Iowa Law Professor Mark Osiel recently delivered lectures at Oxford University’s Transitional Justice Research Group and the Centre for the International Politics of Conflict, Rights, and Justice, at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. He spoke on the subject of ‘Individual and Collective in the Response to Mass Atrocity.’ Osiel argued that, though it is never raised explicitly, a single question is central and distinctive to all efforts at understanding and redressing mass atrocity: whether to regard the dramatis personae—perpetrators, victims, and beneficiaries—chiefly as individual persons or instead as collectivities, such as sovereign states, racial groups, non-state organizations, and criminal enterprises.
Osiel has written several books that seek to show how we may improve the law’s responses to mass atrocity by better understanding its origins and organizational dynamics.
Professor Osiel has served as consultant in several, high-profile international trials and advised the Department of Defense on recent anti-terrorism prosecutions. He regularly addresses international organizations and governments in post-conflict societies on issues of transitional justice. He was Director for International Criminal and Humanitarian Law at the T.M.C. Asser Institute, in The Hague, and is an occasional media commentator on legal aspects of contemporary armed conflicts.
For more about Osiel’s London lecture, visit the SOAS University of London website.