The Accountability of ‘Major Powers’ for Alleged Serious Violations of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: Challenges and Prospects

14:00 to 19:30
The Hague
Contact details

The University of Essex Human Rights Centre (Dr Carla Ferstman) and Ulster University's  Transitional Justice Institute (Dr Thomas Obel Hansen) are hosting this conference and launch of a discussion paper in The Hague.

The Hague Humanity Hub, Fluwelen Burgwal 58, 2511 CJ The Hague, Netherlands 1 October 2018, 14:00 – 19:30


2.30pmWelcome: Carla Ferstman, University of Essex
2.30pm to 4pm

Domestic Accountability Processes
This panel considers the challenges which have arisen when seeking accountability for serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law perpetrated by ‘major’ powers. The panelists address a series of country contexts, including e.g., the USA, the UK (including Northern Ireland), The Netherlands and elsewhere and will consider the strengths/weaknesses of the models of accountability favoured by such countries, such as public inquiries and parliamentary processes; public interest litigation (judicial review processes and civil claims against the government or other actors); claims against corporate actors; criminal proceedings.

Chair: Carla Ferstman, University of Essex

  • USA in Afghanistan and wider counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts: Katherine Gallagher, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Northern Ireland: Rory O’Connell, Director of the Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University
  • United Kingdom in Iraq: Rachel Kerr, Reader in International Relations and Contemporary War, King’s College London
  • The Netherlands: Göran Sluiter, Professor of International Criminal Law, University of Amsterdam
4pm to 4.15pmBreak
4.15pm to 5.45pm

The Role of the ICC in Promoting the Accountability of Major Powers
This panel considers the role of the ICC in promoting accountability in the context of allegations involving ‘major’ powers. In particular, the panel will consider the progress of preliminary examinations concerning Afghanistan, Iraq and Ukraine and what impacts can be discerned domestically.

Chair: Thomas Obel Hansen, Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University

  • Iraq and Palestine: Chantal Meloni, Legal Advisor, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
  • Ukraine: Wayne Jordash, QC, Managing Partner, Global Rights Compliance
  • Georgia: Nika Jeiranashvili, Executive Director, Justice International
  • Afghanistan: Katherine Gallagher, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights
5.45pm to 6pmLaunch of Discussion Paper: “The Accountability of UK military for Alleged Abuses in Iraq: Challenges and Prospects” Carla Ferstman, Thomas Obel Hansen and Noora Arajärvi
6pm to 7.30pmDrinks Reception