International Conference "Is the Future of International Criminal Law Domestic?"

"Is the Future of International Criminal Law Domestic?"

The International Nuremberg Principles Academy, jointly with the Genocide Network Secretariat hosted by Eurojust organised an international conference entitled "Is the Future of International Criminal Law Domestic?" from 12 to 14 May 2022. The in-person conference held in the historic east wing of the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg included hybrid elements for those speakers who were unable to attend in person due to the pandemic situation.

The objective of the conference was to reflect on a postulation of the first Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno Ocampo, raised already in 2003, stating that the ICC would be at its most successful when it had no cases because national authorities were handling them. What does this mean, twenty years after the ICC’s establishment? Have domestic prosecutions proven to be a viable alternative?

A keynote dialogue and six roundtable discussions with high-profile participants examined the practical implications of that postulation and assessed how far the international community has come towards achieving it, along the following lines of inquiry:

  • What is the current state of the application of International Criminal Law (ICL) in national jurisdictions?
  • How important has the practice of universal jurisdiction been, as opposed to more traditional forms of jurisdiction?
  • Which have been the most effective cases in moving the law forward? Which jurisdictions have been the most active?
  • How do national jurisdictions work together to address cross-border challenges? How can they work better together?

National jurisdictions can carry a great deal of the load, with appropriate tools and resources. With a look at key cases and verdicts, the conference analysed progress thus far achieved, and the best paths to success in the future, as well as encouraged greater involvement of national prosecution services.

The conference’s goal was to reflect on the current practice of national jurisdictions in investigating and prosecuting international crimes, to evaluate their achievements and identify where these practices could be improved and to facilitate networking that may contribute to such improvements. A conference report will summarise the event. Speakers addressed the expert level, with the goal of facilitating constructive exchanges on specific ongoing cases and country situations. It was relevant to practitioners from national and international jurisdictions as well as scholars and students interested in international criminal justice, ICL, political and social science.

For more information please see the programme for download below.

The video recording of the conference is available on the Academy’s Youtube channel.

Photos of the Conference – copyright: International Nuremberg Principles Academy

“Is the Future of International Criminal Law Domestic?” – the first hybrid conference of the Nuremberg Academy
1st row fr. left to right: Chloé Faucourt, Jennifer Schense, Duscha Gmel, Dr Christophe Eick, Klaus Rackwitz, Matevž Pezdirc, Dr Navi Pillay and Dr Thomas Dickert
Director Klaus Rackwitz opening the conference
Dr Christophe Eick, Chairperson of the Foundation Board of the Nuremberg Academy, Legal Adviser and Director-General for Legal Affairs of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany giving his welcoming remarks
The President of the Higher Regional Court of Nuremberg, Dr Thomas Dickert, during his welcoming remarks
Welcoming remarks by Prof. Julia Lehner, Deputy Mayor of the City of Nuremberg (video recording)
Dr Navi Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and President of the Advisory Council of the Nuremberg Academy, giving her welcoming remarks
The conference took place at the new premises of the Nuremberg Academy in the east wing of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice.
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, H. E. Dr Karim A. A. Khan, QC, delivering his keynote address (remote participation)
Keynote address by Dr Aminata Touré, former Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, Office of the Prime Minister of Senegal (remote participation)
The conference was the first in-person event since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Duscha Gmel, Federal Prosecutor at the Office of the German Federal Public Prosecutor General, during her keynote address
The conference brought together 29 international speakers.
Co-organiser Matevž Pezdirc, Head of the Genocide Network Secretariat hosted by Eurojust, giving his keynote address
The introductory discussion with the keynote speakers moderated by Director Klaus Rackwitz
Dr Navi Pillay asking a question
Panel I “What is the Current State of Play with Cases on the National Level, Including Universal Jurisdiction Cases?” was moderated by Dr Aminata Touré.
Panel I with Reena Devgun, Owiso Owiso, Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp, Dr Aminata Touré (remote) and Reed Brody (from left to right)
Participants of the conference
Ambassador Beth Van Schaack asking a question
Panel II “What are the Success Factors for Core International Crimes Prosecutions at the National Level?” with Jeroen Stad, Tomás Ojea Quintana (remote), Dr Anya Neistat and Dr Iva Vukušic (from left to right)
Andreas Schüller asking a question
Panel III “What Lessons on Territorial vs. Universal Jurisdiction can be Drawn from the History of Holocaust Prosecutions?” with Eli Rosenbaum (remote), Prof. Annette Weinke, Jenifer Schense and Prof. Rebecca Wittmann (from left to right)
Coffee break
Coffee break
Panel IV “How Have National Jurisdictions Dealt with International Crimes Committed on Their Own Territories?” with Horejah Bala-Gaye, Daniele Perissi, Vincent Niyonzima, Prof. David Schwendiman and Clémence Bectarte (from left to right)
Reed Brody asking a question
Panel V “How can National Jurisdictions Strengthen their Cross-Border Cooperation in International Crimes Cases?” with Christian Ritscher, Dr Marko Rakovec, Matevž Pezdirc and Dr William Wiley (from left to right)
Sarah Asfari asking a question
Panel VI “What Practical Lessons can be Drawn from the Situation of Syria?” with Jeanne Sulzer, Hadi al Khatib, Ambassador Beth Van Schaack, Judge Catherine Marchi-Uhel and Andreas Schüller (from left to right)
Closing remarks by Ambassador Beth Van Schaack
Director Klaus Rackwitz closing the conference
Participants of the international conference “Is the Future of International Criminal Law Domestic?”

Videos of the Conference - Copyright: International Nuremberg Principles Academy

Opening Remarks by Klaus Rackwitz, Dr Christophe Eick, Dr Thomas Dickert, Prof. Julia Lehner and Dr Navi Pillay

Panel I with Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp, Owiso Owiso, Reena Devgun, Reed Brody, Dr Aminata Touré (Chair)

Panel III with Eli Rosenbaum, Prof. Rebecca Wittmann, Prof. Annette Weinke, Jennifer Schense (Chair)

Panel V with Christian Ritscher, Dr William Wiley, Dr Marko Rakovec, Matevž Pezdirc (Chair)

Closing Remarks by Ambassador Beth Van Schaack and Klaus Rackwitz

Keynote Address by H. E. Dr Karim A. A. Khan QC, Duscha Gmel, Dr Aminata Touré, Matevž Pezdirc

Panel II with Jeroen Stad, Dr Iva Vukušic, Tomás Ojea Quintana, Dr Anya Neistat (Chair)

Panel IV with David Schwendiman, Vincent Niyonzima, Daniele Perissi, Horejah Bala-Gaye, Clémence Bectarte (Chair)

Panel VI with Andreas Schüller, Judge Catherine Marchi-Uhel, Hadi al Khatib, Jeanne Sulzer, Ambassador Beth Van Schaack (Chair)