I recently attended a conference entitled "Accountability for Leadership Participation in Universal Crimes and the Role of Judges," which was held in Bergen, Norway under the auspices of the Chr. Michelsen Institute. Our organizer and host was Terje Einarsen, former judge and now professor at the University of Bergen. I recently reviewed Terje's wonderful book, The Concept of Universal Crimes in International Law, for the JICJ; you can read the entire book -- for free -- here.
Terje invited me to take part in the opening discussion of the conference along with him, and we a very stimulating discussion about how what I would call "international crimes" but what Terje would call "universal crimes," should be analyzed and classified. We agreed that analysis and classification was important for a number of reasons, including the upholding internationally the principle of legality. That task finished, I went ahead and enjoyed immensely the rest of the two-day conference, which featured presentations from a speakers' list that read like a who's who of international criminal law -- my co-author Joseph Rikhof, Darryl Robinson of Queen's Law, Prof. Elies van Sliedregt, Kai Ambos, Morten Bergsmo, Naomi Roht-Arriaza, Elin Skaar, Harmen van der Wilt and Judge Howard Morrison of the International Criminal Court.
We also heard some excellent presentations about prosecutions happening (and, regrettably, not happening) in Guatemala, and were introduced to the ICC Legal Tools Project by Emilie Hunter, Deputy Director of the Case Matrix Network. All in all, one of the best conferences I have been to in years.
In the style of Bill Schabas's blog, here is a picture of a number of the conference participants, overlooking scenic Bergen.