Skip to Main Content Return to the New England Law | Boston home page

Professor Cerone, Ambassador in Washington Policy Review

(Boston, 12/10/10)  New England Law | Boston:  Professor John Cerone is working to enhance global justice and equity by ending a longstanding rift between the U.S. and the International Criminal Court (ICC).  Cerone, director of the Center for International Law and Policy, is among a small group of international law experts evaluating policy options for the Obama administration.

Professor John Cerone Professor John Cerone

Jennifer Boger ’12 and Leslie McCarthy ’11 assisted Professor Cerone with research and editing for a Washington meeting on December 8 that launched the review process.

Crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC include aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

Headquartered in The Hague, the ICC was established in 1998 as the first permanent, treaty-based international criminal court.  It is currently reviewing situations in Sudan (Darfur) and four other African countries, and has begun preliminary examinations in Asia and Latin America.

The American Society of International Law (ASIL) hosted the meeting.  “We were grouped in pairs to make recommendations on specific topics,” said Professor Cerone.  “I was assigned the crime of aggression, along with Northwestern Law Professor David Scheffer.”

Scheffer was previously the U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues (1997-2001) and led the U.S. delegation in UN talks establishing the ICC.

The two New England Law | Boston students researched the historical US position with respect to the crime of aggression, and international attempts to define aggression more generally.  “They focused in particular on the U.S. posture vis-a-vis the UN General Assembly’s work on the issue during the 1950s through 1970s.” said Professor Cerone. “This culminated in the adoption of a definition of aggression by the General Assembly in 1974.”

Professor Cerone teaches Constitutional Law, Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law, and Public International Law.  A practicing international lawyer, he has worked for a number of different intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, including the UN, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, and the International Crisis Group. He has extensive field experience in conflict and post-conflict environments, and in 2009 served as special adviser to the first U.S. delegation to the UN Human Rights Council.

Professor Cerone’s recent activities also include speaking to an assembly of high level officials on November 11 at London’s renowned Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs).  Cerone circulated a draft of the Center for International Law and Policy’s report of its April 2010 conference, “Reviewing the UN Human Rights Council,” and he presented the center’s recommendations for the UN’s upcoming review of the council. 

In addition, Professor Cerone and his students recently submitted written testimony to a Congressional hearing on the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

more news