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Supreme Court's Kennedy urges lawyers to heed Darfur genocide

[JURIST] US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy [LII profile] on Thursday urged greater attention to reports of genocide in Sudan's Darfur region [HRW materials]. In a speech to the annual meeting [agenda] of the American Society of International Law [official website] in Washington, DC, Kennedy said that lawyers have a responsibility to work to prevent genocide and that "It is the duty of the world to do more than watch." Kennedy pointed to the 1994 Rwandan genocide [HRW backgrounder] and said that should serve as a lesson to the world.

The International Criminal Court [official website] last year launched an investigation [JURIST report] into war crimes allegations stemming from the Darfur conflict [JURIST news archive], though no international prosecutions have yet begun. Sudan has established its own courts to try Darfur war criminals, but international observers have expressed doubt [JURIST report] over whether the Sudanese judicial system is capable of effectively prosecuting those involved in human rights abuses there. The Sudanese government has also denied that the conflict rises to the level of genocide, although the characterization has been repeatedly used by US government officials [JURIST report]. AP has more. Tony Mauro of the Legal Times has additional coverage.

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