Investigating war crimes

30 July 2018
Marc Garlasco ran a three-hour seminar for MCTS students on the difficulties of investigating war crimes in active war zones.

Last month, Master of Conflict and Terrorism Studies (MCTS) students participated in a war crimes investigation workshop run by a senior military advisor to the United Nations.

Marc Garlasco, a former Pentagon senior intelligence analyst and current advisor to the UN's International Commission in Syria, ran a three-hour seminar especially for MCTS students on the many difficulties of investigating war crimes in active war zones.

"We learnt a lot about the importance of weaponry intelligence and forensic analysis in investigating war crimes," said MCTS student Carmen Noel.

"It was interesting to me that even Marc, as a highly-ranked United Nations official, struggled every day to defend his findings in terms of civilian casualty numbers."

Garlasco, who has worked for non-governmental organizations such as Human Rights Watch in the past, spoke at length about the need for greater interagency cooperation in the field of war crime investigations.

"One of my favourite things about the MCTS program is the opportunity it provides for extracurricular activities, especially given the fact it's never only a regurgitation of one point of view," said MCTS student Hunter Fitzpatrick.

"There is a broad spectrum of individuals and experiences brought forth including individuals like Marc who have been on both sides of a conflict."

MCTS staff and students are planning on facilitating a variety of similar events in the future, including an upcoming expert panel discussion on West Papua in 2018 organised by the Conflict, Terrorism, and Peace group and the Indonesian Students Association of New Zealand.

Find out more about the Master of Conflict and Terrorism Studies