Katyn: Justice Delayed or Justice Denied? (Panel 3, Part 1)

FRI, FEB 4, 2011 (39:17)

Panel three discusses was Katyn a Genocide?

The Katyn massacre of 1940 involved murders at the Katyn forest and in other locations throughout the Soviet Union of over 22,000 Polish officers, prisoners of war, and members of the Polish leading elite, by a single shot to the back of each of their heads. For 50 years, this massacre was subject to a massive cover up. Initially the Soviet Union blamed the Nazis for the murders, saying that the killings took place in 1941 when the territory was in German hands. It was not until 1990 that the Russian government admitted that the executions actually took place in 1940 and were carried out by the Soviet secret police. In 1990, Russian prosecutors launched a criminal investigation into the massacre, but the case was terminated in 2004, its findings were classified as top secret, and it appeared that the tragedy would once again be subject to "historical amnesia."

The Katyn Symposium brings together leading international experts in jurisprudence, international criminal law, and the Katyn crime, as well as representatives from Poland and Russia, to discuss the events in a neutral setting. A diverse group of highly qualified scholars presents Polish, Russian and third party expert views on the Katyñ murders in four panel sessions, followed by a round-table discussion.

+ BIO: Michael Scharf

Michael Scharf is the John Deaver Drinko - Baker & Hostetler Professor of Law, and Director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center, at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. In February 2005, Scharf and the Public International Law and Policy Group, a Non-Governmental Organization he co-founded and directs, were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by six governments and the Prosecutor of an International Criminal Tribunal for the work they have done to help in the prosecution of major war criminals, such as Slobodan Milosevic, Charles Taylor, and Saddam Hussein.

During the first Bush and Clinton Administrations, Scharf served in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State, where he held the positions of Attorney-Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence, Attorney-Adviser for United Nations Affairs, and delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. In 1993, he was awarded the State Department's Meritorious Honor Award "in recognition of superb performance and exemplary leadership" in relation to his role in the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

A graduate of Duke University School of Law (Order of the Coif and High Honors), and judicial clerk to Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat on the Eleventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, Scharf is the author of over seventy scholarly articles and thirteen books, including Balkan Justice, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1998, The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which was awarded the American Society of International Law's Certificate of Merit for the Outstanding book in International Law in 1999, Peace with Justice, which won the International Association of Penal Law Book of the Year Award for 2003, and Enemy of the State, which won the International Association of Penal Law Book of the Year Award for 2009. Scharf's most recent book is Shaping Foreign Policy in Times of Crisis (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Scharf has also testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Armed Services Committee; and his Op Eds have been published by the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, and International Herald Tribune. Recipient of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law Alumni Association's 2005 "Distinguished Teacher Award" and Ohio Magazine's 2007 "Excellence in Education Award," Scharf teaches International Law, International Criminal Law, the Law of International Organizations, and the War Crimes Research Lab which provides research assistance to five international tribunals.

+ BIO: David Crane

David M. Crane was appointed a professor of practice at Syracuse University College of Law in 2006 after having been a distinguished visiting professor for a year. He was the founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (2002-05), appointed by the Secretary General of the U.N., Kofi Annan. With the rank of Undersecretary General, Prof. Crane’s mandate was to prosecute those who bear the greatest responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international human rights committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone during the 1990’s. Among those he indicted was the President of Liberia, Charles Taylor, the first sitting African head of state to be held accountable. Prof. Crane was the first American since Justice Robert Jackson and Telford Taylor at Nuremberg, in 1945, to be Chief Prosecutor of an international war crimes tribunal.

Appointed to the U.S. Senior Executive Service in 1997, Prof. Crane has held numerous key positions, including Senior Inspector General, Department of Defense; Assistant General Counsel of the Defense, Intelligence Agency; and Waldemar A. Solf Professor of International Law at the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School. Prof. Crane teaches international criminal law, international law, international humanitarian law, and national security law. He is on the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, a joint venture with the Maxwell School of Public Citizenship at Syracuse University. Prof. Crane is on the leadership council of the American Bar Association’s International Law Section and is Chairman of its Blue Ribbon Panel on the International Criminal Court’s 2010 Review Session. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Association. In 2006-07, he founded Impunity Watch (www.impunitywatch.net) a law review and public service blog.

+ BIO: Maria Szonert-Binienda

Maria Szonert is the Founder and President of Libra Institute, Inc. She is also the President of Kresy-Siberia Foundation, USA. A law graduate of the of the University of Warsaw and Rutgers University, she worked as corporate counsel on privatization and restructuring in Eastern Europe and as a USAID capital markets specialist for Europe and Newly Independent States. Subsequently, she served as Vice President and Corporate Counsel for KeyCorp in Cleveland.

For the past decade she has been publishing extensively, drawing upon her post-graduate journalism training from the University of Warsaw. She collaborates with numerous papers, including a Polish-language cultural weekly Przegląd Polski, focusing on legal, historical and current affairs issues. She is the author of World War II Through Polish Eyes (EEM Columbia University Press 2002) and Null and Void; Poland: Case Study on Comparative Imperialism (University Press of America 2008).

+ BIO: Stephen Rapp

Stephen J. Rapp of Iowa is Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues. Appointed by President Obama, he was confirmed by the Senate, and assumed his duties on September 8, 2009. Prior to his appointment, he served as Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone beginning in January 2007, leading the prosecutions of former Liberian President Charles Taylor and other persons alleged to bear the greatest responsibility for the atrocities committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone. During his tenure, his office achieved the first convictions in history for sexual slavery and forced marriage as crimes against humanity, and for attacks on peacekeepers and for recruitment and use of child soldiers as violations of international humanitarian law.

From 2001 to 2007, Mr. Rapp served as Senior Trial Attorney and Chief of Prosecutions at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, personally heading the trial team that achieved convictions of the principals of RTLM radio and Kangura newspaper—the first in history for leaders of the mass media for the crime of direct and public incitement to commit genocide.

Mr. Rapp was United States Attorney in the Northern District of Iowa from 1993 to 2001, where his office won historic convictions under the firearms provision of the Violence Against Women Act and the serious violent offender provision of the 1994 Crime Act. Prior to his tenure as U.S. Attorney, he worked as an attorney in private practice and served as Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency and as an elected member of the Iowa Legislature.

He received his BA degree from Harvard College in 1971. He attended Columbia and Drake Law Schools and received his JD degree from Drake in 1974.

+ BIO: William Schabas

Professor William A. Schabas is director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where he also holds the chair in human rights law. He is also a Global Legal Scholar at the University of Warwick School of Law. He is a ’door tenant’ at the chambers of 9 Bedford Row, London.

Professor Schabas holds BA and MA degrees in history from the University of Toronto and LLB, LLM and LLD degrees from the University of Montreal, as well as honorary doctorates in law from Dalhousie University and Case Western Reserve University. Professor Schabas is the author of twenty-one books dealing in whole or in part with international human rights law, including Introduction to the International Criminal Court (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, 3 rd ed.), Genocide in International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2 nd ed., 2009), The Abolition of the Death Penalty in International Law (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 3 rd ed.), International Human Rights and Canadian Law (Toronto, Carswell, 2007, 3 rd ed.), The Death Penalty as Cruel Treatment and Torture (Boston, Northeastern University Press, 1996) and Précis du droit international des droits de la personne (Montréal, Éditions Yvon Blais, 1997). He received the Certificate of Merit of the American Society of International Law at its 2007 Annual Meeting for his book The UN International Criminal Tribunals: Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2006) . He has also published more than 250 articles in academic journals, principally in the field of international human rights law and international criminal law. His writings have been translated into several languages, including Russian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Nepali and Albanian.

Professor Schabas is editor-in-chief of Criminal Law Forum, the quarterly journal of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law. In 2009, he was elected President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. He is also the President of the Irish Branch of the International Law Association. Professor Schabas was a delegate of the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy to the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, 15 June-17 July 1998. Professor Schabas has often been invited to participate in international human rights missions on behalf of non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International (International Secretariat), the International Federation of Human Rights, and the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development to Rwanda, Burundi, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Cambodia and Guyana. He is the chair of the International Institute for Criminal Investigation and a member of the board of the International Institute for Human Rights (Strasbourg).

From 1991 to 2000, William Schabas was professor of human rights law and criminal law at the Département des sciences juridiques of the Université du Québec à Montréal, a Department he chaired from 1994-1998; he now holds the honorary position of professeur associé at that institution. He is also an honorary professor at the Law Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing. He has taught as a visiting or adjunct professor at McGill University, Université de Montréal, Cardozo Law School, LUISS University Rome, Queens University Belfast, Université de Montpellier, Université de Paris X-Nanterre, Université de Paris XI, Université de Paris II Pantheon-Assas, Dalhousie University, Université de Genève and the National University of Rwanda, and he has lectured at the International Institute for Human Rights (Strasbourg), the Canadian Foreign Service Institute, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre. He was a member of the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal from 1996 to 2000, and a member of the Quebec Bar from 1985 to 2005. Professor Schabas was a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington during the academic year 1998-99, and a visiting fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford in 2008. In 1998, Professor Schabas was awarded the Bora Laskin Research Fellowship in Human Rights by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

In May 2002, the President of Sierra Leone appointed Professor Schabas to the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, upon the recommendation of Mary Robinson, the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. In 2006, the Secretary-General of the United Nations appointed him a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Assistance in the Field of Human Rights.

Professor Schabas was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006. He was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2007.

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