Nuremberg Academy Lecture – Claus Kreß


Professor Dr Dres h.c. Claus Kreß, Universität zu Köln, an eminent scholar on international law and world-leading expert on the crime of aggression gave a lecture on “The Ukraine War and the Crime of Aggression“ at the historic Courtroom 600 of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, Nuremberg, on 4 May 2023. This was the second lecture within the Nuremberg Academy Lectures.

The crime of aggression is among the topics at the heart of the international debate about international accountability in the context of the Ukraine war. In his lecture, Professor Dr Dres h.c. Kreß situated the debate about the Ukraine war and the crime of aggression in a wider historical as well as political context and offered reflections on the most current state of the discussion at the time of the lecture.

Professor Dr Dres h.c. Kreß is a Professor of International Law and Criminal Law. He is the Director of the Institute of International Peace and Security Law at the Universität zu Köln. His scholarly work comprises more than 200 publications on the law on the use of force, the law of armed conflicts and international criminal law. He has been a member of Germany’s delegations in the negotiations regarding the International Criminal Court as between 1998 and 2017. In 2019, he was appointed Judge ad hoc at the International Court of Justice in the Case of the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar). Since 2021, he has been serving as the Special Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on the Crime of Aggression.

The lecture was prefaced by a set of formal opening remarks from Nuremberg Academy Foundation Board and Advisory Council members and from local German officials, as well as an introduction from Nuremberg Academy Director Professor Dr Christoph Safferling. The lecture itself was one hour, followed by 30 minutes of discussion between State Minister Katja Keul, German Foreign Office, and the lecturer, moderated by Deputy Director Dr Viviane Dittrich. The lecture was followed by a reception.

The event was held in English and was open to the public without prior registration. The lecture was video recorded and will be made available on the Academy’s YouTube channel.

The Nuremberg Academy Lectures explore topical issues at the intersection of international criminal law, transitional justice and policy. The International Nuremberg Principles Academy invites leading scholars and practitioners to deliver a lecture and engage in dialogue. Through its public lecture series featuring speakers of national and international renown, the International Nuremberg Principles Academy provides a forum for discussion around contemporary issues in international criminal law and promotes public understanding of international law.