Conference: Understanding the Historical Origins of International Criminal Law

Jakarta, 15 February 2014 — What are the main historical origins of international criminal law as a discipline of international law? The Human Rights Resource Centre, having formed an important partnership with the Centre for International Law Research and Policy to help those in the region to understand the history of war crimes prosecution, is proud to disseminate information on two conferences entitled “The Historical Origins of International Criminal Law.” Scheduled to be held in Hong Kong on 1-2 March and New Delhi on 29-30 November 2014, the conferences will explore the doctrinal, institutional, and societal foundations of international criminal law as a discipline of public international law.

The Hong Kong conference examines historical trials and events up to the post-World War II period. The New Delhi conference follows up by studying later trials and their contributions to international criminal law, the origins and development of core international crimes, and the evolution of different institutions created to address these crimes.

Each conference is held over two days, with leading judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and academics among the speakers. Along with Professor David Cohen, HRRC’s Special Advisor, the impressive list of experts includes Liu Daqun, Agnieszka Klonowiecka-Milart, David Re, Onuma Yasuaki, Geoffrey Robertson, Ling Yan, William Schabas, and Furuya Shuichi. 

The papers by 84 conference speakers, from more than 30 countries, will subsequently be published in two comprehensive volumes. This project mobilizes a broad exploration of the history of international criminal law, and contributes to the vertical consolidation of this discipline of international law.

The conferences are organized by the Centre for International Law Research and Policy, the European University Institute (Department of Law), and Peking University International Law Institute. City University of Hong Kong acts as co-organizer of the first conference, while Waseda University Law School is co-organizer of the second conference.

More information may be found at the FICHL webpage. Those wishing to attend may register with Ms. Tessa Bolton at