In 2020, a group of international human rights practitioners and academics from the United States (US) and Canada formed a working group to develop International Monitoring Panels to Evaluate Trials in the United States (IMPETUS). The group identified a need to assess implementation of international human rights laws, norms, and standards within the US justice system. The US is bound by customary international law and various international treaties that it has ratified, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which sets out fundamental human rights for fair trials. The co-chairs of IMPETUS are Stephen Rapp and Catherine Morris.
Stephen Rapp, J.D., United States Ambassador-at-Large (ret.), who headed the Office of Global Criminal Justice in the US State Department (2009-2015).
Catherine Morris, J.D., LL.M, Executive Director and UN Representative, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada.
Etienne C. Toussaint, M.S.E., J.D., LL.M., Assistant Professor of Law, University of South Carolina School of Law.