Criminal Liability in Transitional Justice: Lessons Learned and the Road Ahead

Apr. 19, 2023
6:10PM - 7:30PM
Baker Room 116
Open to the Yale Community

Join us on Wednesday, April 19th from 6:10-7:30 pm for a lively discussion on the role of criminal liability in transitional justice. We will reflect on the potential and limits of criminal prosecutions for confronting legacies of violence and mass abuse, what it means to "achieve" transitional justice, and what the legal profession can learn from past and present experiences of transitional justice in order to advance lasting societal change.

- Kristine Beckerle (Moderator) is the Cover-Lowenstein Fellow at the Schell Center, a Clinical Lecturer in Law, and an Associate Research Scholar at Yale Law School. Her work centers on violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law during conflict, with a focus on pathways towards credible investigations, accountability and reparations for mass violations, and opportunities for international solidarity in human rights work. Until 2021, Kristine was the Legal Director of Accountability and Redress for Mwatana for Human Rights, an independent Yemeni rights organization. Before Mwatana, she worked in Lebanon and Jordan as a researcher for Human Rights Watch, where she led investigations into rights abuses during the Yemen conflict. She also researched rights abuses in other Gulf countries, including in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Kristine earned her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she served as student director of the Lowenstein Clinic, and her A.B. from Harvard University, where she studied Social Studies and the Arabic language.

- Michael Reed-Hurtado (Panelist) is the Director of Governance and Operations of The Guernica Centre for International Justice in the United States, which works with victims and their communities to confront atrocities and secure accountability. He is a Colombian/U.S. lawyer and journalist with over 25 years of experience in human rights, criminal justice, and humanitarian protection. Michael’s work has focused on the forced displacement of persons; prison conditions and reform; the effective criminal prosecution of system crimes; and transitional justice. He has worked mainly in Latin America, with sporadic work in Asia and Africa. Michael teaches at Georgetown University, focusing on state crime, collective violence, denial and the sociology of lying, and practical dimensions of transitional justice and negotiated peace settlements. He is also an active columnist and commentator in various Colombian news media. Michael has served as an adviser to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia and as a faculty fellow at Yale University and Yale Law School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas, and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota.

- Ruben Carranza (Panelist) is a Senior Expert at the International Center for Transitional Justice. He currently works with victims’ communities and reparations policymakers in Nepal, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, the Philippines, Iraq, Palestine, Liberia, Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya. He also provides advice on issues involving reparations and war crimes tribunals including the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and the International Criminal Court. Ruben has done significant research, writing, and fieldwork on the relationship between transitional justice, corruption, and economic crimes. He was the commissioner in charge of litigation and investigation in the Philippine commission that recovered $680 million in ill-gotten assets of the family of Ferdinand Marcos. He also served on the committee that drafted the 2003 U.N. Convention Against Corruption and participated in the U.S. litigation against the Marcos family filed by victims of human rights violations under the Alien Tort Claims Act. Ruben obtained his B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of the Philippines and an LL.M. from New York University (NYU) in 2005 as a Global Public Service Law Program scholar.

- Zinaida Miller (Panelist) is Professor of Law and International Affairs at Northeastern University. She has written extensively on transitional justice and human rights, focusing on the reproduction of inequality and structural violence in countries such as South Africa, Rwanda, Palestine, and the United States. She has argued that growing calls for transitional justice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder raise important questions about the objectives and capacities of these processes when it comes to racial justice and injustice. Zinaida’s scholarship has been widely published in journals and books, including the International Journal of Transitional Justice and Transnational Legal Theory. She is co-editor of Anti-Impunity and the Human Rights Agenda (Cambridge University Press, 2016), which explores the emphasis on punishment and prosecution in the human rights movement, particularly in states emerging from conflict. Prior to joining Northeastern, Zinaida was Associate Professor of International Law and Human Rights at Seton Hall University. She received her AB from Brown University, J.D. from Harvard Law School and her MALD and PhD from The Fletcher School at Tufts University.