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The Ratline: on international crimes and justice 

Date: 9 June 2020

Time: 16.00 - 17.00 BST

Venue: Webinar

Recording of the webinar 


Event Details

Rebecca Abrams talks to Philippe Sands, author of The Ratline

With the publication of Philippe Sands' new book, The Ratline, this webinar will address international crimes, justice and impunity, against the background of the story of Nazi Governor Otto Wächter, who was indicted but never prosecuted for his crimes. Otto von Wächter escaped charges for 'mass murder', by fleeing to Rome, headed for the 'ratline' and South America, in the context of the Cold War, a route that allowed former Nazi leaders to evade prosecution before national and international tribunals. This webinar will address issues surrounding the prosecution of current international crimes, in view of those who managed to flee from justice on a ratline in respect of which, it seems, the prosecutors were knowledgable.

Philippe Sands is Professor of Law at University College London and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers. He frequently appears before international courts, and has been involved in many of the most important cases of recent years, including Pinochet, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Iraq, Guantanamo, Chagos and the Rohingya in Myanmar. He is the author of LAWLESS WORLD, TORTURE TEAM and EAST WEST STREET, which also won the Baillie Gifford Prize and was named Non-fiction Book of the Year at the British Book Awards.

Rebecca Abrams is an award-winning writer, journalist and literary critic. The author of both fiction and non-fiction, her most recent books include: The Jewish Journey: 4000 years in 22 objects (Ashmolean Museum), a cultural history of the Jews told through little-known artefacts from Oxford's Ashmolean Museum and praised as a 'tribute to the cosmopolitan ideals of Stefan Zweig', and the acclaimed historical novel, Touching Distance (Picador), which is based on the real story of a deadly epidemic that struck the town of Aberdeen in the late 18th century, leading local doctor Alexander Gordon to the ground-breaking discovery of the true cause of maternal sepsis. She is also co-editor with Cesar Merchan-Hamann of Jewish Treasures from Oxford Libraries (Bodleian Library), published in May 2020, which showcases for the first time Oxford University's world-class collections of Hebrew and Jewish manuscripts and books. She is currently working on a book about radicalisation and nationalism in the early 20th century, and a stage play about the Russian writer Isaac Babel, murdered by Stalin in 1940. Rebecca teaches creative and academic writing at the University of Oxford and is the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Brasenose College, Oxford. She is the recipient of an Amnesty International Press Award and is a regular contributor to the Financial Times.

Event convened by Kristin Hausler, Dorset Senior Research Fellow in Public International Law and Director, Centre for International Law at BIICL.

Join in the conversation @BIICL #TheRatline


CPD Information

This event offers the equivalent of 1 CPD hour.


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