Ambassador Beth Van Schaack to deliver the 2022 Annual Justice Lecture hosted by LFJL and SOAS

October 4, 2022

LFJL are honoured to announce that Beth Van Schaack, United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice, will deliver the 2022 Annual Justice Lecture, hosted by Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) and the Centre for Human Rights Law at SOAS University of London.  

This year's lecture, titled ‘Building Justice: Criminal Accountability and the Road to Peace’, will take place at the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre at SOAS University of London on Thursday 1 December 2022. Door open at 6.00pm. The lecture will be followed by a reception.  

The Annual Justice Lecture is an opportunity for legal and human rights experts to draw on international experience and explore urgent questions of justice in Libya and in a global context.

This year’s lecture explores how international criminal justice fits into post-conflict transition and tangible efforts for peace. This timely reflection comes at a pivotal moment when Libya faces renewed conflict and impunity prevails.  

A study conducted by LFJL with 388 men and women across Libya showed a clear call for accountability, truth, reparations, and institutional reform to redress past and current violations, and to ensure they are not repeated.  What role can international criminal justice play to break Libya’s cycle of impunity and facilitate a transition to lasting peace?  

As one of the world’s foremost experts on international criminal law and human rights, Ambassador Van Schaack is uniquely poised to reflect on this question.  Ambassador Van Schaack has extensive experience in teaching and researching criminal law, human rights, and conflict resolution in academic institutions, most recently at Stanford Law School, where she directed the Stanford’s International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic. She has also served as the Academic Adviser to the United States interagency delegation to the International Criminal Court Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda, and in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia.

LFJL Director Elham Saudi said: “We are thrilled to welcome Ambassador Van Schaack to deliver this year’s Annual Justice Lecture. It is an invaluable opportunity to explore the role of criminal justice in breaking the cycle of violence and impunity in Libya as well as in other countries facing similar situations. "  

Dr Lutz Oette, Co-director of the Centre for Human Rights Law at SOAS, said: “Drawing on the international experience of a distinguished expert like Ambassador Van Schaack will bring a fresh perspective and a new voice to the conversation around accountability and conflict in Libya.”  

We welcome all to join this event. Get tickets here.

The event will be live streamed on LFJL’s Facebook page with interpretation for Arabic-speakers.

Notes to Editors

  • Tickets are free to encourage participation by all. We kindly encourage attendees to donate to support LFJL in its ongoing work for human rights and justice in Libya.
  • Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) was established in 2011 in response to the 17 February 2011 uprising in Libya. It exists and works for the promotion of justice, human rights and the rule of law in Libya. It aims to integrate justice throughout the processes of Libya’s transition and beyond, to ensure that they and their outcomes are rights based and victim centred.  LFJL is both a leading member of Libyan civil society and a recognised international actor with Libyan expertise. It aims to use this position to support Libyan civil society and to ensure that international policy is informed by accurate analysis of national circumstances.  
  • The Centre for Human Rights Law at SOAS, University of London, seeks to advance research and the teaching of human rights law and engages in standard setting and policy-making processes concerning the protection of human rights. SOAS is the leading higher education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East. With a vast repository of knowledge and expertise on our specialist regions, it is uniquely placed to inform and shape current thinking about the economic, political, cultural, security and religious challenges of our world. SOAS ranks in the top 35 of UK Universities in the Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.
  • The 2019 inaugural lecture, Failing Justice: Beyond the Failed State, was delivered by the first UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of nonrecurrence, Pablo de Greiff. Mr. de Greiff examined the meaning of justice and the use of transitional justice mechanisms in a variety of countries facing scenarios similar to Libya. The 2020 lecture, Doing Justice: International Investigations and the Path to Accountability, featured Mr. Hanny Megally, Senior Fellow at New York University’s Center on International Cooperation and Commissioner with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria. In the context of the establishment of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya (FFM), Mr. Megally examined lessons learned and the key elements of a successful investigative mechanism to facilitate accountability.  

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