To mark the 10th anniversary of the ANCA Grassroots Conference initiative, the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region in collaboration with the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law, the UCLA Promise Armenian Institute, and the CSUN Armenian Studies Department will be hosting a panel discussion featuring Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Dr. Arman Tatoyan.
The panel titled “Justice and Accountability After the Artsakh War” will examine the efforts to hold Turkey and Azerbaijan accountable under international law for their perpetration of grave human rights abuses and war crimes during the invasion of Artsakh last year. The discussion will examine the ongoing proceedings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Azerbaijan over its violation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), as well as other opportunities for accountability under international law, including Turkey and Azerbaijan’s liability for the deployment of Syrian mercenaries.
Dr. Tatoyan will be joined by leading experts in the field of international law: Kate Mackintosh, Executive Director of the UCLA Promise Institute for Human Rights; Rajika Shah, Director of the Loyola Law School Genocide Justice Clinic; and Karnig Kerkonian, international lawyer and counsel for Armenia in its proceedings against Azerbaijan at the ICJ.
“For the 10th anniversary of the ANCA Grassroots Conference initiative, we’re proud to be hosting such an esteemed panel to address the most pressing international legal questions in the wake of the Artsakh war,” remarked chair of the ANCA-WR Board Nora Hovsepian, Esq.
Dr. Tatoyan, who will be honored by the ANCA-WR with the “Human Rights Champion” award at a luncheon on Sunday, November 21st, obtained his LLM and Ph.D. from Yerevan State University’s Department of Criminal Procedure. He also holds his Master of Laws from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In 2016, Tatoyan was elected as the Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) of Armenia. He also serves as an Ad Hoc Judge in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the Permanent International Advisor at the Council of Europe’s Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law and a lecturer at Yerevan State University, American University of Armenia and the Academy of Justice of Armenia. He previously held positions in the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia (2013-2016) and as Deputy Representative of the Government of Armenia before the ECHR (2013-2016).
During and since Azerbaijan’s invasion of Artsakh last year, Dr. Tatoyan has undertaken extensive work not only in upholding citizens’ rights within Armenia but also in diligently documenting and presenting the breadth of the egregious human rights violations perpetrated by the Azerbaijani government against the citizens of Armenia and Artsakh that has been used extensively in Armenia’s case against Azerbaijan at the ICJ.
Dr. Tatoyan will be joined in conversation by legal experts with extensive experience both practicing and educating in the fields of public international law, international criminal justice, and human rights.
Kate Mackintosh has worked in the field of human rights, international criminal justice, and protection of civilians for over two decades and is currently executive director of UCLA Law School’s Promise Institute for Human Rights. Mackintosh has held multiple roles at international criminal tribunals – including the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) – and has been part of post conflict human rights field operations in Bosnia and Rwanda, working to rebuild the justice system after the genocide. For eight years, Mackintosh also worked with Doctors without Borders, providing legal and policy advice to operations in over 30 countries around the world, and leading advocacy in support of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Rajika L. Shah is the Deputy Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Genocide at Loyola Law School, where she also runs the Loyola Genocide Justice Clinic. Prior to joining Loyola, Shah litigated international human rights and property restitution cases on behalf of Armenian and Sudanese genocide victims, indigenous groups, and religious and ethnic minorities. She has represented plaintiffs in numerous complex and high-stakes disputes against foreign sovereigns and commercial entities, at both the trial and appellate levels. She also represented Libyan terrorist hijacking victims before the U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.
Karnig Kerkonian is a seasoned international law expert and experienced litigator. He holds an A.B. magna cum laude in Government from Harvard University and two law degrees—a J.D. from the University of Chicago where he served on the Law Review as well as a post-doctoral Diploma in Public International Law from Cambridge University, England where he studied under James R. Crawford, later a Judge of the International Court of Justice. Kerkonian presents regularly on matters of public international law, the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights and the application of international law in U.S. courts. He is an adjunct professor of public international law at Artsakh State University.
The “Justice and Accountability After the Artsakh War” panel will be held at the Grand Salon at California State University Northridge on Monday November 22 from 6 to 8 p.m.
For the safety of our guests, COVID-19 precautionary measures will be strictly enforced. All guests must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to the event. Due to the limited capacity as a result of COVID-19 precautions, attendees are encouraged to pre-register to secure their seat by visiting ancawr.org/conference.
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential nonpartisan Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues in pursuit of the Armenian Cause.