PSIA Innovative Capstone on International Crimes and Counter Terrorism

Dr Sharon Weill and her students conducted, as part of their course, field research in Senegal on the Habré trial in collaboration with the Human Rights Centre of Berkeley. 


As part of a joint research project run by Dr Sharon Weill (PSIA, Capstone on International Crimes and Counter Terrorism,) and Kim Seelinger (Human Rights Centre, UC Berkeley) entitled “The challenges and opportunities for prosecuting international crimes in national courts”, a research team including PSIA students conducted field research in Dakar, Senegal, where former Chadian President Hissène Habré was recently convicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture. 

In recent years, an increasing number of national courts are prosecuting international crimes. This joint PSIA-Berkeley project aims at examining the role of national jurisdictions in providing accountability for international crimes, beginning with the case of Hissène Habré, who was prosecuted by the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal.

A research team composed of researchers and students from PSIA and Berkeley conducted field research in Dakar during the second week of February. They interviewed over 25 interviews persons involved in the Habré process including the former Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, judges in the investigatory and trial chambers of the Extraordinary African Chambers, the Prosecutor, defense and victims’ legal teams, donors, NGOs, representative of the Senegalese bar association, law Professors and journalists, all with the aim of investigating the impact of this exceptional trial on the Senegalese local judiciary.

Prior to going in the field, the team organized an expert workshop in Paris at PSIA, Sciences Po. The workshop was held on February 10, 2017 and gathered researchers, students and key international law experts and practitioners who were involved in the Habré case. 

The project is carried out in collaboration with Dr Kerstin Carlson (iCourts, University of Copenhagen) and the Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme, and the participation of the students of Dr Sharon Weill (Capstone course on international crimes and counter terrorism), and the students of Kim Thuy Seelinger from UC Berkeley.  

Among the different projects of the course "Capstone on International Crimes and Counter Terrorism" taught by Dr Sharon Weill, please read a full final report on “Terrorisme et état d’urgence en France - Analyse de la jurisprudence” written by some of the students and the annexes.

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