Douglass Cassel, Notre Dame Professor of Law and director of the Law School’s Center for Civil and Human Rights, says the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) issuance of an arrest warrant today for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir “may have serious diplomatic consequences, as several African governments have publicly suggested that they may reassess their support for the ICC if the warrant issues.” This is the first-ever arrest warrant for a sitting head of state issued by the ICC. Bashir was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.
“Ample evidence supports the ICC’s action,” says Cassel, who has followed the case closely. “This precisely the sort of case for which the ICC was created.”
Cassel is a scholar and practitioner of international human rights, international criminal and international humanitarian law. His scholarly articles in English and Spanish are published in the United States, Latin America and Europe, and he lectures at universities and conferences worldwide. On behalf of retired United States diplomats, and leading experts on international law, he has filed several amicus curiae briefs in the United States Supreme Court, involving the rights of prisoners at Guantanamo, and accountability for human rights violations under the Alien Tort Claims Act. He represents victims of human rights violations in Colombia, Guatemala, Peru and Venezuela, in cases before the Inter-American Commission and Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Cassel has served as Legal Advisor to the United Nations Commission on the Truth for El Salvador; Executive Council member of the American Society of International Law; co-chair of the International Committee of the Board of Directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Chair of the Independent International Panel on Alleged Collusion in Sectarian Killings in Northern Ireland; and consultant to the Department of State, Department of Justice, Ford Foundation, the President of the American Bar Association, and non-governmental human rights organizations. In 2000 and again in 2003, he was nominated by the US Government, and elected by the Organization of American States, to serve on the Board of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas, of which he was elected President. Since 2000 he has been President of the Due Process of Law Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., which promotes judicial reform throughout the hemisphere.
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