Side Event on Enhancing Cooperation at the 18th Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute


On Friday, 6 December 2019, during the 18th session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, the International Nuremberg Principles Academy together with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) organized a panel discussion on “Enhancing Prosecution: A Crucial Factor in Cooperation for Core International Crimes”. The side event took place at the World Forum in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The panel discussed possible venues and forms that could advance international criminal law by maximizing efforts related to accountability for core international crimes. It specifically addressed which strategies and policies could be developed to remedy some of the ongoing challenges. Through the debates, the importance of promoting international efforts in the fight against impunity, the need to continuously also support civil society organizations in their respective efforts to maximize accountability, as well as the need to learn from the past experiences, were analyzed and agreed upon.

The Nuremberg Academy highlighted its work in the areas of cooperation, knowledge exchange and standard setting. Regarding cooperation, it was reiterated that an effective discourse about cooperation should be ensured, including setting of clearer roles, the division of responsibilities and clarity of standards applied. Regarding the exchange of information and knowledge, the need to look at the wider range of relevant actors when advancing prosecution of core international crimes, especially in light of universal jurisdiction, was emphasized. Particular consideration was given to the social workers and welfare institutions who regularly have the initial contact with potential witnesses and/or victims of heinous crimes. Related to the standard setting, the work of the Nuremberg Academy with regard to private investigations and forthcoming guidelines for them as well as its project on digital evidence were discussed as relevant.

The panel was composed of following experts:

  • Dr. Anna Myriam Roccatello, Deputy Executive Director and Director of Programs, ICTJ (introduction of the panel and moderator)
  • Mr. Howard Varney, Senior Program Adviser with ICTJ, practicing advocate at the Johannesburg Bar, and former chief investigator for the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Dr. Iván Velásquez Gómez, Colombian jurist and former Commissioner of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala
  • Dr. Viviane Dittrich, Deputy Director, International Nuremberg Principles Academy

Ambassador Matthew E. K. Neuhaus, Ambassador of Australia to the Netherlands and Ambassador Annika Markovic, Ambassador of Sweden to the Netherlands, delivered the opening remarks.

The event took place thanks to the support of Embassies of Australia and Sweden.