Rwanda to Myanmar
Rwanda to Myanmar – the role of media and social media in inciting genocide and violence
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, UTS Faculty of Law and the Centre for Media Transition will host a public lecture by Ambassador Stephen Rapp, who was appointed by President Obama as United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice.
In what became known as the Media Trial, Ambassador Rapp led the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda’s prosecution against the leaders of the RTLM station and Kangura newspaper for inciting genocide in 1994.
A panel discussion will follow featuring The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, Christopher Sidoti, Australian member of the UN Human Rights Council, and moderated by Professor Lesley Hitchens, Dean of the UTS Faculty of Law.
Accelerated technological change since the Rwandan genocide has irreversibly altered and globalised mass communication, the role of the media and international criminal law.
This event focuses on the role of local, traditional media in inciting genocide during the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s to multinational, social media platforms implicated in the plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar today.
About the Speakers
Ambassador Stephen Rapp was appointed by President Obama as United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice and is Distinguished Fellow at The Hague Institute for Global Justice. He was formerly the Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. He led the ICTR’s prosecution in the Media Trial against the leaders of the RTLM station and Kangura newspaper for inciting genocide in 1994.
The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG is a former Judge of the High Court of Australia, Federal Court of Australia and President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal. He was UN Special Representative in Cambodia and led the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry into human rights abuses in Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (North Korea) in 2013-2014.
Christopher Sidoti is a member of the Human Rights Council’s Independent International Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar, and has held numerous national and international human rights posts including Foundation Secretary of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in 1987. He is the co-author of the recent Human Rights Council’s Report of the independent international fact-finding mission on Myanmar (2018).
Professor Lesley Hitchens is Dean of the Faculty of Law at UTS and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. Her main research area is communications regulation and she has focused on broadcasting and electronic media regulation. In 2018 she received the Financial Times Australian Legal Innovator Award.