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Friday February 4th, 2011

Katyn: Justice Delayed or Justice Denied? – Introduction


Michael Scharf, John Deaver Drinko-Baker & Hostetler Professor of Law; Director, Frederick K. Cox International Law Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Robert Rawson, Interim Dean, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Introductory Remarks

Hon. Dennis Kucinich, U.S. Representative (D, OH-10)

Friday February 4, 2011, 8:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m.

Sponsored by the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law

The Katyn massacre of 1940 involved murders at the Katyn forest and in other locations throughout the Soviet Union of over 22,000 Polish officers, prisoners of war, and members of the Polish leading elite, by a single shot to the back of each of their heads. For 50 years, this massacre was subject to a massive cover up. Initially the Soviet Union blamed the Nazis for the murders, saying that the killings took place in 1941 when the territory was in German hands. It was not until 1990 that the Russian government admitted that the executions actually took place in 1940 and were carried out by the Soviet secret police. In 1990, Russian prosecutors launched a criminal investigation into the massacre, but the case was terminated in 2004, its findings were classified as top secret, and it appeared that the tragedy would once again be subject to “historical amnesia.”

The objective of the Katyn Symposium is to bring together leading international experts in jurisprudence, international criminal law, and the Katyn crime, as well as representatives from Poland and Russia, to discuss the events in a neutral setting. A diverse group of highly qualified scholars will present Polish, Russian and third party expert views on the Katyñ murders in four panel sessions, followed by a round-table discussion.

Additional Information About Our Guest…

Michael Scharf directs the Henry T. King, Jr. War Crimes Research Office and the Summer Institute for Global Justice in The Netherlands, and serves as U.S. director of the Canada-U.S. Law Institute. In February 2005, Prof. Scharf and the Public International Law and Policy Group, a Non-Governmental Organization that he co-founded and directs, were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by six governments and the Prosecutor of an International Criminal Tribunal for the work they have done to help in the prosecution of major war criminals, such as Slobodan Milosevic, Charles Taylor, and Saddam Hussein. During the first Bush and Clinton Administrations, Prof. Scharf served in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State, where he held the positions of Attorney-Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence, Attorney-Adviser for U.N. Affairs, and delegate to the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Judicial clerk to Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat on the Eleventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, Prof. Scharf has testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Armed Services Committee and is the author of over 70 scholarly articles and 13 books, including three that have won national book of the year honors. Recipient of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law Alumni Association’s 2005 “Distinguished Teacher Award” and Ohio Magazine’s 2007 “Excellence in Education Award,” Prof. Scharf teaches International Law, International Criminal Law, the Law of International Organizations, and the War Crimes Research Lab. During a sabbatical in 2008, he served as Special Assistant to the Prosecutor of the Cambodia Genocide Tribunal. He received his B.A. (1985), Order of the Coif, and his J.D. (1988) from Duke University.

Robert Rawson became Interim Dean of the School of Law in December 2008. He is a partner with the Cleveland office of Jones Day where he counsels and litigates issues concerning antitrust and trade regulation. He has significant experience in general commercial litigation and has also had successful appellate arguments in the Second, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits.

For 20 years he served his alma mater, Princeton, as a member of its Board of Trustees, during the last 13, he has been Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board. He is currently Chairman of the National Civic League and Chairman of the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education. He has been a member of the Board of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and is past Chairman of the Cleveland Initiative for Education, which marshals private resources in aid of the Cleveland Public Schools.

A Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Rawson received an M.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (1968) from Oxford University and his A.B. Phi Beta Kappa (1966) from Princeton. He earned his J.D. (1971) from Harvard University. He is a member of the ABA (Antitrust Law, Litigation, and Law Practice Management Sections), the Ohio State Bar Association (Antitrust Section), the Cleveland Bar Association, and the Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

Having been elected to Cleveland’s City Council at age 23, Dennis J. Kucinich was well-known to Cleveland residents when they chose him as their mayor in 1977 at the age of 31. At the time, he was the youngest person ever elected to lead a major U.S. city. In addition to being mayor, he has served on Cleveland City Council (1970-75, 1981-82); as Clerk of Courts for the Cleveland Municipal Court (1976-77); as an Ohio State Senator (1994-96); and in November 2008, was elected to his seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives (1997-present). He chairs the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He is also a member of the Education and Labor Committee.

Congressman Kucinich has been a tireless advocate for worker rights, civil rights and human rights. He has been honored by the Cleveland AFL-CIO, the Ohio PTA, the NASA Glenn Research Center, the Salvation Army, the U.S. Post Office, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, Ohio’s Boys Town, and the Human Rights Campaign. As a champion of clean air and water, he has been honored by Public Citizen, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and the League of Conservation Voters. Congressman Kucinich has twice been an official U.S. delegate to the U.N. Convention on Climate Change (1998, 2004) and attended the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. Congressman Kucinich received a B.A. and an M.A. in Speech Communications from Case Western Reserve University in 1974.