“New Opportunities for International Justice”: David M. Crane Hosts the International Humanitarian Law Dialogues

SU College of Law students Sarah Lafen 3L and Anna Patton 3L, members of Impunity Watch, stand with Professor David M. Crane at the 2017 IHL Dialogues in Chautauqua, NY.

As a Director of The Robert H. Jackson Center, located in Jamestown, NY, INSCT Faculty Member David Crane, Founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, was on hand to open the International Humanitarian Law Dialogues on Aug. 27, 2017, at the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York. The annual event, now in its 11th year, gathers current and former international war crimes tribunal prosecutors, renowned academicians, and law experts to speak on current issues in international criminal law.

The theme of this year’s Dialogues is “Changing Times: New Opportunities for International Justice and Accountability.”

The event opened with the conferring of The Joshua Heintz Award for Humanitarian Achievement, bestowed on Zainab Hawa Bangura in recognition of her distinguished service to mankind and her achievement in the field of international justice. As the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict from June 2012 to April 2017, Bangura worked—and continues to work—in the pursuit of justice for victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity, both in her native Sierra Leone and around the world.

University at Buffalo School of Law Dean Aviva Abramovsky—a former faculty member at Syracuse University College of Law—accepted the award on behalf of Bangura, who was not able to travel due to a recent humanitarian disaster in her native country.

A second keynote event was a first-time group interview with Andrew Cayley, Robert Petit, and Nick Koumijian, former and current chief international co-prosecutors for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). The ECCC—referred to as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal—was established by the UN and the Cambodian government to bring to trial those responsible for atrocities committed during the Khmer Rouge regime, during which an estimated 1.7 million people were killed.

The Dialogs conclude on August 28 and 29 with public seminars and lectures held on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution.

The Robert H. Jackson Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting liberty under law through the examination of the life and work of Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, Chief US Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials following World War II.

The 10th Chautauqua Declaration

The culmination of the IHL Dialogues was the issuance of the 10th Chautauqua Declaration. The ceremony was moderated by James Silkenat, representing the American Bar Association. The Declaration was executed by representatives of all the International Criminal Tribunals, including Professor David M. Crane.

 

“Journalism & International Justice”: David M. Crane Lectures at Chautauqua

(The Chautauquan Daily | July 17, 2017) In 2013, Charles Taylor, the former president of the West African nation Liberia, was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity for subjecting the people of Sierra Leone to murder, mutilation, rape and sexual slavery. Estimates vary, but it is believed that more than 50,000 people were killed, several hundred thousand were maimed or wounded and 2.5 million were displaced in a nation of 6 million during 11 years of conflict.

“If they call me tomorrow, I could prosecute Assad.”

Taylor is the only sitting head of state ever to be convicted on such charges, according to David M. Crane, the chief prosecutor in the case. He was appointed by Kofi Annan, then-secretary general of the United Nations, at the recommendation of the Security Council, to create and manage the independent Special Court for Sierra Leone. Besides Taylor, the leaders of three other factions in the war were also convicted of war crimes, including the widespread forced conscription of children as fighters.

Why was Crane chosen?

“That’s the $25 question,” he said. “(Former U.S. secretary of state) Colin Powell told me that I had a reputation for creating new organizations and driving them forward toward success.”

At 3:30 p.m. [on July 18, 2017] in the Hall of Philosophy, Crane will discuss his work and address the theme “Journalism & International Justice” as part of the Oliver Archives Heritage Lecture Series. He will be joined by the television and newspaper journalist Brian Rooney, the winner of four Emmy and two Edward R. Murrow awards. A renowned expert in international criminal law and a professor of that subject at Syracuse University’s law school, Crane said he chose the topic because of “the role of the press in bringing atrocities to light. Without the press, politicians would just cover them up.”

While Taylor is the only head of state to be tried and convicted by an international tribunal, Crane — along many other human rights advocates and legal scholars — hopes he will not be the last. Crane created and has headed the Syrian Accountability Project at Syracuse University since the beginning of the civil war in Syria in 2011. The group has built a huge database and index matrix cataloguing war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad and the leaders of 13 fighting factions. The group, which has verified 8,000 pages of individual war-crime incidents, has been praised by the U.S. Congress and the United Nations for its work, and could be called upon to assist in any potential tribunal.

“If they call me tomorrow, I could prosecute Assad,” said Crane, who served in the U.S. military and worked for 30 years on national security issues and policy for the Department of Defense and congressional intelligence committees …

Read the full article here …

International prosecutor David M. Crane to discuss media and war crimes

Tara Helfman Appointed to DOJ Civil Rights Position

INSCT Faculty Member and Associate Professor of Law Tara Helfman has been named Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the US Department of Justice (DOJ).  

Helfman—who is currently serving as a Visiting Scholar at Georgetown Law—will commence work at DOJ headquarters in Washington, DC, this month
 
As a member of the Civil Rights Division, Helfman will defend the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans by upholding the Constitution and enforcing federal civil rights law. This prestigious appointment complements her extensive scholarship in constitutional law.  

“From the Farm to the Schoolhouse” with Catherine Bertini

INSCT Faculty Member Catherine Bertini was recently interviewed for the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI) Nourishing Millions podcast series.

In the episode, “From the Farm to the Schoolhouse,” Bertini explains how education is central to creating opportunities for girls and women as key players in the effort to end hunger and malnutrition …

… we talk with Catherine Bertini, professor at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and 2003 World Food Prize Laureate, about the many challenges that face women living in low- and middle-income countries today.

Professor Bertini details the role of women as the cooks and caregivers of the household, and laborers within agriculture, dual roles that make them critical to ending hunger and malnutrition. She proposes that girls’ and women’s education is the foremost step to creating not only opportunities for women, but also increasing the agricultural productivity and economic opportunities within their countries.

The episode relates some innovative solutions to ensuring that families keep their daughters in school, and Professor Bertini’s vision of a world in which all women can lead fulfilling lives.

Syracuse Law Associate Professor Nathan A. Sales Nominated to Lead US Counterterrorism Bureau

Nathan Sales
Nathan Sales

The White House announced last week its intention to nominate Syracuse University College of Law associate professor Nathan Sales as the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism. Professor Sales previously served as deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security and as senior counsel in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy

“Professor Sales’ experience serving in high-level government roles, his academic background and overall expertise in national security and counterterrorism make him a strong candidate for this important position,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud. “Professor Sales’ nomination is another instance of Syracuse University faculty playing important roles in shaping public policy, creating change and positively impacting the tone and discourse of our national dialogue.”

Professor Sales, a Duke University Law School graduate, joined the Syracuse College of Law faculty as an associate professor in 2014. He previously served as an assistant professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.  He teaches and writes in the fields of national security law, counterterrorism law, administrative law and constitutional law.

“It is an honor to be nominated for such a critical position in our government,” says Syracuse Law Dean Craig M. Boise. “As a faculty member in our Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, Professor Sales is part of an interdisciplinary team that is at the forefront of research and analysis in the fields of national and international security and counterterrorism.  Professor Sales possesses the relevant national security expertise and legal acumen coupled with the international perspective needed to be an effective counterterrorism leader. We look forward to assisting him as he transitions to this important role.”

William C. Banks Presents to NYCLA “National Security in a Cyber World” Course

INSCT Director William C. Banks was one of the distinguished faculty at the June 16, 2017, New York County Lawyers Association Continuing Legal Education Institute short course “Cyber Warfare, Fake News, Corporate Data Collection, Wikileaks, Hacks, and Immigration: National Security in a Cyber World.”

The program informed members of the public, lawyers, corporations, and national security practitioners about the latest developments in the area of national security. Banks’ “conversation with the author” discussed his latest book, Soldiers on the Home Front. Other topics addressed in a busy schedule included:

  • ‘The Refugee Threat to National Security: Real or Hyped?
  • Are Cybersecurity Attacks Warfare?
  • Is Hacking Espionage or Warfare?
  • Data, Big Data, Metadata, and Game Theory
  • Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Capture Your Data and Control Your World
  • The Role of the Media in the World of Fake News
  • Balancing Counterterrorism, Immigration, National Security, and Safety
  • Does Miranda Still Apply in National Security and Public Safety Cases?
  • Cyber Insurance, Data Protection, and Lawyers’ Ethical Obligations
  • Data Breach and Ransomware Demonstration

Banks will be joined by Program Chair Mark B. Rosen, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Brig. Gen. (Res.) Eli Ben Meir, Israeli Defense Forces Intelligence Corps; John Cronan, Chief, Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit, US Attorney’s Office Southern District of NY; Colleen C. Piccone, Associate Chief Counsel, US Customs and Border Protection; Bruce Schneier, Chief Technology Officer, IBM Resilient; and Patrick Toomey, ACLU National Security Project, among others.

 

Need to Know: David M. Crane Explains Security Clearances & Classification with Spectrum

Security Gaffes in the White House Cause Intelligence Expert Grave Concern

(Spectrum | May 22, 2017) This is a special edition of SPECTRUM featuring intelligence expert, David Crane. The way President Trump is dismissive of “intelligence briefings” and makes disclosure decisions without prior consultation with intelligence experts causes grave concern to a long time security veteran.

Recently, the news has focused on security gaffes in the White House. Some reports have said that President Trump gave the Russians intelligence information that was classified at the highest level of secrecy.

It is reported, by Trump’s National Security Advisor, that he made the decision to do so “on-the-spot” without any prior consultation with his security team. His National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said at a press briefing that before making the disclosures, the President did not know the source of the information or from where the information came.

Although McMaster claims the President’s disclosures to the Russians were “wholly appropriate,” many experts question the wisdom of such spur-of-the moment Presidential decisions to share highly secretive information without consulting with the security team first.

To understand exactly what happened and what the “intelligence terminology” we hear means, we’ve called in an expert — David Crane.

Crane spent over three decades in top-level Intelligence work for the government. He helped create and was the founding director of the Office of Intelligence Review in the Department of Defense. He is an international law specialist and has acted as a prosecutor of war crimes for the United Nations.

Crane is very concerned about how this Administration is handling intelligence and what the dire ramifications could be. He is troubled by the President’s seemingly casual attitude about “intelligence” and his dismissive policies toward “briefings” by veteran intelligence officers. He also describes how the President’s mishandling of critical information can put other countries and individuals in jeopardy as well as the United States.

http://www.npr.org/podcasts/486931216/spectrum

Tremendous Integrity: William C. Banks Discusses Robert Mueller’s Appointment with Bloomberg

Robert Mueller Garners Bipartisan Support in New Role

Former Massachusetts Governor and principal and ML Strategies William Weld and William Banks, director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse Law School, discuss the selection of Robert Mueller to lead the Justice Department investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. Presidential election. They speak June Grasso and Greg Stohr on Bloomberg Radio’s “Bloomberg Law.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/audio/2017-05-18/robert-mueller-garners-bipartisan-support-in-new-role-audio

Detailed Record: Syria Deeply Interviews David M. Crane

Collecting Evidence of War Crimes in Syria

(Syria Deeply | May 18, 2017) The Syrian Accountability Project (SAP) at Syracuse University doesn’t know about weekends. “It’s a seven-day-a-week operation,” says project leader and law professor David Crane. The SAP team updates its extensive database constantly and provides quarterly reports to its clients, “which are the United Nations, the [U.S.] Office of the Legal Advisor, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as various countries,” he says.

Since 2011 the SAP has been documenting war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria. “It’s a neutral effort. We’re not looking at one side or the other, we’re building a trial package against anyone who commits war crimes and crimes against humanity,” says Crane. The trial package is for domestic or international prosecutors in the future who decide to bring a case to court.

Crane is confident that it will happen, it might just take a little longer. He’s got experience.

As founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Crane helped to send Charles Taylor to prison. He created SAP as an organization using “the tried and proven techniques of what we did in West Africa and apply them to the Syrian civil war.”

Syria Deeply spoke with Crane about SAP’s latest research on Aleppo, its techniques and quality control and his viewpoint on the chances of prosecuting war crimes in the context of the Syrian crisis

Syria Deeply: In your latest report “Covered in Dust, Veiled by Shadow: The Siege and Destruction of Aleppo” you provide a historical narrative of the city, going as far back as the 3rd millennium B.C. to when it was known as Ha-lam. Why did you decide to look back so far?

David M. Crane: Like all white papers these are information assets for people who know nothing about Aleppo to people who are deeply involved and everything in between. The purpose is to inform, for example, a policymaker, a diplomat or someone who is in the international criminal business and to allow someone who is not informed at all to read through the white paper and have a basic overview – a four corners overview – of what took place in Aleppo over the past six, seven months. We wanted to also give the important historical context of Aleppo and the tragedy of the destruction of this ancient city.

Syria Deeply: What methodology and tools did you and your team use?

Crane: We work with researchers, investigators and criminal information analysts. We used the same techniques, the same analysis and data collection that we had been using for well over six years, and that is through various sources. We have an incredible amount of data at our fingertips.

We have what we call open source material, which is data that is currently available on the web, social media and what have you. We also have what we call walk-in information; in other words, we received on a regular basis individuals who report to us incidents and situations they want to bring to our attention. Then we have our clandestine methodologies; we’ve been developing an information network within Syria that is reporting to us through clandestine means.

We use this data to build a trial package or, if we have a particular incident that needs international attention and assertion, to create white papers. We did one for the chemical attack [in Khan Sheikhoun]. We had a white paper out within 14 days after the chemical attack

To read the whole article, click here.