Wednesday
November 22

Tribunal renders judgment on international criminal trial led by Professor Groome

Professor Dermot GroomeA verdict was delivered today for Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic at the International Criminal Court, The Hague, following a more than five-year trial. Dermot Groome, professor of law, Penn State’s Dickinson Law, and former senior trial attorney at the Office of the Prosecutor for International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), led the Prosecution's case against Mladic. Mladic was convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys and for the 43-month siege of Sarajevo in which 12,000 were killed.

Groome first presented evidence in the prosecution of Mladic at the ICTY—a special court established to try those responsible for atrocities during the war—in 2012 and claimed that the ethnic cleansing was not a byproduct of the war, but a specific aim of the Bosnian Serb leadership. Prosecutors presented evidence, including Mladic's own wartime diaries that demonstrated "beyond reasonable doubt the hand of Mr. Mladic in each of these crimes," Groome said during his opening statement.

Groome has extensive prosecutorial, investigative, and international experience. Prior to joining the Dickinson Law faculty, he spent more than 11 years as a senior prosecutor at the ICTY, where his work included a senior role in the Bosnian indictment against Slobodan Milošević, and the prosecution of Milan Lukić and Jovica Stanišić, the head of the State Security Service in Serbia. Groome is the author of the Handbook of Human Rights Investigation (2001, 2011), has appeared as an expert before the Human Rights Council and is a member of an expert group advising State Parties to the International Criminal Court. He began his legal career as a prosecutor in Manhattan where he was a member of the Sex Crimes Unit.

Groome supervises the Law School’s Center for International Trial Advocacy and International Justice Program at The Hague, Netherlands. In June, he directed a training program on international trial advocacy for members of the International Criminal Court Bar Association at the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands. Created by Groome, Dickinson Law Dean Gary S. Gildin and four Dickinson Law students, the first-of-its-kind program helps lawyers practicing before international tribunals cultivate and improve skills in developing a legal theory in an international criminal case, and use that theory to develop focused, effective openings, examinations and closing arguments.

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