Former War Crimes Prosecutor Schwendiman to Discuss Experiences in January 20 Lecture

David Schwendiman, a 1976 graduate of the U of U College of Law and former Deputy Chief Prosecutor and Head of the Special Department for War Crimes, Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, will present the Edward W. Clyde and Howard H. Rolapp Lecture on Wednesday, January 20 at 12:15 p.m. in the S.J. Quinney College of Law’s Sutherland Moot Courtroom. The event is free and open to the public.

A former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah, Schwendiman arrived in Sarajevo in May 2006 and began working as an International Prosecutor in the Special Department for War Crimes of the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the national authority for investigating and prosecuting special crimes, including organized crime, corruption, terrorism and war crimes committed during the 1992-95 war.  From November 2007 until December 2009, he was one of four Deputy Chief Prosecutors of Bosnia and Herzegovina and oversaw the Special Department of War Crimes.

Schwendiman’s lecture, titled “Dealing with Atrocity: First-Hand Observations and Reflections from the Frontlines of the Fight Against Impunity in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” will cover some of the conceptual, legal, practical, and personal challenges that came with his responsibilities as a War Crimes Prosecutor. During 2009, he was responsible for the investigation and identification of the missing from the war throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, including all the excavation and exhumation in mass graves.

“I plan to talk about my personal experiences with the crimes, the aftermath, the survivors, the witnesses, the accused and the evidence,” Schwendiman says. “As well, I will discuss the people who are working every day to deal with all of this in a domestic criminal justice system that is itself recovering from the war and must exist in a volatile political environment in which the war is still being fought.”