Asian International Justice Initiative

The Asian International Justice Initiative focuses on projects and partnerships related to international justice, judicial reform, the rule of law, and human rights in ASEAN and other Asia-Pacific countries.

The Asian International Justice Initiative (AIJI) is a nearly decade-old collaboration between the East-West Center (EWC) and the WSD HANDA Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University (previously known as the Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center). AIJI combines the Asia-Pacific regional expertise of the EWC and the transitional justice research and human rights training capabilities of the Handa Center. AIJI was formed in recognition of the joint aim of the parties to foster initiatives in the Asia-Pacific (or for Asia-Pacific partners) that promote standards of excellence in international justice and human rights as it is practiced throughout the region. Under the AIJI umbrella, the Handa Center and EWC work in close partnership with regional and country-specific institutions to implement programs that generally promote human rights education, understanding and awareness of internationally recognized fair trial standards, and requirements for the accountability and the rule of law, especially in international criminal trials and human rights proceedings in national courts.

Based at the East-West Center, Professor David Cohen, a leading expert in international humanitarian law and international criminal law, directs all AIJI activities.  Cohen is Professor of Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai`i. A leading expert in international humanitarian and criminal law, he is also a Senior Fellow at the East-West Center.  Penelope Van Tuyl, a human rights lawyer, serves as AIJI Deputy Director, based at the Handa Center at Stanford University.  Other AIJI affiliates are based in Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Australia. AIJI collaborates with a number of university-based centers around the world, including the Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE) and Pannasastra University in Cambodia, the University of Zurich Human Rights Center, the University of Munich, Universitas Udayana University in Indonesia, the War Crimes Documentation Center at the University of Marburg, the Ho Chi Minh City University of Law, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and the International Center for Child Rights and Development at the University of Victoria, as well as with war crimes tribunals around the world.

Current Projects

Related Publications:

Transformative Reparations for Sexual and Gender-based Violence at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC):  Reflections, Recommendations and Next Steps, report of the Workshop on Transformative Reparations for Sexual and Gender-based Violence at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia organized by the Australian Human Rights Centre, University of New South Wales Australia, the Asian International Justice Initiative and the Victims Support Section at the ECCC.  The workshop was held on November 28, 2914 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The report was written by Melanie Hyde (AIJI) and Emma Palmer and Sarah Williams both of the University of New South Wales.  Full report available here.

Broadcasting Justice:  Media Outreach at the Khmer Rouge Trials by Christoph Sperfeldt.  Asia Pacific Issues No. 115, July 2014.

Beyond the Truth:  Can Reparations Move Peace and Justice Forward in Timor-Leste? by Leigh-Ashley Lipscomb.  AsiaPacific Issues, No. 93.  March 2010.

ASEAN’s Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and Civil Society Initiatives in Southeast Asia by David Cohen.  Asia Pacific Bulletin, No. 51.  March 1, 2010.

‘Justice on the Cheap’ Revisited:  The Failure of the Serious Crimes Trials in East Timor by David Cohen.  AsiaPacific Issues, No. 80, May 2006.

Indifference and Accountability:  The United Nations and the Politics of International Justice in East Timor, by David Cohen.  East-West Center Special Reports No. 9, June 2006.

Seeking Justice on the Cheap:  Is the East Timor Tribunal Really a Model for the Future? by David Cohen.  AsiaPacific Issues, No. 61, August 2002.