Dec. 12, 2019 - University of Houston Law Center Associate Professor of Law and Political Science Zachary D. Kaufman has completed a series of speaking engagements this week in Australia.
Kaufman delivered multiple presentations highlighting two of his articles. One of these articles, “Legislating Atrocity Prevention,” will be featured in an upcoming edition of the Harvard Journal on Legislation. The article analyzes two new U.S. laws on atrocity prevention, the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act and the Syrian War Crimes Accountability Act, of which Kaufman was a lead architect while serving on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff in 2016-17 as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow.
Kaufman presented this article on Nov. 27 at Monash Law School in Melbourne and on Dec. 11 at the University of New South Wales Law School in Sydney.
“With genocides likely committed recently against the Yazidi, Rohingya, and Kurds, preventing and responding to atrocity crimes must be a global concern,” Kaufman said. “The new atrocity prevention laws I analyze in Legislating Atrocity Prevention can be used as models for other countries to adopt, as the United Kingdom is already considering doing with one of the laws.
“I appreciate the opportunity to engage with scholars and practitioners in Australia, a close ally and partner of the United States, to discuss how our two countries, and the rest of the international community, can collaborate in addressing crimes against humanity.”
The second article, “Protectors of Predators or Prey: Bystanders and Upstanders Amid Sexual Crimes,” was published in the current issue of the Southern California Law Review and is the basis for Kaufman's next (fourth) book, forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.
Kaufman spoke about the article on Dec. 4 at the University of Western Australia Law School in Perth and on Dec. 10 at the University of Sydney Law School.
“The #MeToo movement, which extends to Australia, has raised awareness of sexual abuse and the role bystanders play in enabling such heinous conduct,” Kaufman said. “The research and recommendations I present in Protectors of Predators or Prey apply to Australia’s own approach to addressing the scourge of sexual crimes.
“I am honored to have the chance to share my ideas on carrots and sticks that could be used to prod would-be bystanders to act instead as upstanders.”
Kaufman’s visit culminated at the U.S. Consulate in Sydney on Wednesday, where he delivered lectures on both of his articles.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to share my research and recommendations with U.S. officials in Australia,” Kaufman said. “Both of the articles I presented relate to State Department staff. Legislating Atrocity Prevention discusses how new legislation on atrocity prevention requires Foreign Service Officers to be trained on early warning signs of atrocity crimes and methods of preventing and responding to such offenses. Because of my work on Protectors of Predators or Prey, a Congressperson invited me to advise her on drafting new legislation to combat sexual crimes—and bystanderism to such offenses—in U.S. embassies and consulates.”