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March 1, 2023

War and Justice in the Twenty-First Century

A Case Study on the International Criminal Court and its Interaction with the War on Terror

Showing the War and Justice in the Twenty-First Century Video

The Georgetown Americas Institute welcomed Luis Moreno Ocampo to talk about his book War and Justice in the 21st Century: A Case Study on the International Criminal Court (2022), which presents the inside story of the International Criminal Court (ICC) from the unique perspective of its first chief prosecutor. In the book, he argues that the War on Terror expanded support for international terrorism, rather than deterred it,  and that it is a failure by design. The legal architecture created in the eighteenth cen­tury and adjusted by the UN Charter in 1945 is not equipped to deal effi­ciently with transnational problems like genocide or international terrorism. Two legal models challenging the traditional concept of national sovereignty were developed to face those crimes at the beginning of the twenty- first cen­tury: the Rome Statute system, including the International Criminal Court (ICC); and the War on Terror policy. But they were not integrated. In this conversation with Professor Julie O’Sullivan, Agnes Williams Sesquicentennial Professor at Georgetown Law, Moreno Ocampo presented his book’s interdisciplinary analysis of a fragmented international legal system's operation and the relationships between legal and political decisions.

This event was co-sponsored by the Georgetown Americas Institute in collaboration with the Embassy of Argentina.

Read the event summary here.


Luis Moreno Ocampo was appointed by 78 nations as the founding chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in 2003. He received the unprecedented mandate to trigger the court's intervention into sovereign states, making the decision to commence investigations and trials in 17 different countries. As a litigator in Argentina Moreno Ocampo was the deputy prosecutor in the Junta trial and intervened as a national prosecutor in other crucial cases related to the country’s transition to democracy. He contributed to anti-corruption efforts by the World Bank and NGOs such as Transparency International. He has been a visiting professor at Stanford, Harvard, Hebrew, and Al Qud Universities, as well as a senior fellow at Yale University and New York University.

Julie O’Sullivan (moderator) is Agnes Williams Sesquicentennial Professor at Georgetown Law. After graduating from Cornell Law School summa cum laude, O’Sullivan clerked for Chief Judge Levin Campbell of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and then for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court. After five years with Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, in 1991 O’Sullivan joined the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York as an assistant United States attorney, primarily prosecuting major white-collar crimes. She worked with Robert Fiske and Ken Starr as associate counsel for the Whitewater investigation before commencing her teaching career at Georgetown in 1995. O’Sullivan has written many articles and the leading casebook on white-collar crime and is a recognized expert on U.S. federal sentencing guidelines and white collar criminal law. She is increasingly interested in the subject of cross-border criminality and law enforcement. In 2010, she served as a visiting professional at, and then a consultant for, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.