Cooperation in the prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence


Guiding Principles and Recommendations

Cooperation between Civil Society Actors and Judicial Mechanisms in the Prosecution of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

The Nuremberg Academy launched its Guiding Principles and Recommendations which seek to enhance the potential for effective cooperation between international and national justice mechanisms on the one hand, and civil society actors (CSAs) on the other in the prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence. In particular, they provide guidance on the steps and deliberations to be taken towards formulating, structuring and governing an effective cooperation, thus providing practitioners with:

  • general principles that should serve as a basis for guiding and informing decisions;
  • best practices as examples where cooperation has had a positive impact on the investigation and/or prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence;
  • references to other instruments, such as the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict, and the ICC Guidelines governing the relationship between the Court and Intermediaries, which provide guidance on some of the specific issues identified.

The Principles are primarily intended for use by a wide array of CSAs who engage with, or otherwise come into contact with both victims and witnesses of conflict-related sexual violence by way of their profession (such as first responders, medical staff, psychosocial care providers, journalists, human rights activists etc.). They are also applicable to international/internationalized judicial mechanisms and national judicial mechanisms prosecuting international crimes.

The Principles are a product of two expert workshops held in Nuremberg (September 2016 and April 2017 respectively), which invited practitioners and academics with knowledge and experience on the subject to analyze a number of pressing issues, such as the modalities and merits of cooperation, challenges to effective cooperation and recommendations and policy considerations going forward. Together with an extensive literature review, the Principles were created and finalized in light of this expert input and following further bilateral consultations during May and June 2017.

We hope that the Principles will act as a practical tool in helping practitioners confront the challenges they face when building and maintaining cooperative relationships and will encourage initiatives to be taken in order to achieve these goals. Feedback and comments on the use and application of these Principles is very much welcomed.

The Principles are free to download below.


Guiding Principles and Recommendations on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
Project Brief Improving Cooperation in the Prosecution of CRSV
Concept Note September Workshop 2016
Report on September Workshop 2016
Concept Note April Workshop 2017