No Comment — February 14, 2008, 11:30 am

Indeed, the Offender May Be Your Boss

The Department of Justice announced the following special course to staffers by special email; it was not included in the Continuing Legal Education course offerings that are available on-line. I wonder why?

The Office of Legal Education is pleased to announce that it is sponsoring a seminar entitled

“No Safe Haven: Investigating and Prosecuting Human Rights Violators in the United States”

The seminar will be held April 28-May 2, 2008, at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina. Lodging accommodations will be provided by the NAC.

Over the last several decades, different regions of the world have been struck by human rights violations including genocide, extrajudicial killing, war crimes, torture and persecution. Unfortunately, some of the perpetrators have gained entrance to the United States and acquired immigration benefits and even citizenship. Significant challenges are involved in successfully investigating and prosecuting the perpetrators of international human rights violations because the crimes were committed overseas, often years in the past and under conditions that vastly complicate the search for evidence and witnesses. Evidence and testimony are generally in foreign languages, witnesses often require protection or are inadmissible to the United States, and the meaning and credibility of evidence can be difficult to gauge without knowledge of the military, social and political context in which crimes occurred. This course provides tools to overcome these challenges with lessons taught by prosecutors, investigators and area specialists who have amassed evidence and built cases against human rights violators in U.S. and international courts. The course, which will involve dual track instruction for prosecutors and investigators, will instruct participants on recent conflicts that have produced large-scale human rights violations, the mechanics of overseas investigation, methodologies for researching and investigating human rights violations, and the use of criminal immigration charges and civil denaturalization in addition to substantive criminal charges to hold violators accountable, as well as other topics that frequently arise in human rights violator cases.

Indeed, some of the perpetrators have not just gained entrance to the United States and acquired citizenship, some of them are senior officials of the Department of Justice. Steven Bradbury and John Yoo, for instance, are probable target for criminal proceedings in the not too distant future, and a growing number of foreign prosecutors who track human rights matters are busy now preparing their dossiers with the names of U.S. Justice Department officials deemed appropriate for apprehension and prosecution in the not too distant future. It’s not the career staff who need this training, I fear, but the political hacks who rule the roost. But their day of reckoning is drawing near.

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