Mass Atrocities and Human Rights: Legal Responses and Continued Challenges

15.5 Law and Legal and 1.5 Ethics CLE Credits | WSBA Activity ID #1086673

Human rights abuses and their ultimate expression: mass atrocities. This terrible crime is still occurring around the world and the fear of more always exist. This program, with understanding and compassion, and in a safe place, will explore what is being done by the legal community, especially the international community to respond to mass atrocities. We will look at how effective these responses are, have been and will be in the future.


Recorded:  06/20/2018
Credits:  15.5 Law and Legal and 1.5 Ethics CLE | WSBA Activity ID #1086673
Length: 6 hours, per day

Featured Speakers:
Regina Paulose, Paula Lustbader, Thamil Venthan Ananthavinayagan, Sophath Chou, Florian Purganan, Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman, Martha Schmidt, Stefanie Frease, Donna Denina, Ronald Antonio, Judge Jack Nevin

Legal professionals and advocates from around the globe will be coming to Seattle University to address:

  • The landscape of human rights in different parts of the world.
  • Legal mechanisms that have reduced opportunities for victims and survivors or have aided or have aided victims and survivors of mass atrocities in their search for justice.
  • Comparative perspectives on the concept of international justice and human rights.
  • The role of attorneys, advocates, activists, and civil society in finding and contributing to justice. 
  • New and emerging issues within international criminal law and international human rights. 
  • The role of ethics in the pursuit for peace and justice.

The program will look at countries in various parts of North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. This diverse and international program brings many talented scholars and practitioners to discuss hard pressing issues relating to human rights and mass atrocities.

We are pleased to recognize our program sponsors:

  • Common Good Foundation
  • Dhanu Dhaliwal Law Corporation
  • Washington State Bar Association World Peace Through Law Section

CGF Logo

Dhanu Dhaliwal logo

World Peace Through Law logo


Day 1

8:30 a.m.

Registration and Coffee Service

9:00-10:30 a.m.

Session 1:

Civility serves the Interest of Justice

  • Reflections and strategies on incorporating civility in the context of advocating for peace.

Paula Lustbader, Roberts Fund, and Professor Emeriti Seattle University School of Law.

10:30-10:45 a.m.


10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Session 2:

The United Nations Human Rights 2018:Post-colonial Trojan horse or toothless tiger?

  • Introduction to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland as a mechanism and tool to promote human rights.
  • Discussion and debate utilizing examples of the Human Rights Council in action to understand how human rights issues are discussed and resolved at the United Nations.

Dr. Thamil Venthan Ananthavinayagan, Griffith College, Lecturer in International Law

12:15-1:15 p.m.

Lunch (on your own)

1:15-2:45 p.m.

Session 3:

Mass atrocity and the U.S. immigration system: A Case from Cambodia

  • Discussion and illustration of the refugee and asylum procedure in the United States.
  • Discussion of challenges mass atrocity refugees and asylum seekers experience in obtaining safe haven in the United States.

Sophath Chou, Founding Partner, Chou Colwell PS, Bellevue, Washington
Florian Purganan, Partner, Hanis Irvine Prothero, PLLC

2:45-3:00 p.m.


3:00-4:30 p.m.

Session 4:

Somalia: Human Rights situation since independence

  • Somalia, perspectives from what international authorities call a "failed state" - introduction and landscape
  • How legal systems can respond to mass atrocities and human rights in a situation that is a "failed state"
  • Current issues and challenges in human rights and mass atrocities in Somalia

Abudallahi Jama, Somalia Human Rights Attorney (based in Seattle)

4:30 p.m.

Evaluations and Adjourn

Day 2

8:30 a.m.

Registration and Coffee Service

9:00-10:30 a.m.

Session 5:

Myth, Facts and Masculinity; Cultural Considerations When Working with Male Victims of Human Trafficking

  • Learn myth and facts surrounding male survivors of trafficking and how shame and stigma often lead to their isolation.
  • Discuss the ways cultural ideology distorts and impairs the applied methodology of identifying victims of human trafficking, highlighting the need for a deliberate resetting of perceptions.
  • Learn practical ways to break through common barriers to supports and engage male survivors in services.

Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman, Senior Program Coordinator for the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network

10:30-10:45 a.m.


10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Session 6:

The Pearl of the Indian Ocean or Island of Impunity? Post-war Sri Lanka and the search for international justice

  • Discussion on mechanisms used to obtain justice for victims of the Sri Lanka civil war and debate as to effectiveness.

Dr. Thamil Venthan Ananthavinayagan, Griffith College, Lecturer in International Law

12:15-1:15 p.m.


1:15-2:45 p.m.

Session 7:

Implementation of the Peace Accords Between Colombia & the FARC: Impunity & Human Rights Seen Through the Lens of Political Economy

  • Discussion and exploration of the international standards incorporated in Colombia's Constitution, particularly of free association.
  • Acquire knowledge of the history of violations of association and other rights.

Martha L. Schmidt, Attorney and Counselor, Seattle, Washington.

2:45-3:00 p.m.


3:00-4:30 p.m.

Session 8:

International Criminal Court Updates 2018

  • Discuss current preliminary investigations, cases, and other trial activity since Assembly of State Parties Meeting in 2017.
  • Discuss and debate current role of the Court and the future of the Court.

Regina Paulose

4:30 p.m.

Evaluations and Adjourn

Day 3

8:30 a.m.

Registration and Coffee Service

9:00-10:30 a.m.

Session 9:

Anatomy of a War Crimes Investigation: Solving the murders of 8,000 men and boys from Srebrenica, Bosnia


Stefanie Frease, Senior Investigator, Torts Division, Washington State Attorney General's Office

10:30-10:45 a.m.


10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Session 10:

The Fight for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines in this time of Rising Nationalism

  • Introduction and discussion of human rights landscape in the Philippines.
  • Discuss strategies of human rights advocates and legal advocates to advocate on behalf of victims of human rights abuses both domestically and abroad as a result of policies.

Donna Denina, Head of Secretariat, MALAYA

Ronald Antonio, Founding Member, International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines

12:15-1:15 p.m.


1:15-2:45 p.m.

Session 11:

#IBELONG: The Challenge of Statelessness

  • Discussion and debate on challenges for stateless people with a focused example of the Rohingya of Myanmar.

Regina Paulose, ICL and IHRL Attorney; Chair-Elect, World Peace Through Law Section, WSBA

2:45-3:00 p.m.


3:00-4:30 p.m.

Session 12:

Post Conflict Governance; Winning the Peace is more difficult than winning the war

  • Perspectives from the judicial bench on adjudicating issues concerning atrocities.
  • Discussion on post conflict governance and the unique issues created during periods of post conflict governance.

Hon. Jack Nevin, Judge, Pierce County Superior Court

4:30 p.m.

Evaluations and Adjourn


Program Chair

Regina Paulose, ICL and IHRL Attorney

Regina Paulose is an alumna from Seattle University School of Law and her LLM in International Crime and Justice from the University of Torino/UNICRI. She has been a practicing attorney since 2004. She has presented at international conferences and has published law review articles concerning the Rome Statute, Genocide, and Transnational Organized Crime. She is one of the co-founders of A Contrario ICL. She was the Chair for the Steering Committee of the United Kingdom Child Sex Abuse People's Tribunal. She is the Chair -Elect of the World Peace through Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association.


Thamil Venthan Ananthavinayaga

Dr. Thamil Venthan Ananthavinayagan, LLM. (Maastricht University) and PhD from Irish Centre for Human Rights (NUI Galway) is a lecturer for international law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law at Griffith College Dublin since September 2017. Prior to this lectureship, he was occupied as a Fellow and research assistant to the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway, Ireland. There, his doctoral thesis was supervised from 2013-2015 by the then- Director of the Centre, Prof. Michael O'Flaherty (now Director of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU) and then by Dr. Shane Darcy. His research focuses on the engagement of Sri Lanka with the UN human rights machinery

Before his occupation at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, he studied law at the universities of Bonn and Marburg, Germany, and worked in different research institutions, at universities, for policy-makers in Duesseldorf and Berlin, Germany. Finally, he worked as a junior lawyer for the tenants' association in Bonn, Germany. Thamil holds a master's degree in human rights from the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands.

He has presented papers at different universities in Europe and has written on numerous issues relating to international law.

Ronald Antonio

Ronald Antonio is a semi-retired graphic designer and founding member of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines - United States chapter (ICHRP-US). He was born in Seattle, WA to an immigrant family who left the Philippines during the time of Martial Law under President Ferdinand Marcos. He participated in the International Peoples' Tribunal that took place in 2015 in Washington D.C. and continues to organize with Filipino communities in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. He currently serves with the National Coordinating Committee of ICHRP-US and leads the Educational Working Group.

Sophath Chou

Sophath Chou is originally from Battambang, Cambodia, and immigrated to the United States as a refugee to escape the Khmer Rouge. She is a graduate of the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and the Seattle University School of Law, where she obtained her Juris Doctorate. While in law school, Sophath interned at the United States Senate and was active in non-profit organizations that aided immigrant communities. After graduating law school, Sophath joined the Seattle firm Carney & Marchi, where she practiced immigration law and criminal defense. Currently, Sophath focuses primarily on immigration and civil litigation. She is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA). She is admitted to practice in the Ninth Circuit Court and the Eastern and Western District Court of Washington. She also volunteers at Asian Counseling Referral Services.

Donna Denina

Donna Denina is head of the Secretariat for MALAYA, a new national formation in the U.S. calling for an end to the killings and the Duterte dictatorship in the Philippines. She attended the University of WA and has been a Seattle resident for over 20 years. Donna has been an active organizer for GABRIELA, a progressive Filipino women's organization advocating for the rights and welfare of Filipinas since 2003.

Stefanie Frease

Stefanie Frease worked for 15 years on international criminal investigations in the Balkans, S.E. Asia and Africa. She was a researcher/investigator and Special Advisor to the Prosecutor for the UN's Yugoslav Tribunal in The Hague, The Netherlands. She initiated the Darfur, Sudan investigation for the International Criminal Court in The Hague and later consulted on matters related to political violence in Kenya and the Ivory Coast. In 2011 she returned home to Seattle where she is a senior investigator in the Torts Division of the Washington State Attorney General's Office (AGO). She serves on the AGO's Sexual Harassment Response Team and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Human Rights at the University of Washington (UW).

Stefanie is a graduate of the UW's Jackson School of International Studies, holds a master's degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a certificate from Seattle University's Executive Leadership Program, Albers School of Business.

Abudallahi Jama

Abdullahi Jama, is an independent consultant on East African community issues focusing on research, at-risk youth, economic disparity, strategic planning, and leadership training. Abdullahi worked with OneAmerican as a community advocate from 2003-2010 and the City of Seattle Office of Immigrants and Refugee Affairs in 2012 -2013 to lead the Save Community Conversation between the Seattle Police Department and African immigrant populations in Seattle. In his home country of Somalia, Abdullahi taught human rights law at the Somali National University and worked with the Government of Somalia negotiating peace treaties. Abdullahi is a member of Washington State Minority and Justice Commission.

Paula Lustbader

Professor Paula Lustbader is highly respected internationally in the legal-education academy and locally in the Seattle legal community for the passion and energy she brought to her work as co-founder and director of the Academic Resource Center and its Access Admissions program at Seattle University School of Law. For 28 years, she provided instruction, support, and mentorship to law students from under-represented groups and, in the process, has been instrumental in increasing the diversity of the legal profession.

In 2015 she was given the Association of American Law Schools Section on Academic Support Award for Excellence in Legal Education. The Washington State Bar Association recognized Professor Lustbader's outstanding contributions by naming her co-recipient of the organization's Award for Excellence in Diversity (2006). In 2010, she received the Loren Miller Bar Association President's Award for her role in increasing the diversity in the legal profession. Professor Lustbader is an internationally recognized leader, scholar, and speaker on law school academic support programs, learning theory, teaching methods, and diversity. She has also lectured in England, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy.

In addition to using her vision to help found two national organization sections on Law School Academic Support and the Center for Teaching and Learning at Seattle University, she has assumed numerous leadership roles with the legal academy's national organizations. She retired from Seattle University School of Law in 2015. Between 2010 and 2015, Professor Lustbader began phased retirement from the Law School in order to enable her to shift her focus to her work as president of Robert's Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering civility in the legal profession. In that role, she has undertaken a variety of initiatives.

In addition to writing articles about civility, she is developing curriculum, programs, and seminars to promote civility; she is facilitating conversations on civility with focus groups; and she is making multiple presentations and providing consulting to law firms and other legal professional organizations. In 2014, Professor Lustbader became the president of Alfie's Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support to help change a life. She is currently spearheading the foundation's first initiative, Alfie Scholars at Seattle University, whose mission is to make the dream of a bachelor's degree achievable for diverse transfer students who are committed to fostering civility.

Judge Jack Nevin

Jack F. Nevin is a Superior Court Judge in Tacoma Washington. Judge Nevin is retired from the U.S Army where he holds the rank of Brigadier General. In his last duty position, he served as Chief Judge (IMA) of the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals and Commander, US Army Reserve Legal Command (Provisional). His Army career has included duty in Asia, Europe, Central America, South America, Africa, and the Balkan Peninsula. In 2009 he was awarded the Army's Distinguished Service Medal.

A 1996 graduate of the Air War College and 1998 graduate of the Army War College, Judge Nevin currently serves on the board of advisors of the National Institute of Military Justice through which he provides guidance and assistance to both the legislative and executive branches of government on a host of military law issues. In this capacity, he also serves as a trial observer at the Office of Military Commissions, Military Tribunals in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Judge Nevin has experience on several continents, working in civilian and military roles on issues related to post-conflict governance. Such activities have included serving as a civilian judge for the United Nations in Kosovo, judicial training in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the former Soviet Union, and assisting the government of El Salvador in developing its first victim witness assistance program. He has lectured in Argentina on the development of public disclosure legislation and in several African nations on the successful prosecution of government corruption.

Judge Nevin has lectured throughout the United States on a host of subjects focusing primarily on trial practice and the rules of evidence. He serves as faculty for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the Washington State Judicial College. Judge Nevin has taught on the undergraduate and graduate level for approximately thirty years. Currently, he serves as an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy, Advanced Evidence and Military Law at the Seattle University School of Law, Adjunct Professor Kessler Eidson Trial Advocacy Program at Emory University School of Law, Lecturer Humanitarian Law Catholic University of Lublin, Poland and instructor for the National Center for State Courts.

Judge Nevin's scholarly work includes Montana's Real Property Forfeiture Statute: Will it Pass Constitutional Muster? Volume 54 Mont. L. Rev. 69 (1993), Tellevik v. Real Property: Washington's Constitutional Dilemma 29 Gonz. L. Rev. 303 (1993/94), Conviction, Confrontation and Crawford; Gang Expert Testimony as Testimonial Hearsay 34 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 857 (2011) and Neither A Model of Clarity Nor A Model Statute: An Analysis of The History, Challenges, and Suggested Changes To the "New" Article 120 67 A.F. L. Rev. 269 (2011) and International Criminal Courts and Domestic Military Justice; Volume 5 Phoenix Law Review (2011). Judge Nevin holds a BA from Washington State University and an MBA\J.D. from Gonzaga University.

Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman

Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman, graduated from the University of California San Diego with a Masters in Psychology, he has years of experience developing curriculum and providing training on trauma informed care, mental health, human trafficking, evidence-based practices and more to a diverse range of audiences. Suamhirs' professional experience also includes direct services to vulnerable youth, program management, policy advocacy around foster care and human trafficking in California, and co-coordination of the National Survivor Network. As a male survivor and an expert in behavioral psychology, Suamhirs has been an active subject matter expert consultant for the Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, the Department of Health and Human Services National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistant Center, The International Association of Human Trafficking Investigators and is a member of the National Council for Community Behavioral Health. He was appointed by President Barack Obama to the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking and has worked with the UN and Vital Voices to develop curriculum and training on engaging men in gender-based violence initiatives. Suamhirs is currently the Senior Program Coordinator for the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network. He is a 2015-2018 Presidential Appointee, to the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.

Florian Purganan

Florian Purganan practices exclusively in immigration and citizenship law. His practice encompasses all areas of immigration law, particularly adjustment of status, family petitions, waiver applications, and deportation defense. Florian also regularly handles employment based immigration matters including labor certifications and non-immigrant visas for foreign professionals.

Florian is fluent in Tagalog and is very active in the Filipino community. He currently serves as a board member for the Filipino Lawyers of Washington (FLOW). He was the past National Youth Chair the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA). In addition, Florian is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and currently serves on the Executive Committee for the local chapter as Treasurer.

Florian graduated from Seattle University in 2001 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology. He then attended law school at Seattle University where he earned his J.D. degree in 2004. During law school, Florian gained significant experience in immigration law as an extern at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, where he assisted low-income individuals attain citizenship.

Martha L. Schmidt

Martha L. Schmidt, Labor and Employment Attorney in Seattle, who has her LL.M., Law and Marine Affairs, University of Washington, J.D., University of Wisconsin Master of International Administration, School for International Training (VT) (internship, Amnesty International) , A.B., Anthropology, Vassar College and completed Ph.D. program, social anthropology, The University of Chicago; certificat, Institut International des Droits de l'Homme (Strasbourg).

Martha currently is a sole practitioner focusing on employment and labor law; workplace conflict resolution; consultant, international human rights law; estate planning. Her previous work experience includes: Juvenile Defender (Snohomish Co. & Island Co., WA); Attorney/Organizer, Seattle Worker Center; Attorney, Unemployment Law Project; Staff Attorney, Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. She also has experience as an Adjunct and Visiting Faculty member for The Evergreen State College, University of Washington-Bothell, and University of Washington-Tacoma and has taught courses such as political economy, international law of human rights, international relations, women studies, social movements, law and policy, and labor studies. She is a Union Organizer for AGMA, AFM, IUOE, SEIU and a Labor Educator for KCLC (WA) Community Organizer; Political Campaign Organizer (Chicago, Seattle) Director, nuclear disarmament organization (Chicago).

She has been part of International delegations for Colombia (peace process); Venezuela (elections); Peru (trial); El Salvador (elections); Cuba (labor law conference, union meetings).

She is active in several organizations including the National Lawyers Guild Washington Employment Lawyers Association and the Washington State Bar Association. She is admitted to practice in Washington, Illinois, Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.


Three-Day Program

General Registration (including lawyers & students from outside the U.S.A.) : $510

Seattle University Law School Alumni: $425

WPTL Section Members: $425