College of Law > Academics > Centers, Institutes & Initiatives > International Human Rights Law Institute > Projects > Europe
In 1992, Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni was appointed to
the Commission of Experts to Investigate Violations of International
Humanitarian Law in the former Yugoslavia created by the U.N. Security
Council. He was later named Chairman of the Commission and raised funds
to engage in fieldwork research and documentary analysis. DePaul
University College of Law Dean John Roberts allowed the Commission’s
database and documentation center to be housed at the law school. The
research and analysis continued for two years with the help of over 150
paid and volunteer lawyers, law students, and analysts. The team
collected over 65,000 pages of evidence, reports, affidavits, and other
materials that were entered into a specially designed computer database.
This material was used to identify patterns of violations including
massacres, rapes, torture, kidnapping, forced displacement and other
serious violations. In 1994, the Commission presented its final report
(U.N. Doc. S/1994/674) and annexes (U.N. Doc. S/1994/674.Add.2). The
findings of the Commission played a key role in the decision by the U.N.
Security Council to establish the International Criminal Tribunal for
the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the world’s first international criminal
tribunal since Nuremberg and Tokyo.
Conference on Reform of the Criminal Justice Systems of Central and Eastern Europe (1991)
In 1991, IHRLI co-sponsored an international
conference on reforming the criminal justice systems of Central and
Eastern Europe. The conference was held under the auspices of the
Secretary General of the Council of Europe in cooperation with the
United Nations Centre for Human Rights and the United Nations Crime
Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch. The event brought together
almost 100 lawyers and judges who discussed legal protections for
judicial independence, fair and impartial prosecutions, and mechanism
for ensuring effective defense counsel. The conference concluded by
adopting guidelines for the judiciary, prosecution and defense which
were distributed to conference participants and published in English and
French in the Revue Internationale de Droit Penale.
The International Human Rights Law Institute
implemented a program in which lawyers in Poland were trained in
international law, human rights law, and human rights, on rule of law
issues. This project encouraged cooperation between U.S. and Polish
legal professionals and built on longstanding links between coomunities
in Chicago and Poland.