Legal and Policy Tools for Preventing Atrocities

Legal and Policy Tools for Preventing Atrocities icon

Legal and Policy Tools for Preventing Atrocities

IMPACT:
national
client Office of Global Criminal Justice, U.S. Department of State instructors Beth Van Schaack
deliverables White Paper; Oral Briefing number of students 26 students (Law, ISP, CISAC)
deadline Spring 2015 quarters offered Winter, Spring

Overview

In 2012, at the U.S. Holocaust Museum and Memorial, President Obama announced the adoption of a comprehensive global strategy to prevent atrocities. This strategy is based on a set of recommendations generated by an interagency review of the U.S. government’s capabilities mandated by Presidential Study Directive 10 (PSD-10) of 2011. In unveiling this major new initiative, President Obama underscored that Preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States. Foundational to the PSD-10 recommendations was the creation of a high-level interagency Atrocities Prevention Board (APB) to monitor at-risk countries and emerging threats in order to coordinate the U.S. government’s responses thereto. Since being established in 2012, the APB has worked to amass and strengthen a range of legal, diplomatic, military, and financial tools for atrocity prevention. This policy lab would support the APB primarily through one of its constitutive entities, the Office of Global Criminal Justice (GCJ) in the U.S. Department of State. GCJ is headed by an Ambassador-at-Large (Assistant Secretary equivalent) and advises the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights on U.S. policy addressed to the prevention of, responses to, and accountability for mass atrocities. Students enrolled in the lab will pursue a range of projects devoted to (a) strengthening existing tools (such as hybrid accountability mechanisms and commissions of inquiry), (b) developing new capabilities (such as a global atrocities prevention sanctions regime), (c) evaluating the efficacy of past efforts in order to glean lessons learned, and (d) gathering best practices from other states and entities engaged in similar endeavors, all with an eye toward developing concrete recommendations for future action. The client is the Office of Global Criminal Justice in the State Department. Students may have the opportunity to travel to Washington to meet with the client and other government agencies involved in the APB and to present preliminary findings for feedback and additional direction.

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Clients & Deliverables

Clients:

Deliverables:

  • In-Class Oral Briefing of Client
  • Legal and Policy Memoranda

Students advised the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for the Office of Global Criminal Justice in the U.S. Department of State on the efficacy of standard policy tools in the prevention of, response to, and accountability for mass atrocities. Students pursued projects devoted to (a) strengthening existing tools (such as hybrid accountability mechanisms and commissions of inquiry), (b) developing new capabilities (such as a global atrocities prevention sanctions regime), (c) evaluating the efficacy of past efforts in order to glean lessons learned, and (d) gathering best practices from other states and entities engaged in similar endeavors, with the goal of offering concrete recommendations for future action.