UND Center for Human Rights and Genocide Studies hosts Fellow Natalie Pierce


David L. Dodds

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

School of Law


Center to present series of events on The Illegal Use of Force Within and Without? Detention and Aggression

The UND Center for Human Rights and Genocide Studies ("CHRGS") announced that its first Fall Visiting Fellow, New Zealand attorney Natalie Pierce, will take part in a series of events centering on the theme "Illegal Use of Force Within and Without? Detention and Aggression" on the UND campus between Sept. 23 and Sept. 27.

Ms. Pierce serves as Legal Advisor to the Chair of the New Zealand Independent Police Conduct Authority. She has also worked for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Judicial Research Counsel, Dunedin District and High Court, and as a Legal Advisor at the Assembly of States Parties Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Also taking part in the events will be Col. Ward Johnson, a former Guantanamo prosecutor and current adjunct professor at the UND School of Law; Professor Gregory Gordon, Director of CHRGS and former prosecutor with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the Department of Justice; and, John Christgau, author of Enemies: World War II Alien Internment.

Schedule of Events:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 7:00pm in the Baker Courtroom, UND School of Law: Detention and Degrading Treatment – Panel discussion, featuring Ms. Pierce, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Christgau and UND law professor Gregory S. Gordon
  • Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 7:00pm in the East Asia Room, Chester Fritz Library: Maximizing the Power of Prevention Through the Torture Convention's Optional Protocol – Keynote, featuring Ms. Pierce
  • Thursday, Sept. 26 at 12:15 in the Baker Courtroom, UND School of Law (lunch provided): The New Crime of Aggression – Lecture, featuring Ms. Pierce

Professor Gordon said that it is an honor to host such a respected authority on these important topics.

"Ms. Pierce is internationally respected for the impactful contributions she has made in the field of human rights, especially in the areas of detention and aggression" said Gordon. "We are very pleased that she will take part in these events and provide a New Zealander's perspective, which will go a long way toward raising local awareness about these important global issues."

All events during Ms. Pierce's visit are free and open to the public.

Ms. Pierce's fall fellowship will be followed next month by that of another human rights expert, Professor David Pimentel, of Ohio Northern University School of Law. During the week of Oct. 15, Professor Pimentel will be on campus to explore the theme of "Rebuilding Judiciaries in the Wake of Mass Violence." Among other topics, he will discuss his work in Romania, South Sudan, Nepal and Bosnia.

About the New Zealand Independent Police Conduct Authority

The Authority receives complaints alleging misconduct or neglect of duty by any member of Police or concerning any Police policy, practice or procedure, as well as performing independent investigations in which a member of Police causes or appears to have caused death or serious bodily harm in the course of his or her duty. It also monitors police detention as a National Preventive Mechanism under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Crimes of Torture Act 1989.

About the Center For Human Rights and Genocide Studies

The mission of the CHRGS is to increase understanding of the history and issues relating to genocide and other violations of human rights with the intent of preventing such atrocities in the future and advancing human rights on all levels.

Parking Information:

Guests without University parking permits for this or any other on-campus event may use the "pay-as-you-go" option in the Parking Ramp (corner of Second Avenue North and Columbia Road), the UND Visitor pay Lot (off Centennial Drive) or a Parking Meter. There are also several 30-minute free parking spots on the north side of the Memorial Union. Parking in any other parking lot on-campus requires a parking pass, which can be purchased directly through UND Parking Services, Twamley Hall, Room 204 (Monday -Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).

(Benjamin Brockman-Hawe is a Scholar-in-Residence for the Center for Human Rights and Genocide Studies.)