Inter-State Cooperation in Prosecuting International Crimes

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Image-Based Evidence in International Criminal Prosecutions: Charting a Path Forward

 

Dr Alison Bisset and Dr Jonathan W. Hak

 

We are pleased to share more details of our next GCILS event, in which we welcome two excellent guest speakers, Dr Alison Bisset and Dr Jonathan W. Hak, who will present recent work.

Location: Room 207, 10 Professors’ Square

Time: 1.30pm, Thursday 14th March 2024

Registration: In-person attendance,please register via Bookitbee. Online via Zoom uofglasgow.zoom.us/j/81173636292 Request passcode to join meeting at gcils@glasgow.ac.uk 

Tea and coffee will be provided.

Dr Alison Bisset (Associate Professor in International Human Rights Law, University of Reading) will present her paper on the topic “Inter-State Cooperation in Prosecuting International Crimes – Lessons from UNTOC and UNCAC”.

Abstract

In May 2023, The Ljubljana-The Hague Convention on International Cooperation in the Investigation and Prosecution of the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes and other International Crimes was adopted to much acclaim. It creates a global framework for inter-state judicial cooperation on international crimes and will give ratifying states the technical tools to provide mutual legal assistance in sharing information and evidence, accessing victims, witnesses and assets, and extraditing suspects. The adoption of the Convention remedies the long-standing ‘cooperation gap’ around international crimes, in which the absence of a multilateral cooperation regime has frequently thwarted national investigations and prosecutions.

The Ljubljana-The Hague Convention borrows heavily from the UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) and the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in its extradition and mutual assistance provisions. The ILC’s Draft Articles on Crimes Against Humanity do likewise. However, UNTOC and UNCAC themselves appear to be seldom used as a basis for inter-state cooperation. This paper examines state practice in the use of UNTOC and UNCAC and considers the prospects for effective cooperation on international crimes using similar regimes.

 

About

Dr Alison Bisset is Associate Professor in International Human Rights Law at the University of Reading, UK. Her scholarship has examined issues relating to transitional justice, international children’s rights, and international judicial cooperation in the prosecution of international crimes.  She has published widely in leading international law journals on these topics and has acted as advisor to government departments, intergovernmental organisations, national armed forces, and civil society bodies. She is the author of Truth Commissions and Criminal Courts (Cambridge University Press, 2012, paperback 2014), and the editor (2014-) of Blackstone’s International Human Rights Documents, published by Oxford University Press. She has held visiting positions at the EUI, the Geneva Academy for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and the Universities of Oxford, London (Birkbeck), York, Lagos and Bhayangkara, Indonesia.

 

Dr Jonathan W. Hak (Barrister and Solicitor, International Imagery Law Lecturer) will present his book, titled  “Image-Based Evidence in International Criminal Prosecutions: Charting a Path Forward”.

 

Abstract

We are confronted daily with images of war, conflict, and crime. The sources of these images include victims, witnesses, members of civil society, investigators, combatants, and state entities. These images frequently exist in the largely unregulated open source environment where legitimate images compete with the triple threat of AI generated synthetic content, deepfakes, and shallowfakes. Image-based evidence can be extraordinarily valuable in the search for the truth, but the current approach to this evidence is fundamentally inadequate for truth seeking purposes. The use of image-based evidence in international criminal prosecutions is at a tipping point. This presentation will look at the challenges posed by image-based evidence and steps that must be undertaken to use it more effectively in the search for the truth. 

About

Jonathan W. Hak KC PhD is a barrister and solicitor who served as a Crown Prosecutor in Canada for over thirty years. He has extensive experience prosecuting serious and violent crime and utilizing image-based evidence in complex cases. He is an international imagery law lecturer who teaches extensively in the UK, US, Canada, Singapore, and other countries on the legal and practical considerations involved in the effective use of image-based evidence in criminal prosecutions. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at the University of Lethbridge in Canada.

 

Jonathan holds a Diploma in Criminal Justice from Mount Royal University, Canada; a BSc (with distinction) in Criminal Justice from California State University, USA; an LLB from the University of British Columbia, Canada; an LLM from the University of Cambridge; and a PhD in Law from Leiden University, Netherlands. The focus of his recent PhD work is on the use of non-textual evidence in international criminal prosecutions. He is the author of Image-Based Evidence in International Criminal Prosecutions: Charting a Path Forward, published by Oxford University Press in February 2024. Jonathan was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2006.

 

Feature Image: jbdodane via flickr,CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED