Reuters Photo: Rwanda Tribunal

From Rwanda to the Present: The Prosecution of Atrocity Crimes

Friday, April 7, 2017
2:00 p.m.Park Library Auditorium (view map)
Reception to follow in the Baber Room
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April 7, 2017, marks the 23rd anniversary of the beginning of the Rwandan Genocide which lasted for three tragic months (ending in July 1994). In this talk, Professor Jennifer Trahan (NYU) discusses how the international response to the atrocities in Rwanda has influenced international law, including the creation of the historic International Criminal Court.

Professor Trahan will discuss developments in the field of international criminal justice, starting with the WW II prosecutions at Nuremberg and up to present-day tribunals. She will discuss the importance of prosecuting mass atrocity crimes and the benchmarks by which to judge the success (or failings) of such prosecutions. She will focus on the different mechanisms that were used to prosecute the Rwanda genocide -- the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the domestic courts in Rwanda, and the "Gacaca" mechanism. She will conclude with discussing how the prosecutions of the Rwanda Tribunal have influenced the development of international criminal law.

A flag raising ceremony will take place at 1:15 p.m. in front of Warriner Hall.


Jennifer Trahan Jennifer Trahan is an internationally recognized expert on International Criminal Law. She is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Center for Global Affairs at New York University's School of Professional Studies. She has extensive experience in international criminal justice and coordinates the international law concentration. She has done consulting work for the UN's Special Court for Sierra Leone and the International Center for Transitional Justice. In addition, Trahan is the author of Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity: A Topical Digest of the Case Law of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. She is a member of the Human Rights Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and of the American Bar Association (ABA) Task Force on the International Criminal Court. At NYU-SCPS, Trahan teaches such courses as International Criminal Law and Tribunals, The Use of Force and International Law, and Transitional Justice in Theory and Practice. 

Media Stories

CM Life 4/7/17
NYU professor discusses Rwandan Genocide in Park Library Auditorium

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Event Sponsors

Sponsored by the Dr. Harold Abel Endowed Lecture Series in the Study of Dictatorship, Democracy and Genocide within the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences (CHSBS) at CMU. This​ endowed lecture series was established in 2009 by the family of Dr. Harold Abel to honor and memorialize his 44-year career as an educator, which included a 10-year term as president of Central Michigan University from 1975 to 1985. Dr. Abel passed away in 2002.​