David Crane to Deliver Transnational Law Institute Public Lecture

Lexington, VA Friday, January 11, 2008

David Crane, former Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, will deliver a public lecture at the Washington and Lee School of Law on Tuesday January 29, at 10:30 a.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room. The lecture will be titled "Diamonds, Guns, and Thugs--The West African Extreme."

Professor Kevin John Heller of the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand, a renowned expert in the field of international criminal law, will provide a commentary on Chief Prosecutor Crane's lecture. Audience questions will follow. This event is sponsored by the Transnational Law Institute. The lecture is open to the public.

Crane is the first American since Justice Robert Jackson at Nuremberg to serve as Chief Prosecutor of an international war crimes tribunal.  He was appointed to that position by then Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, on April 19, 2002. With the rank of Undersecretary General, Crane's mandate was to prosecute those who bear the greatest responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international human rights committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone during the 1990's. 

This conflict was fueled by the blood-diamond trade and was characterized by gruesome violence against civilians and extensive use of child soldiers. Crane's ground-breaking work led to the delivery of major indictments, including against Liberian President Charles Taylor. Since 2007, the Special Court for Sierra Leone has issued five convictions for crimes against humanity and war crimes, and has broken new ground in criminalizing the use of child soldiers.

Prior to his appointment to the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Crane served over 30 years in the federal government of the United States. Appointed to the Senior Executive Service of the United States in 1997, Crane has held numerous key managerial positions during his three decades of public service, including Senior Inspector General at the Department of Defense, Assistant General Counsel of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Waldemar A. Solf Professor of International Law at the United States Army Judge Advocate General's School.

His numerous awards include the Intelligence Community Gold Seal Medallion, the Department of Defense/DoDIG Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit.  Prior to his departure from West Africa, Crane was made a Paramount Chief by the Civil Society Organizations of Sierra Leone.

Following his departure from the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Crane was appointed to the law faculty at Syracuse University. Additionally, he is a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, a joint venture with the Maxwell School of Public Citizenship at Syracuse University.

The Transnational Law Institute, directed by Professor Mark Drumbl, was established in 2006 to support and coordinate a variety of pedagogical methods that will contribute to the quality of the legal education the School of Law offers its students and to better prepare these students for a professional legal practice that is rapidly globalizing.

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