Presentation by Dr. Viviane Dittrich at the 6e Journées de la justice pénale internationale


Dr. Viviane Dittrich, Deputy Director of the Nuremberg Academy, gave a presentation in French on the national prosecution of international crimes in Germany (presentation title: ‘Les poursuites engagées devant les jurisdictions allemandes’) at the 6e Journées de la justice pénale internationale on 29 January 2021. Participating in a panel on universal jurisdiction and the investigation and prosecution of international crimes at the national level, Dr. Dittrich highlighted the considerable activity of the Federal Public Prosecutor General and some ongoing investigations and cases, the German Code of Crimes under International Law and key achievements and challenges. She also emphasised the importance of international cooperation, including the Franco-German joint investigation team and the European Network for investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes ('Genocide Network'). Special mention was also made of a recent landmark decision of Germany's Federal Court of Justice of 28 January 2021 in which the court rejected the idea that ‘functional immunity’ under customary international law precludes criminal proceedings against foreign state actors for war crimes, a confirmation of Nuremberg Principle III.

The 6e Journées de la justice pénale internationale, organised by the Centre Thucydide and the Centre de recherche sur les droits de l’homme et le droit humanitaire at Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas, were held as an online conference on 28 and 29 January 2021. Topics discussed at the conference included, inter alia, the Independent Expert Review and final report, the election process of the third Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), current developments at the ICC, other international tribunals and hybrid courts, national prosecutions of international crimes and wider political and societal dynamics of international criminal justice. Following welcome remarks by the organisers of the conference, Julian Fernandez and Olivier de Frouville, Professors of Law at Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas, the President of the ICC, Chile Eboe-Osuji, gave the opening speech. The conference speakers included judges, lawyers, scholars, and representatives of international courts and tribunals as well as civil society. More than 120 participants, including scholars, students and practitioners attended the event. The Journées de la justice pénale internationale are held annually, bringing together French-speaking experts to discuss topical questions and recent developments in the field of international criminal law.