Human rights and international law expert Professor Hilary Charlesworth, says that Australia's appointment to the UN Human Rights Council gives the country an opportunity to examine its own human rights record.
Prof Tim McCormack
Melbourne Law School
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Professor McCormack, from the Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne will help the Office of the Prosecutor to develop a solid understanding of complex legal issues such as indiscriminate attack, proportionality and command responsibility. He will also provide advice on the application and interpretation of international humanitarian law in relation to crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, as well as on general principles of criminal law and legal issues related to military structures.
Melbourne Law School Dean, Professor Michael Crommelin, welcomed the announcement. “Professor McCormack has spent much of his professional life committed to promoting understanding of and respect for International Humanitarian Law. I’m sure he will make a significant contribution to the International Criminal Court“ Professor Michael Crommelin says.
Professor McCormack is Professor of Law at the Melbourne Law School and the Acting Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law having served as the Founding Director from 2001 – 2009. He served as the Foundation Australian Red Cross Professor of International Humanitarian Law at the Melbourne Law School from1996 but has stepped down from this position out of respect for the Fundamental Red Cross Principle of Neutrality. “I deeply admire the Red Cross Movement and the outstanding work it does for victims of armed conflict around the world.” said Professor McCormack.
The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that investigates and prosecutes persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo says Professor McCormack has a worldwide reputation for his scholarship and expertise in International Humanitarian Law. “He combines deep knowledge of the law with how it has been applied in military operations” he said. “Professor McCormack will advise my Office on complex legal issues such as indiscriminate attack, proportionality and command responsibility”, Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo says.
Professor McCormack says the position will help him further his work in the specialized area of International Humanitarian Law. “I have consistently argued for a robust system of international criminal justice and effective enforcement of violations of the law as the single most significant influence on increased awareness of and respect for International Humanitarian Law.”
“The Prosecutor is now offering me the opportunity to become involved in the very process I have argued for and I cannot, in good conscience, do anything but enthusiastically embrace the opportunity he has created for me.”
Professor McCormack has collaborated with the Australian Defence Force Legal Service to establish the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law at the Melbourne Law School and has been involved in research and training programs with military officers particularly from the Asia Pacific Region.
Professor McCormack acted as an adviser on international law matters before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for the trial of Slobodan Miloševic; he provided expert Law of War advice for the Defence of David Hicks before the US Military Commission in Guántanamo Bay. He has also been a National Vice-President of the Australian Red Cross and chaired the Australian Red Cross National Advisory Committee on International Humanitarian Law.
Interviews with Professor Tim McCormack and ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo are available, please contact above for details.