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U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski delivered the Handa Center’s annual public lecture on human rights to a packed house on Feb. 3 at the Stanford Humanities Center.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski

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Friday, May 6: The Responsibility of Success

Five-time Olympic Gold Medalist Ian Thorpe to discuss his work on various human rights issues, including combatting human trafficking and supporting indigenous and LGBT rights.

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The WSD HANDA Center for Human Rights and International Justice is dedicated to promoting the rule of law, accountability, and human rights around the world through education, critical scholarship, and policy advocacy. Seated within Stanford University’s School of Humanities and Sciences, the Handa Center supports academic and professional development opportunities for students interested in pursuing work in human rights or international justice. The Center offers career and academic advising, research opportunities, campus events, and student fellowship funding. The Center also invites student participation in a diverse portfolio of international programs, including innovative digital archival resource development efforts, justice sector capacity-building, civil society outreach initiatives, and international criminal trial monitoring. The Center focuses its resources on projects aimed at making sense of the past, coming to terms with periods of violent social upheaval, and building institutions that will promote justice. The Handa Center succeeds and carries on the work of the University of California at Berkeley’s War Crimes Studies Center, which was established by Professor David Cohen in 2000 before moving to Stanford as the Handa Center at the end of 2013.

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  • Mar 29, 2016

    On 12 February 2016, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a ruling granting a Defense request to exclude certain prior recorded testimony from evidence pursuant to amended Rule 68 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (RPE). In doing so, the Appeals Chamber unanimouisly reverse a prior Trial Chamber decision to admit this evidence despite allegations that doing so would violate the Rule 51(4) prohibition against retroactively applying ammended RPE to the detriment of an accused. The trial of William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang, charged with crimes against humanity (murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population and persecution) allegedly committed in the context of the 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya, commenced in late 2013.

    The decision is noteworthy, since this was the first time that amended Rule 68 was being adjudicated before the Appeals Chamber, and the subject of witness tampering and the reliability of testimonial evidence has been highly controversial at the ICC. It is important to understand this new piece of jurisprudence, insofar as it will certainly impact the investigative practices and trial procedure at the ICC in general. Moreover, given the apparent importance of these witnesses for the Prosecution case, the Appeals Chamber decision is likely to affect the outcome of the Defense’s pending ‘no case to answer’ motion. In anticipation of the Trial Chamber’s decision on that mid-trial motion, this report offers a close analysis of the key legal and procedural issues raised throughout the proceedings on the admissibility of the prior recorded statements. It explains in detail the submissions by the parties, the reasoning by Trial Chamber V(a) in its decision of 19 August 2015, and the judgment issued by the Appeals Chamber on 12 February 2016. 

  • Mar 24, 2016

    In September 2013, the East-West Center’s collaborative project with the WSD HANDA Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University — the Asian International Justice Initiative (AIJI) – partnered with the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Khmer Mekong Films (KMF) and the Cambodian Defenders Project (CDP) and commenced the implementation of the Voices for Reconciliation: Promoting Nationwide Dialogue on the Khmer Rouge Past through the Mass Media and Community-Level Survivor Networks project, a two-year project funded by USAID. Using outreach-friendly television broadcasting of the Khmer Rouge (KR) trials in Cambodia in conjunction with community-based dialogue meetings, the Project aimed to 1) increase community awareness and understanding of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) trials, 2) empower conflict-affected groups to create spaces for dialogue at the community level, and 3) build the necessary capacities among those groups and civil society intermediaries to create environments favorable for longer-term reconciliatory processes beyond the ECCC. The Project engaged with ADHOC’s Civil Party Representative Scheme, which supports a network of Civil Parties (CPs) and Civil Party Representatives (CPRs) who are party to the ECCC proceedings.1 To achieve the objectives, the Project had a three-prong strategy: 1) the production and broadcasting of television programs and media outreach to the general population, 2) the organization of community-based dialogue meetings using outreach films to inform Cambodians in rural areas about the ECCC and its developments, and 3) capacity building to civil society groups and 46 CPRs who were directly involved with the Project. This report was produced as part of an evaluation of the Project in Cambodia, and involved an assessment of the Project outcomes in relation to the participation of the CPs and CPRs in the Project and lessons learned from the Project implementation.

  • Feb 15, 2016

    This week, the Trial Chamber resumed after nearly one month of recess due to the appeal hearings in Case 002/01 and a subsequent week’s break for the Water Festival.  Three individuals appeared before the Chamber: one witness concerning his experience at the Trapeang Thma Dam worksite (TTD), followed by one Civil Party and one witness concerning the treatment of the Vietnamese. 

  • Feb 15, 2016

    The Trial Chamber moved through proceedings swiftly this week, marking the first time a week was devoted entirely to testimony about the treatment of the ethnic Vietnamese during the DK period.  Over the course of four days, the Chamber heard evidence from a total of five individuals, keeping strictly to time in an apparent effort to maintain efficiency in the lead up to the Christmas break.  Witnesses included Mrs. Sao Sak, Civil Party Choeung Yaing Chaet, Prum Sarun, and Oum Son. No major legal or procedural issues held up proceedings this week, however the Defense Teams, particularly that of Nuon Chea, made a number of small objections and on several occasions expressed doubt about the veracity of the testimony they were hearing.

  • Feb 15, 2016

    This week the Trial Chamber continued to hear testimony on the treatment of the Vietnamese before adjourning for two weeks for the Christmas break.  The week began with Witness Sin Chhem, a 79-year-old woman from Svay Rieng province, whose husband was a Commune Chief during the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) regime.  Next the Chamber heard from Witness Ey Von and Witness 2-TCW-1000. This Witness testified under a pseudonym due to the Trial Chamber’s prior ruling on the confidentiality of witnesses who have been introduced to Case 002/02 after the investigations into Cases 003 and 004.