FSU College of Law to host former ambassador to discuss the future of international criminal justice

David Scheffer, the first U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues (1997-2001).
David Scheffer, the first U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues (1997-2001).

The Florida State University College of Law will host Ambassador David Scheffer during the second annual D’Alemberte & Palmer Lecture in International Human Rights 

Scheffer was the first U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues (1997-2001) and was instrumental in the creation of five international or hybrid criminal tribunals, including leading the U.S. delegation to the U.N. talks creating the International Criminal Court.  

During his lecture, “The Future of International Criminal Justice,” Scheffer will examine the current performance of international criminal tribunals, including the International Criminal Court, international investigative mechanisms, and national courts, as well as the character of crimes being investigated and, when possible, prosecuted against perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression. He will address the Russia/Ukraine war as well as other contemporary conflicts.  

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 29, at the College of Law D’Alemberte Rotunda, 425 W. Jefferson St. The event will also be live-streamed. Register at https://fla.st/ATTMRMQF. 

Scheffer’s award-winning book, “All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals,” recounts his tribunal-building efforts during the 1990s. From 2006 to 2020, Ambassador Scheffer held an endowed professorship of law at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in Chicago, and he was director of the law school’s Center for International Human Rights from 2006 to 2019.  

He served as the U.N. secretary-general’s special expert on U.N. assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (2012-2018) and as vice president of the American Society of International Law. Ambassador Scheffer is professor of practice in the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University (Washington, D.C.) and is a senior fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he covers international law and human rights. Ambassador Scheffer also authored “The Sit Room: In the Theater of War and Peace,” which is about decision making in the situation room of the White House during the Balkans conflict of the early 1990s when he served on the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council and as senior adviser and counsel to Madeleine Albright during her service as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. 

The D’Alemberte & Palmer Lecture in International Human Rights was made possible by a generous gift from Patsy Palmer, Esq. The lecture was created to attract giants in the field of international human rights: people who will make significant remarks that inspire students and contribute to the worldwide discussion.