The ICC - Towards International Justice and Ending Impunity

Wednesday 23 July 2008

Jointly-presented by Australian Red Cross and The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at UniSA

Delivered by Dr Helen Durham, Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne

Followed by the launch of the exhibition: Women and War in the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery

Unedited audio transcript available here (mp3 format - 24Mb).

In July 1998, the international community agreed a statute for an International Criminal Court (ICC).

Now in The Hague, the ICC is the first permanent institution created to prosecute those accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity and represents a significant step towards international justice.

However questions remain about how the ICC actually works and the impact of such prosecutions upon victims and survivors of such atrocities. Dr Helen Durham, who attended the negotiations in New York and Rome as part of the International Committee of the Red Cross delegation, will discuss the notion of international criminal law, the process of creating the ICC and the implications of this Court for the future. Helen will also address the provisions for the prosecution of sexual crimes against women - a significant development in the ICC and thematically linked with the launch of the ICRC Women & War photographic exhibition immediately following her presentation. 

Event flier attached (pdf format)

Dr Helen Durham, who was a member of Red Cross delegations that contributed to the ICC negotiations in New York and Rome, will discuss the notion of international criminal law, the process of creating the ICC and its implications for the future.

As ICRC Regional Legal Advisor, Helen assisted Governments in the Pacific region ratify and implement IHL treaties and she continues to provide advice to the ICRC in this regard. During her time with ICRC Helen has undertaken short field missions in places such as Burma and Aceh.

Currently, Helen is the Program Director for Research and Development at the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law (APCML) and a Senior Research Fellow. She has a Doctorate of Juridical Science from The University of Melbourne. Her studies involved research at New York University, the UN and the ICTY in the Hague for which she was a recipient of a Evans Grawemeyer Scholarship and a Queens Trust Fellowship.

Her major research interests are in the area of international public law and include international humanitarian law and international criminal law. Helen teaches 'Women, War and Peacebuilding' and 'International Criminal Law' in the LLM program and she is also engaged in research on the legal framework for the international deployment of Australian Federal Police.

Tina Dolgopol, Associate Professor of Law at The Flinders University of South Australia, will launch the Women & War exhibition following the presentation by Dr Durham. Tina has published in the fields of human rights, children's rights and women in armed conflict. From 1997 to 2000 she participated in the work of the Women's Caucus for Gender Justice to improve the gender provisions in the Statute establishing the International Criminal Court as well as the Rules of Procedure and the Elements of Crime Annexes to the Statute.

During December 2000 she was one of the Chief Prosecutors for the Women's International War Crimes Tribunal held in Tokyo. She is on the Advisory Council of the Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice, an organisation that seeks to ensure that the workings of the International Criminal Court encompass the rights and concerns of women.

While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: strengthening our democracy - valuing our cultural diversity - and building our future.