Part of the CIPL Monthly Talk series series
At a time when mass atrocities are being committed with apparent impunity in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, and elsewhere, many see international criminal justice as having failed its promise. Ambassador Rapp recounts the progress that has been achieved, and discusses what is necessary for international and national institutions to come closer to meeting the need for accountability.
Stephen Rapp is Ambassador-at-Large, heading the Office of Global Criminal Justice in the U.S. Department of State. He was appointed by President Obama, confirmed by the Senate, and assumed his duties on September 8, 2009. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Rapp served as Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone beginning in January 2007, responsible for leading the prosecutions of former Liberian President Charles Taylor and other persons alleged to bear the greatest responsibility for the atrocities committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone. During his tenure in Sierra Leone, his office won the first convictions in history for recruitment and use of child soldiers and for sexual slavery and forced marriage as crimes under international humanitarian law.