Through 2016 and 2019, the International Nuremberg Principles Academy collaborated with the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies on a research project analysing the ability of crisis and situation countries to investigate and prosecute core international crimes in accordance with their obligation under international law, especially the Rome Statute. The baseline for the project was the concept of ‘complementarity’ as one of the fundamental principles established in the Rome Statute and the cornerstone in shaping the relationship between national jurisdiction and the International Criminal Court (ICC). The project however adopted the broader definition of ‘complementarity’, sparking the relevance of the project beyond the realm of ICC. The project addressed the common fight for accountability for core international crimes, and in wider discussion, a common goal of achieving sustainable peace through justice. The project focused on a particular country context assessment aiming to not only provide information given the context of the situation (including the provision of legal definitions) but also to serve as a hub of collected inputs from local practitioners aiming at establishing a complementarity monitoring mechanism. The main focal point of the first stages of the project was limited to collecting information regarding the selected countries. The selection of countries was done considering the practical addressing of core international crimes and at the same time offering a wider geographical representation. Following a roundtable workshop in The Hague in 2016, international experts refined the methodology for a project to assess the fairness and effectiveness of the investigation and prosecution of international crimes in conflict and post-conflict settings. Further country assessments, in collaboration with local and international experts analysing and evaluating information collected on the ground, took place throughout 2016 and 2017. The countries assessed were: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Palestine and Ukraine.
In 2018, the Nuremberg Academy decided to assess the feasibility of the project’s undertaking considering its interdisciplinary research strategy and necessary resources needed to keep the project both up-to-date and relevant in practical terms. The project partners met several times throughout 2018 and 2019 discussing potential ways forward with the intention of finalising the release of the monitoring resource centre. Bearing in mind the complexity of this project, the project partners, and after careful assessment and discussions, concluded that the available resources did not allow the required updates and reassessments at this point in time. Nonetheless, the project partners believed that the methodology developed for this project, including the mapping exercises conducted by the leading experts in the field were of relevance to the topic and advance the ongoing discussions.
Thus, the project partners decided that the project concluded in 2020 with the publication of the methodology that has been developed following in-depth research by leading experts in the field on the issue of complementarity.
This methodology, including the mapping exercises for relevant clusters, can be found below.
The project partners remain grateful to all experts and consultants for their support of this research project. A special appreciation goes to late Prof. Chandra L. Sriram for her dedication, expertise and mapping done in the context of national responses to core international crimes.