Introducing International Expertise towards Prosecuting ISIL's International Crimes: Intensive Training Program for Iraqi Judges at the Nuremberg Academy
The International Nuremberg Principles Academy (Nuremberg Academy), in partnership with the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da'esh/ISIL (UNITAD), organised an advanced training course on international humanitarian law (IHL) and international criminal law (ICL) for 19 members of the Iraqi Judiciary in Nuremberg, Germany, from 21 to 25 November 2022.
The "Training Course on International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law" aimed to enhance the practical investigative and prosecutorial skills of the participants, and was tailored to meet the needs of the Iraqi judges who work on ISIL international crimes in Iraq, with the aim of introducing the necessary in-depth knowledge towards prosecuting such crimes in Iraq in the future.
During the training, the judges were able to study and analyse relevant cases from international courts as well as national cases that adopt the universal jurisdiction in prosecuting international crimes. Such knowledge will help enable Iraqi judges to initiate and conduct proceedings before Iraqi courts, with the highest level of professionalism, and in conformity with international standards and due process.
The training covered the substantive areas of IHL and ICL, as well as procedural elements, including modalities of international cooperation in criminal matters, which are sometimes necessary to undertake and fulfil criminal investigation and indictment of international crimes cases. The trainers for this course were a wide range of renowned international academics, legal experts and practitioners bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the course.
In his remarks at the opening session, Special Adviser and Head of UNITAD Mr Christian Ritscher said that he is "particularly pleased that this training is convening at one of the most renowned specialised institutions in this field; the International Nuremberg Principles Academy." He further thanked the Judiciary in Iraq for their continued support and cooperation, mentioning: "the purpose of our joint work is to hold members of ISIL, those who committed such heinous international crimes, accountable through evidence-based trials before competent courts. UNITAD will continue to work in partnership with Iraq to ensure that we are headed towards achieving this aim."
Representing the Nuremberg Academy, Mr Klaus Rackwitz and Ms Anabela Alves, also presented opening remarks, while Ambassador of Iraq to Germany, H.E. Luqman Abdul Rahim Al-Faili, greeted the participants in a live remote address.
The capacity-building programme of the Nuremberg Academy aims at equipping practitioners and institutions with the relevant knowledge and skills to investigate and prosecute core international crimes. UNITAD provides capacity building for Iraqi judges given the nature of Da'esh crimes in Iraq, and in light of the prospect that there will soon be an appropriate legal framework that allows for dealing with ISIL crimes as international crimes in Iraq.
UNITAD is very grateful to the International Nuremberg Principles Academy for the partnership and efforts in making this program possible. This training comes as a part of UNITAD's close cooperation with the Judiciary in Iraq in promoting accountability for ISIL's international crimes. In 2021, the team organised basic and advanced online training courses in international criminal law and international humanitarian law, which were uniquely conducted in Arabic language, by experts from the region.