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Prosecuting ISIL Fighters in Iraq: The Available Judicial Mechanisms

Wednesday, March 2, 2022, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

The lecture will focus on the judicial choices available when prosecuting ISIL fighters, i.e., the extent to which individual criminal responsibility may be ascribed to those who are implicated in committing serious international offenses. The lecturer will analyze international and domestic criminal legal texts and compare them with the situation on the ground. During the period of ISIL domination in several Iraqi provinces in 2014-2017, there is considerable evidence that crimes under international criminal law may amount to core international crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, were perpetrated against civilians and especially certain minorities. Throughout this time Iraqi and Kurdistani armed forces were engaged with international coalition forces against ISIL fighters. The lecturer will attempt to identify the best available judicial alternatives for expanding domestic and international cooperation when prosecuting ISIL perpetrators amid these entangled coalition politics. The aim is to bring a measure of justice to victims and to implement the rules of international and domestic penal codes effectively, while ultimately preventing the future recurrence of such offences.