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University of Iowa News Release


June 5, 2009

Osiel discusses war crimes trials with International Criminal Court

University of Iowa law professor Mark Osiel recently lectured at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, about how to most effectively tie the plans top leaders most responsible for mass atrocities to the acts of their subordinates in a military or insurgent organization.  

Osiel, an expert on the law of war, was speaking before an audience of prosecutors and judicial personnel and was introduced by the Court's chief war crimes prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

Osiel said the question of tying leadership decisions to subordinates has much vexed all of the international criminal tribunals, where Osiel's work is widely read.

"It has been an exciting time to work in this field, which has seen so many the heartening developments in recent years, with all the current prosecutions here -- from Charles Taylor to Radovan Karadzic -- attracting so many engaged, young lawyers from everywhere on earth," Osiel said.

Osiel has written five books on the law of war and has also spoken at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He is currently serving a one-year appointment as director for International Criminal and Humanitarian Law at the T.M.C. Asser Institute, a think tank associated with the University of Amsterdam.  He returns to UI in July.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,