Lawyer for Human Rights Watch to Speak at Ithaca College
ITHACA, NY — A senior counsel for Human Rights Watch — one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights — will discuss the efficacy of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the promise of global justice in a talk at Ithaca College.
Elise Keppler will present “From Nuremberg to The Hague: The Trial of Charles Taylor and Beyond” on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in Clark Lounge, Egbert Hall. Her talk is free and open to the public.
Keppler works with the International Justice Program of Human Rights Watch. She is the author of fact-finding reports on the United Nations–backed Special Court for Sierra Leone and Uganda’s International Crimes Division, and played an integral role in advocating for former Liberian president Charles Taylor’s surrender to the Special Court. She works closely with civil society across Africa to combat unprincipled backlash to the ICC following arrest warrants for the Sudanese president for Darfur crimes.
In 2012, Taylor was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to 50 years in prison for aiding and abetting rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone during that nation’s civil war. He was the first former head of state to be convicted of war crimes by an international court since the Nuremberg trials of Nazis after World War II. Taylor calls the decision a travesty of justice and has appealed his conviction.
Prior to joining Human Rights Watch in 2004, Keppler worked as a litigation associate at the law firm of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP. From January to April of 2012, she served as a visiting scholar with the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit at the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Law, during which time she lectured on challenges for the future of international justice and national prosecutions of human rights abuses.
Her visit to Ithaca College is sponsored in part by the Honors Program.