Law Faculty of Udayana University and HRRC Host Studium Generale on International Criminal Law

Denpasar, 30 January 2015—The Master of Laws Program of the Law Faculty of Udayana University held in cooperation with the HRRC a Studium Generale on International Criminal Law. In her remarks preceding the lecture, Dr. Ni Kt. Supasti Dharmawan, SH.,M.Hum.,LLM, Head of the Master of Laws Program, expressed her appreciation of the event and noted that it was made possible by the HRRC’s on-going cooperation with the University. She conveyed her hope that the cooperation would continue to flourish and the Centre would assist the development of law students at Udayana University, including by holding more Studium Generales on current legal issues being researched by the HRRC or topics that its experts are knowledgeable on.

During the one and a half hour lecture, Professor David Cohen, a Special Advisor of the HRRC, gave a presentation on Recent Developments in International Case Law: The Responsibility of Military Commanders. Attended by approximately one hundred law students from bachelor’s and master’s programs as well as doctoral candidates, the Studium Generale discussed the different forms of individual responsibility in war crimes after World War II. Professor Cohen emphasized the importance of command responsibility as the doctrine enables prosecution of the most responsible in war crimes, including genocide and crimes against humanity. He also referred to more recent ICTY jurisprudence, including the appeal judgments of General Gotovina, General Perisic and Sainovic, to highlight different perspectives developing with regard to whether or not “specific direction” to field perpetrators is a necessary element for a commander to be found guilty of aiding and abetting an attack. The Professor concluded that international criminal tribunals are relatively new institutions. Standards are still developing and the same can be said about the doctrine of command responsibility.