Seeking Justice for Syrian Victims of War Crimes: Possibilities and Limitations of Universal Jurisdiction
Roger Lu Phillips, Human Rights Lawyer, Syria Justice and Accountability Centre
Since 2011, Syrians have witnessed widespread atrocities with an estimated 500,000 killed, tens of thousands disappeared and 12 million displaced from their homes. The International Criminal Court cannot prosecute Syrian war criminals, and international mechanisms created by the UN have no jurisdiction to prosecute. Into this void, European prosecutors in Special War Crimes units have invoked Universal Jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute those suspected of war crimes in Syria. Roger Lu Phillips, Legal Director at the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre, will discuss SJAC's work supporting Universal Jurisdiction prosecutions in Europe as well as its work ascertaining the fate of Syrian victims who have been detained or gone missing during the conflict.
About the speaker:
Roger Lu Phillips is a human rights lawyer at the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC). He leads SJAC's coordination with special war crimes units in Europe that have undertaken the prosecution of atrocity crimes committed during the Syrian conflict through the exercise of Universal Jurisdiction. Prior to joining SJAC, Mr. Phillips served for ten years as a United Nations lawyer at two international criminal tribunals in Cambodia and for Rwanda.
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