This talk will explore the origins, nature and effects of the war crimes investigative work of the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA), set up in 2011 to build case files against alleged suspects in the Syrian civil war.
The Commission’s highly secretive mode of operation and its non-governmental status raise questions about its contribution to accountability efforts in Syria (and Iraq) as well as the nature of conducting research in relation to such an organisation.
Here Michelle will reflect on the challenges the Commission presents both for international criminal justice as a field and for the scholarly field of socio-legal studies.
About the speaker
Michelle Burgis-Kasthala is a Research Fellow in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) and member of the Centre for International Governance and Justice (CIGJ). Before joining RegNet she spent six years in Scotland as a lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics at the University of St Andrews and then as a lecturer in Public International Law at the University of Edinburgh.
Her interests lie in the fields of critical international legal studies with a regional focus on the Arab world where she has lived and worked. Her doctoral thesis and then book (Brill, 2009) was entitled Boundaries of Discourse in the International Court of Justice: Mapping Arguments in Arab Territorial Disputes.
Her current project will interrogate the interrelationship between international criminal law, human rights law and transitional justice as registers of redress within the revolutionary context of the Arab Uprisings. She is also a Research School of Asia and the Pacific (RSAP) Fellow.