Curriculum Guide · Courses
International Law, Human Rights & Fighting Impunity: Fighting War Crimes & Economic Crimes
Professor Mark Vlasic
LL.M Seminar 761 (cross-listed) | 1 credit hours
This course will explore the global fight against impunity -- specifically, as it pertains to curbing war crimes, human rights violations, grand corruption and looted antiquities -- through class discussions, lectures and guest speakers with personal experience in fighting the impunity that is so often associated with war crimes and economic crimes. It is based on the premise that those that are willing to slaughter thousands of innocents, are also willing to steal millions of dollars and loot our collective cultural heritage – and that the fight against impunity includes both war crimes and economic crimes (and often, the international trend to focus on the former, ignores the domestic interest in prosecuting the latter). Over the semester, students in a seminar-size class will be exposed to the basics of international criminal law, international human rights law and international economic crimes, as well how the fight against impunity impacts national security and foreign policy issues. The class will focus on issues related to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, as well as the recent global efforts to fight grand corruption and recover looted assets and antiquities, including UN Convention Against Corruption and the new UN-World Bank Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative. Students will be allowed to write a paper of their choice regarding international law and the fight against impunity. Class grades will be a combination between class participation (40%) and a seminar paper (60%). Required readings (cases, statutes, articles, book excerpts, on-line treaties, etc.) will be illuminated by lecture and discussion from a professor with first-hand experience in the global fight against impunity through his personal experience with the Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein and Omar al-Bashir matters, as well his background with the UN war crimes tribunal, the White House, the Pentagon, and the World Bank’s StAR Initiative, and helping recover stolen assets on behalf of various governments. In order to take advantage of Georgetown’s unique position in the intersection of law, politics, and international affairs, the course will feature high-profile guest speakers who will highlight their own personal efforts to fight impunity and how such international efforts impact national security and foreign policy matters.
Prerequisite: International Law I or equivalent
This course will meet on the following days during the Spring 2016 semester: 1/26, 2/2, 2/23, 3/1, 3/15, 3/22, and 3/29. Please note that the class session on 2/9 is cancelled, and has been rescheduled for 3/29. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.