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Chair: Dr Michael Innes, Director of the Conflict Records Unit

Speaker: Dr William Wiley, Founder and Director of the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA)

This event is part of the Conflict Records Unit speaker event series with scholars and practitioners in the field of conflict records. 

Dr Wiley will discuss the work of the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA) in relation to ongoing war crimes investigations and prosecutions in Syria.

The CIJA is a non-profit foundation which extends the investigative reach of Western law enforcement, prosecutorial and public security institutions deep into conflict zones. In the Middle East, the 150-person CIJA has been operating vis-à-vis the Assad regime and Da’esh since, respectively, 2011 and 2014. In the process, the CIJA has extracted from Syria over 1,000,000 original pages of Syrian State military and security-intelligence documentation, as well as considerable quantities of Islamic State-generated records. In keeping with the core mission of the CIJA, these and other materials have come to inform myriad ongoing war crimes investigations and prosecutions as well as public security initiatives.

Additional information regarding the CIJA can be found at



Dr William (Bill) Wiley has twenty-three years’ experience as an international criminal investigator, intelligence analyst and legal advisor, secured in wars and post-conflict situations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. In 1997, he joined the war-crimes section of the Department of Justice of Canada, proceeding from there to the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda in 2000. He was the first investigator retained by the International Criminal Court in 2003 and served as international law advisor during the trials of Saddam Hussein and other senior Baathist leaders in Baghdad during 2005-2008.

In 2011, he founded the non-profit foundation Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA). The CIJA undertakes criminal investigations in Syria (vis-à-vis the Syrian regime) and, since 2014, the so-called Islamic State, focusing on Da’esh operations in Syria and Iraq in cooperation with a range of national and international law-enforcement bodies, including Interpol and Europol. In 2018, the Commission commenced work in and around Myanmar and it is establishing itself currently on the ground in Libya and West Africa.

The work of the CIJA is funded by a range of public donors, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Canada and the European Union. Wiley holds degrees in history and law from McMaster, Oxford, Leiden and York; and, in an earlier life, he was an infantry officer in the Canadian Army.

At this event

Michael Innes

Visiting Senior Research Fellow