Two Steps Forward, One Step Back


Book cover, courtesy International Nuremberg Principles Academy. (Original: Montana Historical Society)

On 4 November 2016 in Nuremberg, at its annual forum commemorating the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Nuremberg Principles by the UN General Assembly, the International Nuremberg Principles Academy launched its first book, a volume of deterrence studies titled, Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The Deterrent Effect of International Criminal Tribunals. This volume comprises ten country studies (Serbia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, DRC, Uganda, Darfur, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali), as well as a chapter on methodology, and conclusions drawing from all the country studies, with recommendations for further action.

Two Steps Forward is notable in a number of respects. While various articles have addressed deterrence in international criminal law in some fashion, it is apparently the first volume that addresses the issue so comprehensively. It also ventures to offer conclusions on the question of deterrence based on quantitative and qualitative research, noting that nearly 20 years have passed since the ICTY and ICTR’s establishment, and nearly 15 since the ICC and Sierra Leone Special Court’s establishment. While the Nuremberg trials themselves arguably took several generations for their effects to be fully felt, enough time has passed that it is fair to begin to examine what has been the deterrent effect so far of international tribunals, and how that effect can be enhanced or improved.

The good news is that in all of the country situations surveyed, at least some deterrent effect was reported. The authors draw on quantitative factors first to assess whether overall criminality has risen or fallen, a fundamental baseline for asking whether crimes have thereafter been deterred. The authors draw on qualitative factors to assess perceptions of deterrence, in particular amongst perpetrators and potentially like-minded individuals, including members of militaries and rebel groups, political actors, diplomats and politicians, as well as academics, civil society members and victims. Perceptions of deterrence are as significant as objectively measurable deterrence; people act on their perceptions, for good or bad, and these actions can help determine whether further crimes will be committed. In all the situation countries surveyed, the authors found that while the international court or tribunal concerned had a deterrent effect, both objective and perceived, it proved difficult to sustain because the factors supporting it often fell apart. This is an important starting point for examining how to ensure that any hard-won deterrent effect is not ultimately lost. Continue reading

“Rule of Law, Transitional Justice & Gender Politics”: Hague summer school

WT_logo_Grotius_Centre_Summer_SchoolsOur colleague Martine Wierenga writes to encourage readers to enroll in “Rule of Law, Transitional Justice and Gender Politics,” this year’s Human Rights and Transitional Justice Summer School, sponsored by Leiden University’s Grotius Centre for International Law Studies, located at The Hague in the Netherlands.

Here’s a description of the week-long summer school, to be held July 4 to 8, 2016, at Leiden’s Hague campus:

Transitions from conflict to peace mark transformative moments for accountability, justice and gender politics. In many contexts, the very process of transition presents new opportunities to rethink existing gender narratives and inequalities. sanjiBut it also creates certain frictions in relation to gender conceptions (e.g. feminism versus gender inclusiveness), patterns of victimization or agency. In contemporary international practice, there is tendency to ‘mainstream’ gender discourses into legal and political responses. This summer school takes a critical look at this phenomenon. It explores how different institutional approaches, bodies of law and school of thoughts shape gender discourses and conceptions. It pays particular attention to the framing and implications of international criminal justice on gender discourses. It studies newly emerging approaches Teresa_Doherty1towards gender justice in different fields, such as peace settlements, international jurisprudence, fact-finding and reparation practices, as well as violence against boys and men. It also addresses tensions that arise in the interplay of these different fields (e.g., human rights, criminal law, development). It draws on specific country experiences (e.g. former Yugoslavia, ICC situation countries) to examine the nexus between international responses and local context. It further studies gender politics and complementarity.

The week will feature are area of lectures, role-playing, and other learning exercises. As detailed in the programme, the summer school will open with a keynote address by International Criminal Court Judge Sanji Mmasenon Monageng (above right). Later in the week, Justice Teresa Doherty (above left) of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone will lecture on “Gender justice in the field.”

Among other scheduled speakers are 2 IntLawGrrls contributors:

► Dr. Catherine O’Rourke (below left), Senior Lecturer in Human Rights and International Law at Ulster University, on “Gender narratives and politics” (prior posts)orourke-2

► Kate Orlovsky (below right), Programme Researcher, ICC and ICL Programme, International Bar Association, on “Gender Politics and complementarity” (prior posts)

Also slated to give lectures are:

► Dr. Chris Dolan, Director Refugee Law Program, Makerere University, Uganda, on “Violence against men and boys”

Erin Gallagher, ICC Investigator, on “Fact-finding and gender”orlovksy

Michelle Jarvis, Principal Legal Counsel, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, on “International jurisprudence and prosecutorial practices”

► Dr. Alejandro Kiss, Legal Officer, Trial Division, Chambers of the International Criminal Court, on “Reparation policies and practices”

► Dr. William Schabas, Professor of Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law at Leiden, on “Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Efforts to address gender-based violence”

Marieke Wierda, transitional justice expert, on “Introduction to Transitional Justice”

Details and registration here.

Go On! Advocacy and Litigation Training Course, Leiden University, The Hague

The Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies (Leiden University) welcomes registrations for its Advocacy and Litigation training course, which will be held in The Hague from 24 November to 28 November 2014. The training is open to law students and professionals who consider a career in international criminal litigation or who simply wish to develop or improve their advocacy skills. Participants will be trained in case theory, opening statements, direct examination (examination-in-chief), cross-examination, re-examination, closing statements and legal submissions skills through role play and challenging exercises. The course will be concluded with a mock trial at the end of the week.

The training will be given by Zafar Ali QC, a highly experienced defence lawyer who is on the list of Defence Counsel at the International Criminal Court. He has also been selected as Lead Defence Counsel at the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague.  Zafar Ali will be assisted by Nathan Rasiah, who has worked on a number of high profile cases involving military and political leaders charged before international criminal tribunals.

The Grotius Centre also arranges visits to the ICC and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, welcome drinks and a course dinner. Participants will be awarded a certificate of participation. For details please check the course website.