Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

W&L Transnational Law Institute Presents Lecture on Children and International Criminal Law

The Washington and Lee Transnational Law Institute will present a public lecture by Prof. Diane Marie Amann of the University of Georgia Law School on Friday, March 7 at 2:00 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall. The title of Prof. Amann’s lecture is “Children and International Criminal Law.”

Prof. Amann is the Emily and Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law at the University of Georgia School of Law and Special Adviser to the International Criminal Court on Children in Armed Conflict. She teaches in the areas of the laws of war, international criminal law, public international law, criminal law, and juvenile law.

Since Dec. 2012, Prof. Amann has served as International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s Special Adviser on Children in Armed Conflict, although she speaks at W&L in her personal capacity. Before joining Georgia in 2011, Amann was a professor of law at the University of California-Davis, where she was founding director of the California International Law Center, a visiting professor of law at the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California-Los Angeles, the Irish Center for Human Rights (National University of Ireland-Galway) and professeur invitée at the Université de Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne).

Prof. Amann served as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and previously for the late Prentice H. Marshall of the U.S. District Court in Chicago. She is a former vice president of the American Society of International Law, the editor-in-chief of the Society’s Benchbook on International Law (2014) and the recipient of its 2013 Prominent Woman in International Law Award.

Prof. Amann’s lecture will emphasize how the wartime plight of children has formed a keystone of the work of the International Criminal Court. The Court’s first verdict, against a former rebel leader, focused exclusively on the war crimes of conscripting, enlisting, and using child soldiers. Those same crimes featured prominently in other early cases as well.

Outside the courtroom, the ICC Prosecutor joined UN officials and others in condemning a range of wartime offenses against girls and boys, including sexual violence, killing and maiming, and attacks on schools and hospitals. This attention contrasts with the relative disregard of children in the post-World War II tribunals at Nuremberg and Tokyo.

The lecture will explore both the reasons for this change and the challenges posed by this new institutional focus on children in and affected by armed conflict. Prof. Amann has published extensively on the subject, including an article “Children and the First Verdict of the International Criminal Court.”

The Transnational Law Institute, directed by Professor Mark Drumbl, was established in 2006 to support and coordinate teaching innovations, externships, internships, a speaker series and visiting faculty to help prepare students for the increasing globalization of legal practice.