Human Rights Center convenes global workshop on war crimes investigations

The first Salzburg Workshop on Improving War Crimes Investigations is bringing together technology innovators, human rights investigators, International Criminal Court prosecutors, legal scholars, and others this week to examine and debate the most effective use of cyber-technology in documenting and investigating atrocities.

Held at the Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria—a castle once occupied by the Nazis and now used for global meetings—the workshop promises to yield new ideas for  how people on the ground, who are closest to conflict, may document genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in court-admissible ways. A public report that outlines conclusions and protocols will be made available in the coming months.

“Documentary evidence can be minutes from meetings, telephone intercepts, written orders, or information gleaned from cellular devices,” explained Professor Eric Stover, faculty director of the Human Rights Center. “The aim is triangulate such evidence with testimonial and physical evidenced obtained at the crime scene.”

The workshop, organized by the Human Rights Center in partnership with the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), is funded by Humanity United, the Open Society Justice Initiative, the Oak Foundation, and Sigrid Rausing Trust. It is the first of three Salzburg Workshops to focus on technology and improving war crimes investigations.

Professor Eric Stover, faculty director of the Human Rights Center, delivers opening remarks at the first Salzburg Workshop on Improving War Crimes Investigations. Also pictured are Dr. Camille Crittenden, deputy director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and Professor Laurel Fletcher, director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at UC Berkeley.