Online Panel Discussion and Book Launch: ‘Integrity in International Justice’


The Nuremberg Academy held the live online panel discussion and launch of the fourth volume of the Nuremberg Academy Series, entitled Integrity in International Justice as a Zoom webinar on 2 February 2021. The anthology, edited by Morten Bergsmo and Viviane E. Dittrich, is the first book publication to comprehensively analyse integrity in international justice.

Deputy Director Dr. Viviane Dittrich led the book launch and presented the anthology, which is available as open-access publication. Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, Director of Policies of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, highlighted the contribution the book makes to the field and outlined the significance of the anthology for practitioners.

Integrity in International Justice comprises more than 30 chapters grouped in six parts: First, the meaning of integrity and the historical, religious and philosophical origins of the term itself; Second, how the awareness and culture of integrity can be strengthened; Third, the role of states and international organisations in enhancing the integrity standard in international justice; Fourth, the role of international courts and tribunals themselves; Fifth, particular integrity standards in the context of cases; and Sixth, the relationship between the independence and the integrity standards in international justice. The book draws on papers presented at the international conference ‘Integrity in International Justice’, co-organised by the Nuremberg Academy and the Centre for International Law Research and Policy (CILRAP) in The Hague in 2018.

The panel discussion following the book launch, moderated by Dr. Dittrich, included the participation of four international experts: Judge Richard Goldstone, Chair of the Independent Expert Review and former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda; Judge Ivana Hrdlicková, President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon; Judge Adel Maged, Vice President of the Court of Cassation of Egypt; and Brigid Inder, Co-founder and former Executive Director of the Women's Initiative for Gender Justice.

The discussion centred around four key topics: the ‘high moral character’ requirement and the notion of integrity, the Independent Expert Review (IER), the relationship between independence and integrity and the culture of integrity in international justice institutions. It revealed the topical salience and urgency of recognizing and revisiting integrity in international justice.

The panellists discussed the meaning and understanding of ‘high moral character’ in relation to the notion of integrity and as an important benchmark in the election process of international justice high-level officials. Seeking to analyse the requirement of ‘high moral character’ in practice, they also addressed this concept regarding other legal systems beyond the civil and common law systems, particularly in Sharí‘ah Law. The experts furthermore examined the role of States, civil society and individuals in upholding integrity in election and nomination processes.

The IER, key findings in the final report on integrity and the need for reform within the International Criminal Court were another focus of the discussion. The panellists assessed the IER recommendations and their future implementation. They also examined impartiality and independence as paramount elements to integrity in international justice, while outlining ongoing challenges – with special consideration of the link between judicial independence and judicial accountability at international criminal courts and tribunals as well as the importance for international prosecutors to diplomatically and astutely manoeuvre international politics without compromising their independence. Lastly, the question of how to cultivate integrity and nurture a culture of integrity in international justice institutions was discussed. Emphasis was placed on the importance of leadership and norm-setting and cultural approaches alongside formal prescription and rule compliance. It was agreed that strengthening the culture of integrity is important to prevent integrity violations, and when they do occur, to address them effectively.

The Nuremberg Academy Series seeks to cover relevant and topical areas in the field of international criminal law, and includes work that is interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary, bringing together academics and practitioners. Grounded in the legacy of the Nuremberg Principles – the foundation of contemporary international criminal law – the book series addresses persistent and pressing legal issues, and explores the twenty-first century challenges encountered in pursuing accountability for core international crimes.

You can download the e-book version of the book on the Nuremberg Academy website and order the print version of the book via the TOAEP website or online booksellers such as Amazon directly.

Watch the recording of the event here.