Former U.S. Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp on the International Criminal Court, “hybrid” tribunals and the difficulty of creating the third wave of international criminal justice.
Stephen J. Rapp served as Ambassador-at-Large heading the Office of Global Criminal Justice in the U.S. State Department from September 2009 to August 2015. In that position he coordinated US government support to international criminal tribunals, including the International Criminal Court, as well as to hybrid and national courts responsible for prosecuting persons charged with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
In 2001, Rapp joined the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where he led the prosecution in the “Media Trial” against the leaders of the RTLM radio station and Kangura newspaper for inciting the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. He became the Chief of Prosecutions of the ICTR in 2005, and continued to assist Chief Prosecutor Hassan Jallow in prosecuting those involved in the 1994 genocide. In 2007, Rapp succeeded Desmond de Silva to become the third Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, where he directed the prosecution of former Liberian President Charles Taylor and others alleged to have violated international criminal law during the Sierra Leone Civil War.
On 18-19 October 2016, the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability and the Wayamo Foundation hosted International Symposium on the theme, “Towards a System of International Justice” in Arusha, Tanzania, where Rapp was a panellist.
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