International Nuremberg Principles Academy Newsletter – September 2016









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Latest News:

Academy bids farewell to Ambassador Bernd Borchardt and welcomes new director Mr. Klaus Rackwitz

After two years, the Nuremberg Academy says farewell to its Founding Director Ambassador Bernd Borchardt. Ambassador Borchardt says, “it has been an excellent two years at the Academy I will look back at my time here with great fondness and despite no longer being at the Academy, I will remain its friend, advocate, and supporter as it moves from strength-to-strength in the years to come.”

Mr. Klaus Rackwitz will carry on with the sterling work of his predecessor in continuing to make the Nuremberg Academy an institution worthy of its historic heritage in the birthplace of modern international criminal law. Mr. Rackwitz comments “it is an honor and a privilege to serve as Director of the Nuremberg Academy . The Academy while still a young institution is developing rapidly – my objective is to establish the Academy as a key institute strengthening the implementation of the Nuremberg Principles and the application of international criminal law, both in international and domestic jurisdictions, thus enhancing the ending of impunity and delivery of justice to victims of atrocity.”


The Nuremberg Moot Court 2016

The International Nuremberg Principles Academy organized together with the International Criminal Law Research Unit (ICLU) of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) from 27 to 30 July an international Moot Court competition – partly taking place in the Court Room 600 of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice where trials against the main Nazi criminals took place in 1946.

Twenty-six international student teams worked on a fictitious case and prepared indictments and defense statements. Their pleas were presented partly in Court Room 600 in front of a bench of internationally experienced and renowned judges. The student teams – each consisting of 3-5 members – pleaded against one another in a “knock out system”, ending with a competition of the two most successful teams in Court Room 600. “Our main target groups are students from conflict- and post-conflict countries”, said Founding Director Bernd Borchardt. “Therefore, we financially supported the participation of three teams. All other teams participated on their own expense – 26 teams traveling to Nuremberg underlines the unbowed attraction of “mooting” in a historic and inspiring place like Court Room 600″.
For more information see the Nuremberg Moot Court Website


International Criminal Law Summer Academy for Junior Professionals

As part of its goal to promote international criminal law and human rights through furthering knowledge and building capacities at the national level to investigate and prosecute international crimes, the International Nuremberg Principles Academy, from 1-12 August 2016, hosted a successful ICL Summer Academy for Junior Professionals. The Summer Academy brought together young academics and junior professionals including prosecutors, investigating magistrates and judges from conflict and post-conflict situations countries. The countries represented in the summer academy were Afghanistan, Bosnia, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Georgia, Kenya, Kosovo, Kurdistan, Nigeria, Sudan, Syria Ukraine and Uganda.

The Summer Academy benefitted from facilitation of high-level experts and legal practitioners. The participants were exposed to theoretical, substantive and procedural aspects of international criminal law. The Summer Academy provided an unparalleled opportunity where life-long global professional networks and friendships were created.


Summer Academy on Dealing with the Past through Education

From 15-20 August 2016, the Nuremberg Academy held a Summer Academy with a focus on education with the title “Education in the Aftermath of Conflict: Learning from the Past?” The week-long Summer Academy explored the role of education in the aftermath of conflict. Building a dialogue amongst professionals and practitioners from post-conflict countries and Germany, it sought to understand how different educational approaches—history education, human rights education, and peace education — interrelate with one and another in post-conflict settings and how they can be relevant for societies facing legacies of conflict and repression.


Experts consultation Roundtable on Complementarity

On 14-15 July 2016 the International Nuremberg Principles Academy organized in corporation with the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, an experts’ consultation round table in The Hague. The round table aimed at discussing and consolidating the methodology of a research project on complementarity. The methodological framework is designed by an excellent team of scholars headed by Prof. Carsten Stahn and will assess the fairness and effectiveness of the investigation and prosecution of international crimes in a number of conflict and post-conflict countries and analyze the legal and procedural dimensions, institutional capacities, rule of law and country context. ICC and international courts’ practitioners, academics, NGO representatives and country experts offered valuable suggestions and inputs on the methodology document that will be first implemented in Afghanistan, Colombia, CAR, DRC, Palestine and Ukraine.


Advanced Training on the Prosecution of International Crimes: With a Thematic Focus on Addressing Conflict-related Sexual Violence

The International Nuremberg Principles Academy supported this training from 28 July until 3 August as a joint venture with Strathmore Institute for Advanced Studies in International Criminal Law, Nairobi/Kenya. Trainers were provided by the ICTY.

Violations of International Criminal Law are committed on an unprecedented level, while transnational crime is also increasing in Africa and around the world. More and more, national prosecution services are being called upon as key players in the fight against impunity. However, the prosecution of international and other complex crimes differs in key respects from the day-to-day work of a national prosecution office and requires dedicated expertise and specialized practical training.

The advanced training course was conceptualized as a specialized program in international criminal law. The thematic focus was on integrating effective approaches to addressing conflict-related sexual violence crimes as a core part of prosecution work. The teaching faculty for the course is made up of senior international criminal justice practitioners with extensive experience in navigating the challenges inherent in cases involving international crimes and other complex criminal cases, including the specific challenges that apply to conflict-related sexual violence crimes.
The course was tailored for Prosecutors and other legal practitioners working generally in domestic and international criminal law, and/or sexual and gender based violence. The course also addressed challenges to prosecuting sexual violence in domestic contexts.

Ambassador Borchardt, Founding Director of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy informed participants about the activities of the Nuremberg Academy and in particular about its contribution to the fight against impunity for sexual crimes in conflict.


Ambassador Borchardt gave a lecture about the German experiences in the field of Transitional Justice at Voshkopoje Summer Academy, Albania.

On 5 and 6 September 2016, Founding Director Bernd Borchardt participated in the Summer Academy of the Albanian Human Rights Group on “Dealing with the Past” in Voshkopoje, Albania. The event was supported by the OSCE Presence in Albania. Ambassador Borchardt gave a lecture about the German experiences in the field of Transitional Justice after the Second World War and after the end of the communist regime in East Germany. He focused on actions taken in fields like criminal justice, restitution and compensation, elite change and memorial culture. He also used the event to introduce the Albanian translation of the Academy’s paper on “Transitional Justice in Germany after 1945 and after 1990”.


Workshop on improving cooperation in the prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence

On 12-13 September, 2016, the Nuremberg Academy hosted a workshop to explore issues relating to cooperation between judicial mechanisms and civil society organizations (CSOs) during prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence. Over recent years, the prosecution of sexual violence in conflict has become an area of vital concern in international criminal justice. The number of successful prosecutions has been paltry compared to the overwhelming statistics relating to the scale of the commission of such crimes. In light of this, international courts have initiated projects to enhance cooperation between prosecutors and CSOs with the aim of increasing accountability of perpetrators of sexual violence. However, whilst a number of best practices guidelines addressing this issue exist, gaps and challenges in the area of cooperation remain. The workshop brought together representatives from academia, national prosecuting authorities, international and internationalized tribunals, as well as local and international NGOs. Participants explored a variety of topics including the role of CSOs during prosecution, judicial practice in partnering with CSOs, strategies and mechanisms of cooperation, among others. A central question was how cooperation between stakeholders might be strengthened in order to enhance justice for victims and end impunity.


Nuremberg Academy hosting acceptance fellows

The International Nuremberg Principles Academy is currently hosting five fellows of the acceptance project. As part of the fellowship, the young academics spend one month in Nuremberg to receive training on data processing and data analysis for qualitative research, after collecting information on patterns, dynamics and drivers of acceptance in Cambodia, Kosovo, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Rwanda. During their fieldwork the fellows interviewed different actors from various sectors such as government representatives, experts, civil society, victims and communities. The final chapters will precede similar studies conducted earlier this year in Kenya, Palestine, Uganda and Ukraine.


New Resources:

Sexual Crimes in Conflict Database

The Nuremberg Academy is pleased to announce the launch of its “Sexual Crimes in Conflict Database”, a unique online tool that allows users to research case law and literature addressing conflict-related sexual violence. The Database combines a broad collection of relevant jurisprudence from international, hybrid, regional and national courts together with findings from other transitional justice mechanisms, such as commissions of inquiry and truth commissions. Recognizing the role of academic literature in offering an enhanced understanding and critique of the treatment of conflict-related sexual violence, the Database also provides users with a collection of relevant literature, including research publications, working papers, official or policy related documents, and NGO reports.

Given the wide-spanning national and international jurisprudence and literature collected and made accessible in a user-friendly and searchable manner, the Database can be used by practitioners, policy makers, researchers, students, activists and others, whether they seek to identify cases dealing with particular sexual violence issues or to understand general trends and approaches to conflict-related sexual violence at both the international and national level. The Database will be continuously updated.

Click here to go to the database or contact Farah Mahmood for further information.


Publication of Learning Manual

As part of the project on the acceptance of international criminal justice, the Interdisciplinary Research Team has now published its Learning Manual. The Learning Manual summarizes readings and discussion topics that were explored during the stages of mapping, designing and discussing the methodology and in particular the training programs on researching the acceptance of international criminal justice. It is designed as an introduction to acceptance research for practitioners and institutions that may have an interest in researching similar or related topics, such as the impact or legacy of international interventions, courts or transitional justice mechanisms, collecting and analyzing public views, perceptions and attitudes of different actors on processes, and particular or controversial findings of international courts.

To access the Learning Manual click here.


Ongoing Projects:

Islam and International Criminal Justice

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 will convene a roundtable 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), Boko Haram (Nigeria), Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Afghanistan. On themes, experts will discuss 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 will be laid bare and debated. It is hoped that a seminal study on the question of accountability for international crimes in the Islamic world will emerge as a key product of the deliberations.
Contact Dr. Tallyn Gray


Upcoming Events:

70th Anniversary of the Verdicts of the first Nuremberg Trials – Saturday, 01 October 2016

At the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the verdicts of the International Military Tribunal (IMT) the International Nuremberg Principles Academy organizes a lecture on ‘Transitional Justice – Post-War Legacies’.



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Text source: Text lifted from International Nuremberg Principles Academy Newsletter (September 2016 edition)




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