LOS ANGELES — The Ottoman government’s systematic annihilation of its Armenian population took place 10 decades ago. The Khmer Rouge’s Killing Fields allowed for the massacre of nearly 2 million people four decades ago in Cambodia.
These cases of state violence continue to test the international justice system as jurists, activists and politicians attempt to arrive at some definition of implementable justice.
These and other cases will be the topic of discussion as the USC Institute of Armenian Studies welcomes international criminal prosecutor Nicholas Koumjian to its series of lunchtime talks at the USC Ground Zero Coffeehouse. Koumjian will be in conversation with USC Professor Hannah Garry. Their topic: Decades After Genocide – Is Justice Possible?
Koumjian is currently United Nations International Co-Prosecutor for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Prior to this posting, he was Senior Appeals Counsel for the prosecution of the former President of Liberia at The Hague. Koumjian also headed the UN-funded Serious Crimes Unit in East Timor, and was a trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Dr. Hannah Garry is the founding director of USC Gould School of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic. Her areas of research include international criminal law, human rights law and refugee law. Professor Garry has been a Senior Legal Adviser to the Supreme Court Chamber in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and a visiting professor in the Presidency of the International Criminal Court.
Salpi Ghazarian, the director of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies, says, “We are proud that our first luncheon event of this new academic year will feature guests of such distinction and we invite the community to the USC campus for this program. This, like our previous lunchtime programs, is not a lecture. It’s a conversation between two people who have spent many years studying these serious challenges. It’s an especially important conversation to be having on the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, as the term itself continues to cause political conflict.”
The event will be live streamed at http://tinyurl.com/Nicholas-Koumjian so those who can’t attend can watch.