McLaughlin College serves up a lunch talk on significance of Koblenz case

Balkees Jarrah
Balkees Jarrah

McLaughlin College invites the York University community to come and listen to interesting speakers as they share their knowledge on a variety of topics during the popular Lunch Talks Series. The long-running series continues this year in a virtual format via Zoom.

Students who attend six or more Lunch Talks throughout the year will receive a Certificate of Participation, while those who attend 10 or more will receive a Certificate of Honour.

The series will continue on Oct. 7 with a talk titled “Justice for Syria in German Courts” presented by Balkees Jarrah, Senior Counsel on international justice at Human Rights Watch.

Victims of crimes around the world have increasingly looked to European courts in the hopes of seeing some accountability. The trial of two alleged former Syrian intelligence officials implicated in serious abuses in Syria’s prisons started April 23 in the German city of Koblenz. According to Jarrah, this is a moment of great significance, as the first criminal trial in the world involving state-sponsored torture in Syria.

The Koblenz case stands out because it will be the first time a former higher-level Syrian official is prosecuted on charges that more fully reflect the breadth of abuses and the type of brutal criminality committed in Syria over the last decade. This is a rare piece of good news in the international justice world, and particularly in the Middle East region. In her  presentation, Jarrah will explore the trial’s significance, behind the scenes work to promote these types of cases and what can be expected going forward.

Those interested in attending the event, which will take place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m, can register here: