Jackson Center President to give keynote at Warren County Courthouse

JAMESTOWN – The Robert H. Jackson Center of Jamestown will honor Justice Robert H. Jackson’s enduring legacy at an annual event honoring his birthday, to be held on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Warren County Courthouse. This event is free and open to the general public. Refreshments will be served at a “meet and greet” immediately following the presentation.

Born in Spring Creek Township, Robert H. Jackson will be commemorated in the county of his birth – Warren County, Pa. Jackson was a country lawyer from Chautauqua County who went on to be U.S. Solicitor General, Attorney General, Supreme Court Justice, and U.S. Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Trials. The continued relevance of Jackson’s mark on history is very apparent in the impact Nuremberg had on the development of a modern international criminal court system, and is the focus of the keynote lecture, The Jackson Legacy: Prosecuting a Head of State, delivered by James C. Johnson.

Johnson, who was appointed to the position of President and CEO of the Robert H. Jackson Center in 2012, formerly served as Chief of Prosecutions of the Special Court for Sierra Leone for over 10 years. In that role, Johnson supervised trial and investigative teams which brought to justice persons who bore the greatest responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international law.

The program will discuss the legacy of prosecuting Heads of State from Nuremberg to today, as Johnson gives his first-hand account of the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, focusing on both the legal and practical issues of the trial and conviction. Charles Taylor was convicted on 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international law and was sentenced to a 50 year prison term. Prior to the evening lecture, Johnson will address Warren area students during a special assembly at Warren High School.

During his military career, Johnson served for 20 years as a Judge Advocate in the United States Army. His tours of duty include serving as the Legal Advisor for the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and as an Assistant Professor of International and Operational Law at the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School. He also served as a prosecutor and international/operational law advisor to both conventional and special operations units.

This event is made possible through the generous support of the following sponsors: Allegheny College, Blair Corporation, Interelectric Corporation, Russell Veterinary Hospital, P.C., Whirley DrinkWorks, H. Robert Hampson, Attorney at Law, Dr. Peter and Charlene Hoffmann, and Winans Agency Insurance.

The Robert H. Jackson Center’s mission is to advance the legacy of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson through education and exhibits, and by pursuing the relevance of his ideas now and for future generations. The Center is located at 305 East Fourth Street, Jamestown. Tours are available from 10 a.m. 4 p.m., Monday Friday and from 10 a.m. 2 p.m. on Saturdays. For additional information about this and other Center events, contact the Robert H. Jackson Center at 483-6646.