Online Panel Discussion and Book Launch: ‘The Past, Present and Future of the International Criminal Court’


The Nuremberg Academy held the live online panel discussion and book launch of the fifth volume of the Nuremberg Academy Series, entitled The Past, Present and Future of the International Criminal Court, as a Zoom webinar on 22 February 2022. Edited by Dr. Alexander Heinze and Dr. Viviane E. Dittrich, the open access publication provides a broad perspective on the development of the International Criminal Court (ICC) over time and explores some of its topical issues, achievements, challenges and critiques.

The event was moderated by Dr. Viviane Dittrich, Deputy Director of the Nuremberg Academy. During the book launch, the co-editors presented the anthology and highlighted the structure and focus of the book, including a brief thematic overview of the 26 chapters.

Five high-level speakers then joined the co-editors for a panel discussion: Judge Piotr Hofmanski, President of the ICC; Professor Leila Nadya Sadat, Professor at Washington University in St. Louis and Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity to the ICC Prosecutor; Dr. Christophe Eick, Legal Adviser and Director-General for Legal Affairs of the German Federal Foreign Office; Professor Charles Jalloh, Professor at Florida International University and Member of the United Nations International Law Commission; and Melinda Reed, Acting Convenor of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court.

In light of the twentieth anniversary of the entry into force of the Rome Statute in 2022, the panel discussion provided a timely opportunity to reflect on the Court’s activities, practice and recent developments. The discussion focused on achievements and challenges of the Court with a focus on State engagement and disengagement, the ICC in the wider institutional landscape, including the interplay of international and national proceedings, as well as the Independent Expert Review. Examining the Court’s effectiveness, the speakers addressed important challenges such as international cooperation, political pushback and the lack of resources in light of the high number of cases and situations under its jurisdiction. On State engagement and disengagement, the discussion focused on both States Parties and non-States Parties. Moreover, the relationship between the Court and regional and international organisations, such as the African Union and the United Nations Security Council, was scrutinised.

The panellists discussed the Court’s impact as well as its centrality in the fight against impunity alongside other accountability mechanisms and national prosecutions, including universal jurisdiction cases. The cooperation between the Court, national prosecutors and private investigators, stressing issues concerning investigative and evidentiary practices, was noted. Also, the role and impact of civil society advocacy and scholarship in international criminal law were also raised. Speakers agreed on the utmost relevance of the of the Independent Expert Review process and the implementation recommendations as well as the necessary support and cooperation by States to strengthen the Court as it embarks onto its third decade.

The book The Past, Present and Future of the International Criminal Court makes a timely contribution to the extensive literature on the ICC by bringing together a broad spectrum of views by both scholars and practitioners. In line with the chosen title, the assembled authors portray the establishment of the Court and the early days in terms of practice (hence the theme ‘past’), critically engage with achievements and challenges and its organs’ track record to date (‘present’) and draw conclusions and sketch possible contours, scenarios and suggestions for the way forward (‘future’).
You can download the e-book version of the book on the Nuremberg Academy website and order the print version of the book via the TOAEP website or online booksellers such as Amazon directly.

Watch the recording of the event here.