genocide
Authors Jennifer Balint, University of Melbourne
Abstract Refugees generally do not have access to the usual justice processes established to address genocide and other state crime. Participatory legal and quasi-legal processes are mostly at the ‘site’ of conflict or an ‘international’ site, and refugee communities miss out in participating. If post-conflict legal processes are important for recovery and healing of victims, as has been argued, how can those outside of the site of conflict where these processes are mostly located participate and thus benefit? And what role may such a process play in the establishment of accountability for the genocide and for the reception of refugees of the genocide and state crime? This paper considers the role a Refugee Truth Commission may play for refugee victims of genocide. It explores whether there is a need for and function of truth telling by diasporic communities and asylum seekers about conflict that has happened outside of a host nation, as well as about the experience of seeking asylum in a host nation. Could such commissions of inquiry for communities and individuals be important for personal justice, for societal inclusion, for accountability and institutional change? Could a Refugee Truth Commission allow both for the telling of stories that are missed due to migration – and allow for the telling of these stories of the experience of seeking asylum to their new national audience? Could it function as a vehicle of civic participation and of institutional and individual accountability, and thus of prevention?
Biography Dr. Jennifer Balint is Senior Lecturer in Socio-Legal Studies, Criminology, School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Melbourne. Her work considers the constitutive role of law, with a focus on genocide and state crime. Her book, Genocide, State Crime and the Law: In the Name of the State (Routledge 2012) critically explores the use and role of law in the perpetration, redress and prevention of mass harm by the state. She is a co-researcher on the Minutes of Evidence Project, a collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers, education experts, performance artists, community members and government and community organizations that creates public ‘meeting points’ for consideration of structural justice. She has been a visiting fellow at the International State Crime Initiative, Queen Mary University of London, the representative for Oceania on the establishment of the International Criminal Bar and co-founder of the Global Network on Justice. Conflict. Responsibility.

Film Session C

Location Moot Court W237, Level 2, Forgan Smith
Romper Stomper (1992)
Director Geoffrey Wright
Runtime 89 minutes
Abstract Geoffrey Wright’s daring and confrontational film is a terrifying experience in stark reality that helped make Russell Crowe an international star. Graphically violent and brutally honest, it deals with a gang of neo-Nazi skinheads, led by the intimidating Hando (Crowe), who battles for white supremacy on the streets of Melbourne.