Kingsley Napley's third International Criminal Law Conference taking place on 28 January 2020: Justice and Rights

21 January 2020

The third Kingsley Napley International Criminal Law Conference which will take place on 28 January 2020 at The Charterhouse, London, puts justice and rights as its central theme.


The conference will start with a keynote address by Steven Powles QC who will reflect on the Agnes Taylor case in which he appeared for the defence. Agnes Taylor was charged in 2017 on an indictment alleging torture in relation to a number of incidents said to have taken place in 1990 in the course of the civil war in Liberia. The case recently concluded with the dismissal of all charges (see our blog here). Steven will discuss the case and its implications for the UK in its exercise of universal jurisdiction.

Panel one - Post-Conflict: are justice and reconciliation mutually exclusive?

The period following the conclusion of conflict invariably engages competing priorities: the need for parties who were previously opponents to work together; the desire for restitution for the victims of violence; and the call for justice for those alleged to have committed crimes. From Northern Ireland to South Africa, from Sri Lanka to Colombia, a range of approaches have been adopted to manage this fraught process: truth and reconciliation commissions; public inquiries and criminal trials. The discussion will consider the merits of the different approaches adopted around the world and how best to deal with current conflicts, such as those in Syria and Yemen, when the fighting ends.

Chaired by Jonathan Grimes from Kingsley Napley, we are delighted to be joined by panellists who have played a variety of roles in some of the different mechanisms that have been adopted:

  • Kirsty Brimelow QC, Doughty Street Chambers
  • Rodney Dixon QC, Temple Garden Chambers
  • Alison Macdonald QC, Essex Court Chambers
  • Barra McGrory QC, Doughty Street Chambers
  • Rupert Skilbeck, Director of Redress

Panel two - Business & Human Rights 2019-20: Key developments of 2019, looking forward to 2020

Our second panel, presented by the Business and Human Rights Practitioners’ Network puts corporates firmly in the spotlight and will discuss the key developments of 2019 in the field of Business and Human Rights and consider what 2020 might hold for this rapidly developing area of practice. The panel will look at such topics as:

  • The prosecution of corporate actors for international crimes, considering any international litigation trends;
  • White-collar war crimes, civil recovery and sanctions;
  • International developments in human rights due diligence obligations and the statutory duty of care;
  • The possibility of a UK failure to prevent mechanism and the corporate response to such a mechanism;
  • The Vedanta decision and what it means for the future;
  • Recent developments in relation to operational-level grievance mechanisms, what they might mean in practice, and other means of dispute settlement.

Chaired by Professor Robert McCorquodale (University of Nottingham, Brick Court Chambers and Inclusive Law) the panel will comprise a number of experts:

  • Anna Kirkpatrick, Clifford Chance LLP
  • Gabriela Quijano, Business and Human Rights expert, former Legal Advisor to Amnesty International on Business and Human Rights
  • Lise Smit, British Institute of International Comparative Law
  • Russell Hopkins, Bright Line Law

We very much hope that you can join us. To view the programme and sign up please see here.

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