Training on IHL for Ukrainian Judges


From 5 to 9 February 2024, the International Nuremberg Principles Academy, in cooperation with the National School of Judges of Ukraine, organised a training for 18 Ukrainian Judges in Nuremberg. The training entitled, “Prosecution and Adjudication of War Crimes in Ukraine" was aimed at strengthening the expertise of Ukrainian judges in addressing international crimes.     

Guided by the expertise of the Nuremberg Academy members, namely Senior Officer for Training and Capacity Building Darleen Seda, Senior Officer for International Criminal Law Dr Gurgen Petrossian and Senior Officer Kiran Menon, the training commenced with introductory sessions on international humanitarian law (IHL) including: the IHL framework and its foundational principles, classification of armed conflicts and violations of IHL. A case study featuring practical war crimes cases was also discussed.

Distinguished international speakers addressed the challenges in the investigation and prosecution of war crime. Kate Gibson (Doughty Street Chambers) discussed the intricates of modes of liability in international criminal law Mark Watson (ArcticWind Limited) examined the use of open-source information and evidentiary challenges in criminal proceedings, while Matevž Pezdirc (Genocide Network Secretariat, Eurojust) shed light on the complexities of international cooperation and judicial assistance.

Noteworthy Ukrainian speakers, Dr Olena Kharytonova (Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University) and Judge Dr Mykola Gnatovskyy (European Court of Human Rights), contributed valuable insights into the domestic prosecution of war crimes in Ukraine, discussing the current legal framework and the role of judges in adjudication of war crimes and other international crimes, respectively.

An essential component of this initiative was the visits to the Munich Higher Regional Court and Bavarian State Ministry of Justice in Munich, as well as the Federal Ministry of Justice and Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.

The opening remarks were delivered by Professor Dr Christoph Safferling, Director of the Nuremberg Academy, Ms Nataliia Shuklina, Acting Rector of the National School of Judges, and Mr Klaus Hoffmann, Senior Prosecutor at the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group, each expressing their welcome and support for the timely training and its significance given the ongoing war in Ukraine. (ds/aj)