Co-Chair
Steven Powles

Co-Chair
Natalie
von Wistinghausen

War Crimes Committee

The IBA’s War Crimes Committee is the only IBA committee of its kind focused specifically on international criminal law. The committee works alongside the IBA Human Rights Institute to promote justice around the world and uphold the principle of accountability.

About the Committee

The IBA’s War Crimes Committee is the only IBA committee of its kind focused specifically on atrocity crimes, and international criminal law and practice. Over the past fifteen years there has been tremendous growth and development in this field of law. This new committee provides a forum for the very diverse group of practitioners and scholars involved in this area of law.

The committee endeavours to provide IBA members with comprehensive and reliable information and resources on international criminal law. It also provides lawyers, international agencies and tribunals with an unparalleled and easily accessible network of contacts and, in turn, is directly involved with the IBA’s ongoing programme in support of international, ad hoc and domestic war crimes tribunals.

The committee works alongside the IBA Human Rights Institute and the IBA Human Rights Law Committee to promote justice around the world, and uphold the principle of accountability.

Starting in 2017, the War Crimes Committee has established a special connection to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who have appointed an IHL Expert/Observer to the Committee.

The War Crimes Committee has the following statement of aims:

  • To be the pre-eminent professional organisation for lawyers working in the area of international criminal law
  • To provide a first class and easily accessed network of contacts in this field of law
  • To provide a reliable and comprehensive source of information and resources on international criminal law
  • To work together with the IBA Human Rights Institute to promote the rule of law around the world, and in particular to encourage adherence to the principles of international criminal law
  • To inspire and encourage young lawyers in the field of international criminal law

Forthcoming conferences and webinars View all conferences and webinars

Crimes against the environment and international criminal law

Acts perpetrated during the course of warfare often lead to significant environmental destruction, particularly where the natural environment is intentionally targeted as a ‘victim’ or is somehow manipulated to serve as a ‘weapon’. Until recently, such acts were generally regarded as an unfortunate but unavoidable element of armed conflict. The existing international humanitarian law rules have done little to deter deliberate environmental destruction, particularly when measured against perceived military

Joint criminal enterprise in the Kosovo specialist chambers

In this article the authors discuss whether the KSC will follow the ICTY in interpreting article 16.1 of its statute to embrace the wide constructed liability of JCE III. They suggest there are good reasons why it should not: the terms of article 16.1 of the KSC Statute do not explicitly provide for JCE III. The ICTY Appeals Chamber read JCE III liability into article 7.1 of the ICTY Statute on the basis that it was ‘firmly established in customary international law’, yet JCE III has proved controversial a

The IBA War Crimes Committee’s submissions and recommendations to major multilateral conventions on atrocity crimes

Over the past two years, the IBA’s War Crimes Committee has been actively involved in efforts to strengthen the drafts of two major multilateral conventions focused on atrocity crimes. The first is the International Law Commission’s articles on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity, which could form the basis for the world’s first multilateral convention on the crime. The second is a state-led effort to create a multilateral convention on mutual legal assistance and extradition

Starvation and food insecurity in light of the Covid-19 pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened the risk of food insecurity and starvation, particularly in conflict-affected states. Governments and other organised groups should be held to account if they unduly restrict essential supplies from reaching populations in need.

Subcommittees and other groups

The War Crimes Committee also coordinates the activities of the following subcommittees/working groups.

  • War Crimes Committee Advisory Board