University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

New Summer 2016 Course: Theory and Practice of International Criminal Justice

BY Johanna Debari


Theory and Practice of International Criminal Justice
This course will be taught by Professors Dan Saxon and Predrag Dojčinović. It will be offered in Summer Session 2 of Summer 2016.

Course Description
This course aims to provide each student with a broad understanding of the complex challenges, successes and failures of international criminal courts.  Students will develop insights into the complex legal, political, philosophical, historical, military and cultural issues that may impact efforts to bring perpetrators of grave international crimes to justice. Besides, a strong emphasis on practice will prepare students to take part in the legal, analytical, investigative and other work within the international criminal justice system and in a variety of undergraduate and graduate fields of study at the University of Connecticut (including but not limited to Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, History, and Philosophy) as competent professionals.

The course provides a unique and innovative ‘hybrid’ combination of substantive and practical expertise rarely found in international law curricula. The term ‘hybrid’ refers to this course’s combination of the theory of international criminal law and procedure, the practical and political challenges of investigating, prosecuting and defending persons accused of the gravest international crimes, and finally of the capacities of international courts to further reconciliation and justice in national jurisdictions. In a pedagogical and operational sense, ‘hybrid’ also refers to the use of actual evidence (such as video recordings of public courtroom testimonies or government and military documents) from international criminal trials to illustrate the theoretical and practical issues that are the subject of lectures and discussions.  The course will be divided into a series of modules that reflect the primary theoretical and practical aspects of international criminal justice.

Biographical Information on Professors
Both Saxon and Dojčinović have extensive experience in the field of international criminal law.  Saxon has worked for more than 25 years in this field and, as a senior prosecutor at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (“ICTY”) led complex international investigations and prosecutions of persons suspected of responsibility for crimes against humanity and the violations of the laws of war. Dojčinović has worked for almost 20 years as a leadership research analyst at the ICTY, assisting prosecutors and investigators to understand the complex legal, political, historical and linguistic dynamics of the former Yugoslavia.  Furthermore, both instructors support their teaching with substantial academic expertise.  Saxon has held teaching appointments at the Universities of Cambridge, Utrecht and Leiden, and has published a number of works in the field of international law.  He is the editor of “International Humanitarian Law and the Changing Technology of War” (Martinus Nijhoff/Brill 2013).  Dojčinović has lectured widely in Europe and the United States, was the Gladstein Visiting Professor of Human Rights at the University of Connecticut in 2014, and is most recently the editor of “Propaganda, War Crimes Trials and International Law” (Routledge 2012).

For more information, please contact Professor Samuel Martinez (samuel.martinez@uconn.edu).