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Challenges in Prosecuting International Crimes: A Case Study from Uganda

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Dr Ger Coffey Course Director LL.M./M.A. Human Rights in Criminal Justice and Paul Bradfield, Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), International Criminal Court.

Paul Bradfield delivered a guest lecture titled “Challenges in Prosecuting International Crimes: A Case Study from Uganda” on the 11th February, to LL.M. /M.A. Human Rights in Criminal Justice students, and staff in the School of Law and Centre for Crime, Justice & Victim Studies. Paul delivered a very interesting and informative lecture on the mandate for the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is to prosecute the most serious crimes of concern to the international community that shock the conscience of humanity. Particular focus was on The Prosecutor v Dominic Ongwen case that is currently before the Court – first former child soldier to be tried at the ICC arguing that he is a victim rather than a perpetrator.

Students benefited greatly from the exchange of ideas and gained valuable insights into the jurisdiction and selected cases before the ICC. The event was organised by Dr Ger Coffey Course Director LL.M./M.A. Human Rights in Criminal Justice masters programme and member of the Centre for Crime, Justice & Victim Studies

The ICC is the world’s first permanent international criminal court established since July 2002 with jurisdiction to try individuals accused of some of the most serious international crimes detailed in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the accompanying Elements of Crimes. These crimes are genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. The ICC is subject to the principle of complementarity, which means the Court can only exercise its jurisdiction where the State Party is unable or unwilling genuinely to prosecute suspects.

Paul Bradfield is a graduate of NUI Galway (BA/LLB), UCC (LLM Criminal Justice) and King’s Inns (Barrister-at-Law). He has worked as a defence lawyer at the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, and for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania. He also spent five years working as a Prosecution lawyer at the International Criminal Court, working on cases from the Democratic republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda. Away from the courts, Paul spent one year as an Irish Aid UN Volunteer working for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in northern Uganda, and in Malawi for Irish Rule of Law International, working to increase access to justice. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway.

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