Great Decisions Topic: War Crimes

Speaker Date: March 31, 2023

GREAT DECISIONS TOPIC: Pursuing Accountability for War Crimes in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

It has become increasingly clear that there have seen serious abuses of civilians and prisoners of war in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.  Many of these abuses may rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity.  However, the application and enforcement of the laws of war have always been complicated by both law and politics.  This talk will consider how and whether atrocities in Ukraine – and other 21st century conflicts – will be punished under the laws of war.

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Dr. Jacob Wobig
Professor, Wingate University


Dr. Wobig teaches political science and history at Wingate University.  His classes cover various aspects of global politics.  His research focuses international and comparative human rights, and international law.  Prior to joining academia, he practiced as an attorney in his home state of Nebraska.

Education wise, he obtained his PhD at the University of Nebraska, where he wrote his dissertation on regional treaties to support democracy in their member-states. Recently, he has focused on recent trends in human rights around the world. He states that, “We are in a “rights recession” in which many human rights are being restricted by governments around the world. I am trying to understand why.”

In addition to his teaching role, Dr. Wobig is also the advisor to the Wingate Model United Nations team. They have been a very successful group over the last 8 years

Growing up in a small ranching town in western Nebraska called Valentine, he attended the University of Nebraska – Lincoln to study political science and international relations. After graduating in 2001 he then went to the University of Iowa College of Law, where he became Editor in Chief of the Journal of Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems. His interest in politics was already firmly entrenched by this time and through undergrad and law school he worked as a volunteer in about half a dozen campaigns for local and statewide offices. After law school, he worked as an attorney in Lincoln, Nebraska for 3 years where his practice was split between insurance defense and issues of administrative and constitutional law.