Oxford Transitional Justice Research Seminar: A Conspiracy to Commit Genocide-Miles Jackson (Oxford University)

by | May 4, 2016

Please join Oxford Transitional Justice Research (OTJR) for the following event:

A Conspiracy to Commit Genocide: Anti-Fertility Research in Apartheid South Africa’s Chemical and Biological Weapons Programme

Dr. Miles Jackson, Lecturer in International Law, Oxford

Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 5PM
Manor Road Building – Seminar Room G

In late 2013, the Health Professions Council of South Africa found Dr Wouter Basson guilty of unprofessional conduct. The charges stemmed from Basson’s time as head of apartheid South Africa’s chemical and biological weapons programme – a programme implicated in kidnappings, poisonings and murders. Very little attention has been paid to a different aspect of the programme – anti-fertility research. In this paper, I argue that testimony from South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission founds a reasonable basis to believe that scientists at the programme and their principals were engaged in a conspiracy to commit genocide – a conspiracy to surreptitiously deliver anti-fertility drugs to black South Africans with the intention of curtailing birth rates. A conspiracy of this kind gives rise to individual criminal responsibility under international criminal law and, given South Africa’s approach to the incorporation of international crimes, may be prosecuted as such in a domestic court. Regardless of whether it would be a good idea to prosecute the conspirators now, 30 years after the fact, South Africa’s research into anti-fertility drugs ought to play a far greater role in contemporary discussions of apartheid-era wrongs.

Biography: Miles Jackson is a Departmental Lecturer in International Law at the University of Oxford, where he teaches criminal law, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law. He is the author of Complicity in International Law, published by Oxford University Press in 2015. He holds MA and DPhil degrees from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School. Miles was formerly the Global Justice Research Fellow at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, and Convenor of Oxford Transitional Justice Research. He has also worked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa and International Court of Justice.

Share this:


Submit a Comment

Related Content

Talk: Barristers Under Threat – How a protest by common law lawyers sparked an ongoing civil war

Talk: Barristers Under Threat – How a protest by common law lawyers sparked an ongoing civil war

7pm on 11th March at University College in the 12 Merton Street Lecture Theatre. In 2016, barristers in an ...
Postdoctoral Research Assistant on ‘Rethinking Child Law and Policy’

Postdoctoral Research Assistant on ‘Rethinking Child Law and Policy’

About the Role The Department of Law at Queen Mary University of London is looking to appoint a Postdoctoral ...
OxHRH 2013-2014 Report Available Now

OxHRH 2013-2014 Report Available Now

The OxHRH is thrilled to announce the publication of its 2013-2014 annual report. The report, written and ...