Mass Crimes Prosecutor Alain Werner Gives Promise Institute Talk

20181024 Alain Werner

On Monday, October 22, the Promise Institute hosted Alain Werner (pictured above), who has worked on several high-profile trials for mass crimes and is the founder of Civitas Maxima, for the third installment of its Global Justice and Accountability Speaker Series.

Werner played a role in the prosecution in The Hague of Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia; the trial in Dakar of Hissène Habré, the former president of Chad; and the first Khmer Rouge trial in Phnom Penh. In 2012, he created Geneva-based non-governmental organization Civitas Maxima, an international network of lawyers and investigators working on behalf of victims of international crimes.

In his talk, "Prosecuting War Criminals: Challenges and Perspectives," Werner said the international community is "failing victims of mass crimes" and addressed the need for a "relentless quest for justice" to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable. Civitas Maxima pursues this quest by utilizing a bottom-up approach of partnering with organizations working in conflict and post-conflict areas to create an environment for accountability in domestic courts. Since its creation, Civitas Maxima's work has led to arrests or convictions for mass crimes of six individuals in five countries, including in the United States.

On Tuesday, November 13, the Promise Institute will host the next event in its Global Justice and Accountability series, with Richard Dicker, international justice program director of Human Rights Watch, discussing "Latest Developments in International Justice."