About Jack

Jack is really a storyteller, international explorer, and humanitarian and everything else rolls out from there. As a writer, its what he does. As a international human rights and criminal lawyer and trial skills teacher around the world, its his most important tool. As a former CIA officer, the only way to truly motivate people is to connect and to tell them a story that they can feel viscerally. As a media analyst, what better way to make a point.  In the end, he tries to captivate his audience about the world and its people as much as he himself is captivated.

Teaching Trial Advocacy

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Entries in trial advocacy (3)


Eighteen Human Rights Lawyers Coming Together at the ICC.  

As I pack for another trip, this one to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, it feels very different. I'm one of 18 lawyers from all over the world who are coming together to work on trial advocacy work and to learn how to better address issues in international human rights and justice. I recognize that the ICC is far from perfect and aspects of what they do are troubling and the speed with which they operate and the individuals whom they decide to prosecute also make me scratch my head. Nevertheless, the intent and the true lack of an alternative brings me back to this place.

The lawyers with whom I am lucky enough to stand beside intimidate and inspire me. They are from everywhere; Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Venezuela, Lebanon, Ukraine, France, Morocco, Kenya, New Zealand, Australia and more.  And honestly, it isn't where they are from as much as their accomplishments in their home countries as well as throughout the world.  They've worked previously at the ICC as prosecutors, in the Tribunals in Lebanon, Yugoslavia  as elsewhere. To call it impressive really isn't enough. They are prosecutors, defense attorneys, human rights advocates, everything.

Over the next few days, I may write a little about what I'm working on and about some of these amazing people. I hope to make my own contributions but to be honest, I really believe that I will gain far more from these brains and hearts.  I hope to take you a little bit of a peak behind the curtain.  Damn this is going to be fun.

Hope you can tag along as I step into the International Criminal Court. 


Jack & Ugandan Lawyers in Gulu, Uganda

What an extraordinary groups of lawyers I had the privilege to work with in Gulu, Uganda earlier in 2016. Teaching trial advocacy is a passion and the privilege to travel the world and work with amazing people is really a dream come true. I spent an enormous amount of time with these advocates and I think, in the end, they probably taught me more than I taught them.  Just incredible!


Uganda - A Brief Introduction Prior to Teaching Trial Advocacy in Gulu, Uganda


Uganda is a land-locked country in East Africa with a population near 40 million people.  The British ruled Uganda as a protectorate from 1894 until Uganda gained its independence in 1962.  Uganda's legal system continues to be based on English Common Law and African customary law. However, customary law is in effect only when it does not conflict with statutory law.  

Subsequent to independence, Uganda has faced intermittent instability, first with the Idi Amin regime from 1971-1979, in which an estimated 300,000 were killed. Sadly, during the guerilla war under Milton Obote from 1980-1985, another 100,000 were killed.

Under President Yoweri Museveni, Uganda has acquired some stability but also resulted in multiple wars. Museveni invaded and occupied the Democratic Republic of Congo in which an estimated 5 million died.  In addition, the ongoing civil war with Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army resulted in countless deaths and millions displaced.  The ramifications can be felt to this day.

The epicenter of the Lord's Resistance Army was located in the north of the country primarily in Gulu. In 2005, Kony was indicted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court in the Hague.  Part of the reason was the composition of his army including more than an estimated 65,000 child soldiers.  As a result of a worldwide campaign, he became one of the most wanted men in the world.

Kony is currently still at large and believed to be somewhere in northern Uganda, the DRC, South Sudan or elswhere.