Inns of Court to show award-winning film 'War Don Don'


 The Justice Robert H. Jackson Inn of Court and the Robert H. Jackson Center Inn of Court will show the film “War Don Don” at their annual meeting Thursday evening. 

            The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall followed by a panel discussion and question-and-answer session. It is free and open to the public.

            “War Don Don” follows the war crimes trial of Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front rebel leader Issa Sesay and explores the complex relationship between individual accountability, collective reconciliation and the limits of international justice.

            From 1991 to 2001, the United Front fought to overthrow the ruling government of Sierra Leone. In 2003, after the end of the war, the United Nations and the government of Sierra Leone spent more than $200 million building a special court to seek justice and reconciliation, setting up the world’s first international war crimes “hybrid tribunal.”

      Three years in the making, “War Don Don” draws on unprecedented access to the inner  workings of the defense and prosecution in Sesay’s trial, including access to Sesay himself, exploring the contradictions of a man who dealt in blood diamonds, commanded child soldiers and was blamed for mass atrocities against civilians, while also being credited by some with single-handedly ending the war. 

            Originally produced for HBO, the film was nominated for two Emmy Awards in 2011 and was the winner of the Special Jury Prize at South by Southwest Film Festival.

            American Inns of Court are designed to improve the skills and professionalism of members of the bench and bar. The Robert H. Jackson Inns are named for Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, who was architect of the international trial process and then the chief prosecutor of the surviving Nazi leaders at Nuremberg, Germany. Jackson grew up in Frewsburg, N.Y., and spent 25 years in nearby Jamestown, N.Y., practicing law.