Online Course about the International Criminal Court

The Stanford Human Rights Education Initiative (SHREI) welcomes you to this self-directed, online course for community college educators who wish to learn more about the International Criminal Court (ICC). 

The course is comprised of a series of videos of ten high profile experts, academics, and activists who have worked or studied the ICC and are taking part in the Sanela Diana Jenkins International Human Rights Speaker Series, The International Criminal Court: The Next Decade. 

We are providing this course as a tool for community college teachers to use in their teaching (for example, to use excerpts of the videos in their classrooms), to educate themselves about the International Criminal Court, to participate in - or have their students participate in - the online forum that follows each lecture, or to enhance their own, self-directed professional development by customizing the course as they see fit. It should be noted that the course cannot be taken for credit, and that participation and/or completion of the course does not infer a relationship between the participant and Stanford University. 

Videos will be uploaded on Wednesdays, and we encourage you to watch the videos and take part in the online discussion forums that follow each talk. 

We hope you will find this course lively and informative, and that you will provide us with your feedback.

[Week 1] • [Week 2] • [Week 3] • [Week 4] • [Week 5] • [Week 6] • [Week 7]

Week 1: Richard Steinberg & Helen Stacy on Politics and the ICC

Discussion Question: “To what extent should the ICC Office of the Prosecutor consider or engage in politics to advance international justice?”

[Video]  •  [Discussion]  •  [Background Materials]      

Richard Steinberg is Professor of Law at UCLA and the Director of the Sanela Diana Jenkins Human Rights Project. In addition to his UCLA appointment, Professor Steinberg is currently Visiting Professor in the Division of International, Comparative and Area Studies. Professor Steinberg has written over forty articles on international law.  His most recent books are Assessing the Legacy of the ICTY (forthcoming 2010, Martinus Nijhoff), International Institutions (co-edited, 2009, SAGE), International Law and International Relations (co-edited, 2007, Cambridge University Press), and The Evolution of the Trade Regime: Economics, Law, and Politics of the GATT/WTO (co-authored, 2006, Princeton University Press).

Helen Stacy is Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and Director of the Program on Human Rights at CDDRL. As a scholar of international and comparative law, legal philosophy, and human rights, Helen Stacy has produced works analyzing the efficacy of regional courts in promoting human rights, differences in the legal systems of neighboring countries, and the impact of postmodernism on legal thinking. Her recent scholarship has focused on how international and regional human rights courts can improve human rights standards while also honoring social, cultural, and religious values.


Week 2: Richard Dicker on the International Criminal Court

Discussion Question: “How should the relationship between the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Security Council be changed, if at all, to advance international justice?”

[Video]  •  [Discussion]  •  [Background Materials]      

Richard Dicker is the director of Human Rights Watch's international justice program since it was founded in 2001. He has worked at Human Rights Watch since 1991. He started working on international justice issues in 1994 when Human Rights Watch attempted to bring a case before the International Court of Justice charging the government of Iraq with genocide against the Kurds. Dicker later led the Human Rights Watch multi-year campaign to establish the International Criminal Court (ICC). He continues to be closely involved on issues that are important at the ICC. He has also spent the past few years leading advocacy efforts urging the creation of effective accountability mechanisms. He monitored the Slobodan Milosevic trial in The Hague and made many trips to Iraq before and at the start of Saddam Hussein's trial. A former civil rights attorney in New York, Dicker graduated from New York University Law School and received his LLM from Columbia University.


Week 3: James D. Fearon on Deterrence and the ICC

Discussion Question: "To what extent is the deterrence of mass atrocities an attainable goal of the ICC?”

[Video]  •  [Discussion]  •  [Background Materials]      

James D. Fearon is Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Political Science at Stanford University.  His research focuses mainly on political violence – interstate, civil, and ethnic conflict, for example – though he has also worked on aspects of democratic theory and the impact of democracy on foreign policy. He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals, including “Self-Enforcing Democracy” (Quarterly Journal of Economics), “Can Development Aid Contribute to Social Cohesion after Civil War?” (American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings), “Iraq’s Civil War” (Foreign Affairs), “Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States” (co-authored with David Laitin, in International Security), “Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War” (co-authored with David Laitin, in American Political Science Review), and “Rationalist Explanations for War” (International Organization). Fearon was elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002, and has been a Program Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research since 2004. He served as Chair of the Department of Political Science at Stanford from 2008-2010.


Week 4: Cherif Bassiouni on Efficiency and the ICC

Discussion Question: "In what ways could the ICC's bureaucracy, finances, judicial election process, and relationship with the States Parties be reformed to increase its efficiency as an instrument for international justice?" 

[Video]  •  [Discussion]  •  [Background Materials]      

Mr. Cherif Bassiouni is Emeritus Professor Law at DePaul University, where he has taught since 1964, and President Emeritus of the International Human Rights Law Institute, which he helped found in 1990. He was one of the founders in 1972 of the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences, Siracusa, Italy, and served as its President since 1988. He is the Honorary President of the International Association of Penal Law after having served three terms as President from 1989-2004. He was a Guest Scholar at The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. in 1972, Visiting Professor of Law, New York University Law School in 1971, Fulbright-Hays Professor of International Criminal Law, The University of Freiburg, Germany in 1970, non-resident Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Cairo from 1996 to 2006, and is a frequent lecturer at universities in the U.S. and abroad.


Week 5: Ambassador David J. Scheffer

Discussion Question: "What steps can and should the ICC take to secure the arrest and surrender of indictees?"

[Video]  •  [Discussion]  •  [Background Materials]      

Abstract: During its first decade, the International Criminal Court has experienced a range of apprehensions and surrenders of indicted suspects, and it has been frustrated by the continued reality of indicted fugitives who remain at large. This talk will examine the record to date and factors that have influenced different strategies employed by the ICC and various governments in cooperation with the Court. In addition to cooperation strategies, Professor Scheffer will discuss the utility of an international instrument that would facilitate more effective means by which to achieve custody of indicted fugitives.

Ambassador David Scheffer is the Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Lawat Northwestern and serves as the Director of the Center for International Human Rights. He teaches International Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law. Scheffer supervises the International Externship Program.  He received the Dean’s Teaching Award 2007-2008 and founded and co-edited (2007-2011) the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor. Scheffer is the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Expert on United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials.  He was selected by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of the "Top Global Thinkers of 2011."


Week 6: Carla Ferstman

Discussion Question: "Assuming that the ICC chooses to retain victim participation in its processes, how can victims' representation at the ICC be improved and victims' rights be protected?"

[Video]  •  [Discussion]  •  [Background Materials]      

Carla Ferstman is Director of REDRESS. She is currently on sabbatical leave and is a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow 2012-2013 at the United States Institute of Peace. She joined REDRESS in 2001 as its Legal Director and became its Director in 2005. She was called to the Bar in British Columbia, Canada where she practiced as a criminal law barrister. She has also worked with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on legal reform and capacity building in post-genocide Rwanda, with Amnesty International's International Secretariat as a legal researcher on trials in Central Africa and as Executive Legal Advisor to Bosnia and Herzegovina's Commission for Real Property Claims of Displaced Persons and Refugees (CRPC). She has an LL.B. from the University of British Columbia, an LL.M. from New York University and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Oxford. Ms. Ferstman has published and is a regular commentator on victims' rights, the International Criminal Court and the prohibition against torture.


Week 7: William R. Pace

Discussion Question: To what extent can the ICC advance peace around the world?

[Video]  •  [Discussion]  •  [Background Materials]      

Mr. William R. Pace has served as the Convenor of the Coalition for an International Criminal Court since its founding in 1995. He is the Executive Director of the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) and is a co-founder and steering committee member of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect. He has been engaged in international justice, rule of law, environmental law, and human rights for the past 30 years. He previously served as the Secretary-General of the Hague Appeal for Peace, the Director of the Center for the Development of International Law, and the Director of Section Relations of the Concerts for Human Rights Foundation at Amnesty International, among other positions. He is the President of the Board of the Center for United Nations Reform Education and an Advisory Board member of the One Earth Foundation, as well as the co-founder of the NGO Steering Committee for the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and the NGO Working Group on the United Nations Security Council. He is the recipient of the William J. Butler Human Rights Medal from the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights and currently serves as an Ashoka Foundation Fellow. Mr. Pace has authored numerous articles and reports on international justice, international affairs and UN issues, multilateral treaty processes, and civil society participation in international decision-making.






SHREI laid the foundation for Stanford Global Studies' new and thematically broadened community college partnership, Education Partnership for Internationalizing Curriculum (EPIC). EPIC focuses on strengthening the internationalization of curricula and the professionalization of language instruction at community colleges and K-12 institutions and includes the following programs for community college instructors:

  • Fellows Program and Symposium
  • Professional Development Workshops
  • Foreign Language Professional Development Workshops

For information on future workshops, symposia, and fellows programs, visit EPIC at


SHREI Newsletter Winter 2014 image

SHREI Newsletter Winter 2014
New Workshops for Community College Instructors; Art at De Anza College; 2013-14 SHREI Fellows; 2014 SHREI Symposium; Upcoming Film Screening; Outstanding Student Project Award Read More

SHREI Newsletter Fall 2012 
SHREI Announces 2012-13 Human Rights Educator Fellows; Recap: 2012 Symposium. Read More



Multiple email phishing/scam attempts are circulating claiming that SHREI and other organizations (such as the Gates Foundation) are hosting human rights conferences over the coming months. This is not true. Please do not register for SHREI conferences except through this website.