Expert Seminar on Judicial Ethics "On the path to a common code of ethics for international criminal judges"


On 15 May 2023, high-level experts including several Presidents of international criminal courts and tribunals met in Paris for a seminar on ethics in international criminal justice. It was the second seminar of the project “Ethica, on the path to a common code of ethics for international criminal judges”. This project, led by the École nationale de la magistrature (ENM), the International Nuremberg Principles Academy (Nuremberg Academy) and the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, explores the path towards a common deontology for international criminal jurisdictions, following the “Paris Declaration on the Effectiveness of International Criminal Justice” developed in 2017.

The Scientific Committee, responsible for identifying the main issues of the project, establishing the methodology to be followed and summarising the findings of the session, includes Nicolas Guillou, director of the Scientific Committee and judge at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, José Igreja Matos, President of the International Association of Judges and President of the Porto Court of Appeal, William A. Schabas, Professor of International Law at Middlesex University, London, and Monica Pinto, Professor Emeritus of international Law and International Human Rights Law at the University of Buenos Aires and former UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers.

Dr Viviane Dittrich, Deputy Director of the Nuremberg Academy, delivered the closing address to this second seminar. She extolled the impressive work carried out towards developing the code of ethics for international criminal judges and especially highlighted the importance of reaching a consensus on the proposed common principles. She also actively took part in the full-day event. Ms Anabela Alves, Senior Officer for Training and Capacity Building at the Nuremberg Academy and member of the Steering Committee of the ETHICA project, also participated in the seminar.

The first seminar, organised by the Nuremberg Academy in Nuremberg on 6 February 2023, had gathered the same group of experts and successfully started the debate on leading ethical issues likely to be faced by international criminal jurisdictions.

This second seminar, held at the École nationale de la magistrature in Paris, was aimed, this time, at reaching a consensus on main ethical and deontology principles relevant to international criminal judges in order to develop a common handbook of rules of ethics for international criminal jurisdictions.

The partners involved in the ETHICA project wish to thank all participants for the inspiring and productive exchanges that took place during this seminar. France supports this project through a financial contribution from the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and Expertise France.

On 16 May, Dr Viviane Dittrich and Ms Anabela Alves also participated in a high-level event in Paris, organised by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Institut francophone pour la justice et la démocratie, which brought together five Presidents of international courts and tribunals as expert speakers to address the topic “La justice pénale internationale et les victimes vulnérables” (“International criminal justice and vulnerable victims”).