The Nuremberg Academy partnered with the Asser Institute and the Antonio Cassese Initiative to organise a seminar entitled ‘Strengthening Domestic Capacity to Prosecute and Adjudicate International and Transnational Crimes in Africa’.
The high-level seminar, which took place online from 8 to 12 March 2021, is a follow-up to the training course held in February 2020 in Arusha, Tanzania. This seminar aimed to build on the knowledge and skills gained during the first session, further strengthening the justice sector in French-speaking African countries facing challenges in the administration of justice.
Selected 17 judges and prosecutors from Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Niger benefitted from lectures in the fields of international criminal law (ICL), transnational criminal law (TCL) and international humanitarian law (IHL). The modules covered the following topics: classification of armed conflicts, terrorism and IHL, superior liability, human trafficking, financial investigations, the use of open-source evidence and the investigation and prosecution of international crimes.
To prepare for the training, participants received reading material and pre-recorded videos by Jérôme de Hemptinne (Geneva Academy), Dr Rebecca Mignot Mahdavi (Asser Institute), Alice Zago (International Criminal Court), Alexis Demirdjan (International Criminal Court) and Elise Cote (Investigator).
On 8 March, the workshop started with opening remarks by Professor Janne Nijman (Asser Institute), Professor Harmen van der Wilt (Amsterdam University and Antonio Cassese Initiative), and Dr. Viviane Dittrich (Nuremberg Academy).
Participants were trained by Natacha Bracq (Nuremberg Academy), Professor Julia Grignon (Université Laval), Dr. Rebecca Mignot Mahdavi, Tanguy Quidelleur (Centre national de la recherche scientifique), Ann Lukowiak (Belgian prosecutor), Professor Harmen van der Wilt, Jean-Jacques Badibanga (International Criminal Court), Arnaud d’Oultremont (Belgian prosecutor), Yvan Cuypers (International Criminal Court), and Myriam Fillaud (French prosecutor).
The training was moderated by Dr. Marta Bo (Asser Institute and Antonio Cassese Initiative) and Natacha Bracq.
Since 2018, the Nuremberg Academy, the Asser Institute and the Antonio Cassese Initiative have organised four workshops for judges and prosecutors from countries dealing with fragile or weak judicial sectors, as well as ICC situation countries and countries facing challenges prosecuting international and transnational crimes, including terrorism. In the past two years, participants came from Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Niger and Togo.
The training series features high-level speakers coming from international and national courts and tribunals, several academic and professional institutions and organisations focusing on ICL and TCL. Past training cycles included honoured guests such as Judge Abdulqawi A. Yusuf, the recently elected president of the International Court of Justice, and Judge Guénaël Mettraux from the Kosovo Specialist Chambers.
The first training cycle ended in 2019 and was divided in three parts:
- a one-week training in February 2018 in The Hague, Netherlands;
- e-streaming sessions; and
- a follow-up training in March 2019 in The Hague, Netherlands.
A second training cycle kicked off in 2020 with:
- a one-week training in February 2020 in Arusha, Tanzania and
- this online follow-up training in February 2021.