International Nuremberg Principles Academy Newsletter – December 2016









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Latest News:

70th Anniversary of the Verdicts of the International Military Tribunal

On 1 October 2016 on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the verdicts of the International Military Tribunal (IMT), the International Nuremberg Principles Academy held a lecture on ‘Transitional Justice – Post-War Legacies’. The world renowned transitional justice scholar, Professor Ruti Teitel, and the Vice-President of the Nuremberg Academy’s Advisory Board, Professor Christoph Suffering, explored the legacy of the historical Nuremberg verdicts and their impact in the field of transitional justice. The event took place in the famous courtroom 600 where seventy years ago the trials against the main perpetrators of Nazi Germany took place. The event was live streamed to a global audience and the event in courtroom 600 was attended by leading international criminal law scholars and practitioners.


The Nuremberg Academy’s Annual Forum 2016 

The Nuremberg Academy’s second Annual Forum took place from 4 to 5 November 2016. It offered a platform for leading academics and practitioners to analyse and debate aspects of each of the seven Nuremberg Principles.

‘These events are very important to bring together people from different kinds of constituencies’, stated Professor William Schabas who gave the key note speech at the opening of the Forum. ‘That is complemented by this wonderful historic dimension, which I believe is great. Furthermore, which more appropriate place than this one to reflect on this bond, this connection?’ In this respect, the Annual Forum has been singled out as an important event which allows speakers to draw on historical pasts and to reflect on the present developments of international law.

All input from the seven panels will be gathered and published in an edited volume, to be published early 2017.

Photos of this event are available here.


Islam and International Criminal Justice Round Table 

Partly in response to a growing focus on crimes committed in multiple conflicts in the Islamic world, and the debate on the politics of international justice that entangles multiple themes, the International Nuremberg Principles Academy convened a conference of experts (Islamologists and international criminal lawyers) to deliberate on the theoretical and practical concerns related to accountability for core international crimes in the Muslim world, including ISIS (Syria, Iraq), Libya, Syria. In addition, the conference explored the experience of Muslim minorities subject to atrocities that are currently being reckoned with or have been within the ICTY and the ECCC.

On themes, experts discussed the universality and acceptance of international criminal justice in these settings, as well as the appropriateness and role of local and global institutions designed to establish accountability for atrocity crimes. In addition, the moral, philosophical and political justifications for, and challenges relating to the mounting of prosecutions for these crimes was debated. In the final session, the leading scholars and practitioners agreed to write a series of essays that will appear in an edited volume that will be published by the academy in 2017. It is hoped that this will become a seminal study on the question of accountability for international crimes in the Islamic world.


Strengthening Justice and Accountability in Nigeria: Capacity Building Workshop

The Nuremberg Academy has teamed up with the Wayamo Foundation and the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability to commence a series of capacity-building training sessions for Nigerian prosecutors. On 7-9 December 2016, approximately 20 prosecutors from the “Complex case work unit” in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation and from the National Prosecution Co-ordination Committee received training in the investigation and prosecution of international and transnational crimes.

Trainers with extensive experience of prosecuting international crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC, and other international criminal tribunals and hybrid courts, came together to provide context specific training to reflect the complex and novel nature of international crimes, as well as the local circumstances in the Nigerian legal system.

It took place in Abuja, Nigeria, and the purpose of this training was to strengthen domestic judicial systems in keeping with the principle of complementarity and thus seeking to enable Nigerian prosecutors to carry out the prosecution of complex international crimes, particularly given the current preliminary examination focusing on the armed conflict between Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces.


Nuremberg Academy’s side event at the 15th Session of the Assembly of States Parties

On 23 November, the Nuremberg Academy co-hosted with the German Federal Office, a side event at the Fifteenth session of the Assembly of States Parties in The Hague, Netherlands.

Moderated by the Director of the Academy, Mr. Klaus Rackwitz, the panelists consisted of H. E. Dr. Bertram Schmitt (Judge at the ICC); Dr. Guido Hildner (Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany); Christian Mahr (Director of External Operations, ICC Registry); Professor Mark Drumbl (Washington and Lee University) and the editors of the book, Jennifer Schense (Director, House of Nuremberg) and Professor Linda Carter (University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law) who examined the conclusions and recommendations of the study, with an eye towards how the ICC and States Parties could undertake concrete steps, both to deter crimes and to measure the impact of their actions taken.

This side event attracted various actors in the field of international criminal justice including judges of international criminal tribunals, legal scholars, NGO representatives, lawyers and law students from around the world.


Students from Nuremberg discussed the legacy of the International Military Tribunal

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the verdicts of the International Military Tribunal (IMT), the Nuremberg Academy invited students from Nuremberg to discuss the legacy of the IMT.

More than 160 students gathered in the historic courtroom 600 to engage with Dr. Oscar Schneider, former Federal Minister and Dr. Annette Weinke, Chair for Recent History at Jena University, to discuss the German transitional justice experiences and the relevance of the verdicts for today’s human rights education as part of the secondary school’s curricula.

The discussion was preceding the screening of the documentary “Das Dritte Reich vor Gericht – die Anklage” (The Third Reich before Court – the Prosecution).


Workshop on Prosecuting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Crimes

On 1 and 2 December, the Nuremberg Academy hosted the Prosecuting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Network (PSV Network) of the International Association of Prosecutors. It was a two-day peer-to-peer workshop with practitioners from Rwanda, Uganda, The Netherlands, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court, as well as experts from the US and Belgium, on the topic of prosecuting conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) crimes.

This workshop was specifically structured to create a forum for an in-depth and meaningful discussion on the topic of CRSV.

Key insights from this meeting will be used to inform the development of specific practical resources to assist prosecutors around the world through the PSV Network’s web-based platform, as well as other PSV Network projects. In this way, the ultimate objective of this workshop – to establish an enduring support network among the participants that can be furthered through the PSV Network platform – was successfully promoted.

The workshop was supported by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the OTP of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT).


Antonio Cassesse Initiative’s Training hosted by the Nuremberg Academy

From 31 October to 4 November, the Nuremberg Academy hosted Antonio Cassese Initiative’s training course “Renforcement des capacités des magistrats en matière de répression des crimes internationaux au Burkina Faso, en Côte d’Ivoire et au Mali”, with judges and prosecutors from Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali.

Owing to the expertise of Antonio Cassese Initiative’s trainers “without borders” – who came from all over the world, including Belgium, Burkina Faso, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, France, Italy and the Netherlands – high-level international law instruction was combined with training sessions that tackled the specific problems that arise in relation to the application and implementation of international law in national contexts.

Participants and trainers were incentivised to critically reflect upon challenges and difficulties faced both by international criminal justice and by the investigation and prosecution of international crimes at the domestic level.

The trainers shared their extensive expertise, as well as their concerns on the current system of international criminal justice. They also showed their availability to maintain future contacts with local magistrates; an invaluable starting point for further exchange of knowledge and the opening of a door for future cooperation between national judiciaries and international criminal courts.



Book “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The Deterrent Effect of International Criminal Tribunals” 

On 4 November 2016, during its Annual Forum, the Nuremberg Academy launched its first major publication, Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The Deterrent Effect of International Criminal Tribunals, edited by Jennifer Schense (Director, House of Nuremberg) and Linda Carter (University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law).

This publication is a compilation of case studies of the deterrent effect of international criminal tribunals in different ICC and non-ICC related situations. An examination of several non-ICC situations, particularly where other tribunals have been active, provides a comparative perspective. In this regard, two countries under the jurisdiction of the ICTY (Serbia and Kosovo), as well as Sierra Leone and Rwanda are examined.

This study is seminal because of its in-depth nature; other impact studies treat deterrence as one of several aspects of impact, and consequently pay it scant attention, although it is a core objective of the ICC. The publication is important to the Academy for various reasons. First, the study involves field work to gather first-hand information on those who have actually experienced the (deterrent) effect of international criminal tribunals. Second, the study brings together researchers from legal and other disciplinary backgrounds and who all seek to situate their studies within an interdisciplinary context in order to better understand how deterrence functions in real world. Third, the study involves researchers who bridge the academic, the practitioners’ and policy-making world to achieve a holistic approach.

Click here to download the publication or contact Darleen Seda ( for further information.


Ongoing Projects:

Effective ways to address hate speech in connection to international crimes: a discussion with local and regional experts

The project ‘prevention and accountability for hate speech’ seeks to address the complexity of the challenges of exposing and curbing hate speech in post-conflict societies that have been affected by crimes punishable under International Criminal Law.

On 1 and 2 October, as well as on 19 and 20 November, the Interdisciplinary Research Department together with the senior consultants of the project and the four country experts met to discuss and develop the methodology of the project and to discuss the findings of the data collection. Professor Stefanie Schmahl from Würzburg University, Prof. Gregory Gordon from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Dr. Jan Köhler from Freie University Berlin contributed into defining the legal and social aspects of hate speech and on how such a complex phenomena could be assessed and researched in conflict and post-conflict situations.

The project is expected to develop a training curriculum for practitioners and best practices exchange which is tailor made for those working in the field.


Improving cooperation in the prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence

On 12-13 September 2016, the Nuremberg Academy organized a workshop on improving cooperation in the prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence. Whilst acknowledging the best practices relating to this topic which emanate from the experience of international courts and tribunals as well as international criminal institutions, this workshop identified the continuing gaps in the cooperation between civil society organizations (CSOs) and judicial mechanisms.

On the first day, qualified practitioners hailing from both these groups discussed the merits of cooperation and situated the role of CSOs in the prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence. The second day dealt with identifying the challenges to cooperation, such as capacity and awareness challenges, the diversity and mandate of CSOs and confidentiality, followed by recommendations and policy gaps provided by participants.

The Nuremberg Academy is currently in the process of producing guidelines on the specific issue of cooperation, which, inter alia, draw from the discussions that have taken place at the workshop. The guidelines purport to serve a dual purpose, namely, to identify examples of best practices in effective cooperation, and secondly, to highlight specific areas where further work and development is needed to support the prospect for effective cooperation.


Job Offers/Join Us:

Senior Legal Officer ICL

The Academy is now seeking to recruit a Senior Legal Officer ICL. The successful candidate will have a strong track-record in the ICL community – in a governmental organization, a research institution, a public or private foundation, academia, an international organization or civil society.

The ideal candidate will have proven experience in conceptualizing, developing and implementing ICL related programs for capacity building, applied research and practitioners and will be responsible for the identification of critical areas of concern in the field of ICL within the framework of the overall strategy of the Academy. He/she will be the focal point for external ICL experts and consultants and will broaden and maintain the Academy’s network in this field.

The Academy promotes equality of opportunity. We offer an indefinite appointment at level E 13 (initial gross annual salary between app. 45,000 € and app. 52,600 € depending on relevant previous experience) of the Collective Agreement applicable to the German Public Service (TVöD Bund), 30 days of paid leave, coverage of relocation costs and other benefits. The contract will include 6 month probationary period.

Applicants who are not in possession of a PhD may be given an opportunity to write a dissertation to obtain a doctoral degree (Doctor juris) at the Law Faculty of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, if they meet the eligibility requirements of the University for its doctorate program.

Please apply incl. motivation letter, CV and three references to before 16 December 2016. For further information please visit or contact

Please click here for all Job Offers.




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Text source: Text courtesy of International Nuremberg Principles Academy Newsletter (December 2016 edition)

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