October 9, 2013
CICL Press Release
On Tuesday October 8, 2013, St. John’s Center for International and Comparative Law (CICL) hosted Hassan Jallow, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), who spoke to students and faculty about the work of the tribunal and international criminal justice.
Mr. Jallow has served as Prosecutor of the ICTR, headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania, since 2003. The ICTR was created in December 1994 by the UN Security Council to prosecute those responsible for the genocide and other international crimes that took place in Rwanda in early 1994. A native of The Gambia, Mr. Jallow previously served as The Gambia’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, a Judge of The Gambia’s Supreme Court, and an international legal expert who carried out a judicial evaluation of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, among many other positions.
Accompanying Mr. Jallow were James Arguin and Don Webster. Mr Arguin is the Chief of the Appeals and Legal Advisory Division within the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICTR. Prior to joining the ICTR, Mr. Arguin served as a prosecutor with the United States Department of Justice and Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, where he was appointed Chief of the Appeals Division. Mr. Webster has spent 14 years at the ICTR in the role of Senior Appeals Counsel and Senior Trial Attorney.
In his introductory remarks, Mr. Jallow addressed the ICTR’s completion strategy, through which the tribunal expects to complete all its judicial activities in the near future. He also discussed some of the major achievements and most difficult challenges faced by the tribunal. “Hearing from Prosecutor Jallow and his colleagues helped bring to life for students the important legal and political challenges to achieving international justice in the wake of atrocity,” said Professor Margaret E. McGuinness, co-director of CICL. “These are not abstract questions, but involve horrific facts and a tragic history that must be translated into a working judicial process with prosecutors, defendants, and judges that achieves some small measure of justice for the victims, a process -- Prosecutor Jallow emphasized -- that is by its nature imperfect.”
Mr. Jallow then joined Mr. Arguin, Mr. Webster, and Professor Alexander K. A. Greenawalt for a conversation, which included questions from Professor Greenawalt, students, and faculty in attendance. The conversation touched on topics of legitimacy of international tribunals in the states where atrocities occurred, whether the International Criminal Court will displace ad hoc tribunals in the future, and whether pro se litigants should be allowed to appear before the tribunals.
Reflecting on the important dialogue, Professor Greenawalt said: “The ICTR is a very special court and, as its longstanding prosecutor, Hassan Jallow has played a central role in its mission. We were very fortunate to benefit from his insights into the accomplishments and challenges of this unique institution, and of the still evolving field of international criminal law.”
Andrew Seaton, one of CICL’s Student Fellows, added: “We were incredibly fortunate to have this time with Mr. Jallow and his colleagues. So much of law school is concerned with learning broad doctrinal law. Speakers like Mr. Jallow afford students a meaningful glimpse into the practical, real-world applications of what we study in the classroom.”