10. Intergovernmental Organizations: The United Nations (October 13, 15 and 18)
a) Scott, Chapter 3
b) Kirgis, “The United Nations at Fifty: The Security Council’s First Fifty Years,” 89 American Journal of International Law 506 (1995)(posted on Blackboard)
The nations of the world have created, by treaty, organizations that are empowered to enforce treaty or international legal obligations. Of these international organizations, the United Nations may be the most ambitious joint venture of nations. The United Nations exists to facilitate cooperation in international law, security, economic development, human rights and to promote peaceful resolution of disputes.
We will look at the main institutions through which the UN seeks to accomplish its mission: the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Secretariat and the International Court of Justice. We will consider instances where the UN has acted to enforce international law and preserve world peace and discuss how effective it has been in carrying out its mission.
11. War Crimes in Pre-World War II History (October 20)
Background reading (skim) - Maogoto – Chapters 1 and 2
This Segment will involve primarily a lecture format that discusses the conduct of war, particularly as it affects civilian populations. It will provide an introduction to the cruel effects of war that were inflicted upon civilian populations. We will consider states’ efforts, prior to World War II, to craft treaties and create international organizations to achieve the goal of reducing the war’s harsh effects and, indeed, to attempt to eliminate war, itself. World War II demonstrates the failure of these efforts and, in its wake, led to renewed efforts to pre...
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We will look at how the United Nations sought to deal with the violence in Rwanda. We will reflect on how, given the United Nations’ decision to intervene in Rwanda, the genocide was permitted to occur. What defense can the United Nations assert to charges that it is responsible for the genocide, or at least failing to intervene effectively? We will also consider the response of the United States to the genocide in Rwanda.
We will also look at the post-genocidal response of the United Nations – the International Criminal Tribunal – Rwanda (“ICTR”). We will look at the charges brought by the ICTR, the evidence submitted in cases alleging crimes against humanity and war crimes and the provisions of international law that allow international tribunals to try individuals for these crimes and, if found guilty, to punish them.