Wednesday 19 March 2014, 12:30 - 13:30

North Korea: Crimes Against humanity, Accountability and the Responsibility to Protect

Michael Kirby

UN Human Rights Council

The UN Human Rights Council established a Commission of Inquiry one year ago to investigate systematic, widespread and grave human rights violations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Faced with the DPRK’s categorical refusal to cooperate, the Commission held public hearings of victims and witnesses in Seoul, Tokyo, London and Washington D.C. and conducted more than 240 confidential interviews with former DPRK officials and victims who could not speak publicly due to fear of reprisals.

The Commission presents its findings to the Human Rights Council on 17 March, outlining state-sponsored crimes against humanity and calling on the international community to protect the population of the DPRK from further crimes. It calls on the UN Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court and impose sanctions on individuals most responsible for these crimes.

Join the Commission’s Chair, Judge Michael Kirby, and two of the Institute’s foremost experts in international law and human rights to discuss the findings of the Commission and the challenge now for the DPRK, neighbouring China and the international community as a whole.


Retired Australian High Court Judge Michael Kirby chairs the UN’s Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea. He has a long and distinguished career focusing on human rights, the rule of law, judiciary independence and HIV/AIDS.


Professor in Public International Law at the Graduate Institute since 1997, Andrew Clapham is also Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.


Associate Professor in International Law at the Graduate Institute, Zachary Douglas is an expert in public international law and international dispute settlement and acts as counsel, expert witness and arbitrator before international courts and tribunals.

Auditorium Ivan Pictet
Maison de la paix, Graduate Institute Geneva

Please register here.

This event is jointly organized by the Graduate Institute and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

For more information, please contact