Press Releases

Hitler to Saddam: the quest for international criminal accountability since 1945 – University of Reading

Release Date : 17 February 2004

University of Reading Public Lecture: 'Hitler to Saddam: the quest for international criminal accountability since 1945' by Professor Michael Biddiss (History) Location: Palmer Theatre, Whiteknights campus Time and Date: 8pm; 24 February 2004 Ticket Price: Free With question marks hanging over what the future holds for Saddam Hussein since his capture in December 2003, the next University of Reading Public Lecture will take a timely look at how the quest for international criminal accountability has developed since the Second World War. Taking in six decades of global history, Professor Michael Biddiss of the School of History, will examine how far the pioneering Nuremberg Trial of 1945-6 has really led to a culture of accountability for offences of international significance. He will include some consideration of such recent topics as the Pinochet case, the Milosevic hearings, '9/11', the Guantanamo prison and the new International Criminal Court. He will look at what legal hold has been emerging over war crimes and a wider range of humanitarian issues. "At the present time – after the Iraq War, Saddam Hussein's capture, and the Hutton proceedings – the quest to impose proper criminal accountability upon murderous violators of human rights has reached a crucial point," says Professor Biddiss. "There are plenty of unsavoury governments in the world that it would be good to see supplanted. But it does not work to the best longer-term interests of general security when we casually applaud instances of regime-change that are pursued simply according to the choice of the USA – or indeed of any other power operating more or less unilaterally, and largely beyond the aegis of the UN. "When politicians like Bush and Blair present themselves as acting on the side of the angels, we as citizens ought to be vigilant in checking whether they are also managing to act on the side of the law." For further information about the lecture please contact Carol Derham on 0118 378 8004 or e-mail: End Notes for editors For media enquiries and to arrange an interview with Professor Biddiss, please contact Craig Hillsley, press officer, on 0118 378 7388 or e-mail:


Search Form

Main navigation