Criminal Law

Research Theme

Kennedy exceptionalism, the Vietnam War, and the limits of counterfactual history

If John F. Kennedy had not been assassinated on November 22, 1963, would the US have committed ground troops to Vietnam – a decision that led to what is widely recognised as the worst debacle in American military history? This counterfactual what-if, often referred to as “Kennedy exceptionalism,” has obsessed historians for two generations.

POSTPONED: The International Criminal Court at 20 years: activities, successes and challenges ahead

The ICC has come a long way in the 20 years since the adoption of its founding treaty, the Rome Statute for the ICC. Helen Brady, a senior prosecutor at the Court and one of the negotiators and drafters of the Rome Statute, will discuss the ICC’s recent activities, highlight some of its successes, and reflect on several challenges the Court still faces as the world’s first permanent international criminal court.


Professor Heller holds academic appointments at the University of Amsterdam and the ANU College of Law. He has extensive experience in International Criminal Law and International Human Rights Law.

The crime of aggression: Useless, anachronistic - and beautiful

This presentation will argue that the ICC’s newly-adopted crime of aggression is useless, anachronistic, and yet beautiful. The crime is useless because the jurisdictional regime adopted by the Assembly of States Parties ensures that the Court will never prosecute anyone for aggression. The crime is anachronistic because, since the Vietnam War, the international community has largely shifted its attention from preventing aggression to limiting atrocity.


A Visiting Fellow at the ANU College of Law, Steven Mulroy is a Full Professor of Law at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, the University of Memphis, where he teaches Constitutional Law, Election Law, Federal Discrimination, Criminal Law, and Constitutional Criminal Procedure. He is a former federal prosecutor and attorney for the Civil Rights Division, US Department of Justice in Washington, DC, where he litigated voting rights, housing discrimination, and fair lending cases throughout the US.


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Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team