Human-Rights Experts to Lead Advanced Training in Bangkok

May 9, 2008

Media contact:
Derek Ferrar
Phone: (808) 944-7204
Email: [email protected]

A faculty of experts in the fields of human-rights advocacy and humanitarian law is slated to provide instruction starting May 11 at an advanced two-week training course in Bangkok, Thailand, on the key processes being used to address human-rights abuses in the Asia Pacific region.

The 2008 Summer Institute for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights , scheduled for May 11-24 at Bangkok’s Siam City Hotel, is intended to provide in-depth training for professionals in a broad range of human-rights fields, including lawyers, journalists, NGO workers, investigators, monitors and government agency workers. The theme for the course – which is being presented by the Asian International Justice Initiative in partnership with the Office of Human Rights Studies and Social Development at Bangkok’s Mahidol University – is “Asia Pacific Transitional Justice and Peace-Building.”

The Asian International Justice Initiative – a collaboration between the East-West Center in Hawaii and the War Crimes Studies Center at the University of California, Berkeley –has provided training in international criminal law to tribunals on human-rights crimes in Cambodia and Indonesia, and conducted extensive analysis of the Special Panels for Serious Crimes in Timor-Leste (East Timor).

Among the topics to be addressed at the institute are:
•    Transitional justice mechanisms
•    Post-conflict trials
•    Methods of inquiry and investigation
•    Legal framework to post-conflict situations
•    Human-rights monitoring and reporting
•    Peace-building initiatives

Participants from Southeast Asia will include NGO human rights trial lawyers and activists; government prosecutors, human rights investigators and national human rights commission staff; judges; journalists; and staff from the ASEAN Secretariat.

Among the experts who will provide instruction are: David Cohen, Director of the Asian International Justice Initiative; Jacinta DaCosta, Probational Judge, East Timor Court of Appeal; Sidney Jones, South-East Asia Project Director, International Crisis Group; Carlos Medina, Secretary-General of the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism; Vitit Muntarbhorn, Professor of Law at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok; Justice Motoo Noguchi of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia; Justice Liu Daqun of the Appeal Chambers of International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia; Theary Seng, Director of the Center for Social Development, Phnom Penh; Eric Stover, Director of the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley; Sriprapha Petcharamesree, founder and former director, Office of Human Rights and Social Development, Mahidol University, and others.

Click here for more information on the Summer Institute for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, including a schedule of workshops and more detailed bio information on the instructors.


The Asian International Justice Initiative aims to provide on-the-ground support for rule-of-law and human-rights initiatives in Asia, in both the domestic and international legal context, primarily by partnering with courts and other institutions in the justice sector to assist them in achieving their goals in these areas.

The EAST-WEST CENTER is an education and research organization established by the U.S. Congress in 1960 to strengthen relations and understanding among the peoples and nations of Asia, the Pacific, and the United States.  The Center contributes to a peaceful, prosperous and just Asia Pacific community by serving as a vigorous hub for cooperative research, education and dialogue on critical issues of common concern to the Asia Pacific region and the United States.  Funding for the Center comes from the U.S. government, with additional support provided by private agencies, individuals, foundations, corporations, and the governments of the region.