Twentieth Anniversary Summer Session of SLS

Sunday 5 to Wednesday 15 August 2018

Draft Academic Programme

‘Towards an Effective International Criminal Justice System in the Era of The Permanent International Criminal Court – Coordinating and Strengthening Enforcement on National, Regional, and International Levels’

2018 is a year of plenty notable international (criminal) law events to commemorate. 400 years ago, the defenestration of Prague provoked the Bohemian revolt and the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War; 100 years ago, the treaty of Brest-Litovsk concluded Russia’s participation in World War I and the Armistice of Compiègne ended fighting on the Western Front; 90 years ago, the Kellogg-Briand Pact for the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy was signed at Paris; 75 years ago, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising marks the largest and symbolically most important Jewish uprising in German-occupied Europe; 70 years ago, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East delivered its judgment against major war criminals, the General Assembly adopted the Genocide Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; 25 years ago, United Nations Security Council Resolution 827 established the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; and 20 years ago, the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court adopted the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). One year later, the Salzburg Law School on International Criminal Law, Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law (SLS) held its inaugural summer session.

Gilbert Bitti and Eleni Chaitidou at SLS 2014
Gilbert Bitti and Eleni Chaitidou at SLS 2014

At its Twentieth Anniversary Summer Session, SLS will concentrate on the enforcement of international criminal law through multiple judicial mechanisms. When the Statute of the International Criminal Court was adopted in Rome in 1998, hopes were high that the complementarity regime with the ICC at its centre would be an adequate tool to close the impunity gap. 20 years later, there is notable progress regarding implementing legislation, establishing competent national organs, and exercising territorial as well as extraterritorial jurisdiction. But on a wider perspective, many states have still not lived up to their primary duty to exercise criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes and some states have even taken steps to shield individuals from prosecution. On international level, the ICC continues to face limitations in terms of jurisdiction and resources and has not been seized with major situations of impunity, as for instance in Syria. Against this background, SLS 2018 will examine current efforts to strengthen the international criminal justice system within existing and through new institutions on international, regional and national level.

SLS will discuss different generations of international courts and tribunals: From the post World War II military tribunals to the ad hoc and hybrid tribunals of the 1990s and the ICC. In addition, we will cover latest developments such as the regional criminal chambers at the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, the Extraordinary African Chambers, the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, and the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism on international crimes committed in the Syrian Arab Republic. With multiple actors within a global system of international criminal justice, coordination becomes paramount. SLS 2018 will analyse concepts such as complementarity and cooperation and assess their value as structuring elements and their impact on delivering international criminal justice.

Luis Moreno Ocampo, David Donat Cattin, Otto Triffterer, and Chris Hall at SLS 2008
Luis Moreno Ocampo, Chris Hall, David Donat Cattin, and Otto Triffterer at SLS 2008

Efforts to enhance effectiveness will be a further emphasis at this year’s SLS. On national level, we will have a look at the status of implementing legislation and national institutional building, as well as on initiatives to the strengthening of international cooperation for crimes under international law, such as the draft Convention on Crimes Against Humanity and the initiative for a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty for Core Crimes. On international level, performance indicators and the institutional reform at the ICC as well as campaigns for self-restraint of the Security Council's veto powers in face of mass atrocities will be considered.

SLS 2018 will offer ample opportunity to debate current developments in the field of international criminal law, e.g. the activation of the crime of aggression, the withrawals of Burundi and the Philippines from the Rome Statute, the situation in Afghanistan, and the Prosecutor’s recent Request for a Ruling on Jurisdiction under Article 19(3) of the Statute with a view to crimes committed against the Rohingya. Irrelevance of official capacity and questions of immunities continue to remain an issue, Court officials will give an update on the latest jurisprudence of the ICC and we will resume our project on international criminal law in cinema.

The SLS 2018 faculty includes HE Ms. Kimberly Prost, Judge at the International Criminal Court (key-note speaker); Dr. Philipp Ambach, Chief of the Victims Participation and Reparations Section, Registry, ICC; Mr. Gilbert Bitti, Senior Legal Advisor to the Pre-Trial Division, ICC; Ms. Eleni Chaitidou, Legal Officer at the Pre-Trial and Trial Divisions, ICC; Ms. Julie de Huits, Deputy Head of the Belgian Central Authority for the Cooperation with the International Criminal Court and other international criminal jurisdictions; Dr. David Donat Cattin, Secretary-General, Parliamentarians for Global Action; Adjunct Assistant Professor of International Law, Center for Global Affairs, New York University; Ms. Franziska Eckelmans, Legal Counsel, Kosovo Specialist Chambers; Prof. Benjamin Ferencz, A leading Nuremberg Prosecutor with continuous efforts to enhance international criminal law and its enforcement (via video message); Prof. Gerhard Hafner, Emeritus Professor of International Law, University of Vienna; Ms. Michelle Jarvis, Deputy Head, International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism on Syria; Prof. Claus Kress, Professor of Criminal Law and International Law, Chair for German and International Criminal Law, Director of the Institute of International Peace and Security Law, University of Cologne, Germany; Prof. Susan R. Lamb, Visiting Professor, Faculdade Direito, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal; Prof. Suzannah Linton, Distinguished Professor, International Law Department, Law School, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China; Ms. Angela Mudukuti, International Criminal Justice Lawyer, Wayamo Foundation; Dr. Astrid Reisinger Coracini, Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer, Department of European, International and Comparative Law, University of Vienna; Director of the Salzburg Law School on International Criminal Law, Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law.

The academic programme runs from Monday 6 August through Tuesday 14 August, daily from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2.15 p.m. to 5.45 p.m. with a free Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Sunday 5 August and Wednesday 15 August are our days of arrival and departure respectively. During these eight working days, 26 academic sessions of 1,5 hrs are offered (equalling 52 academic contact hours in total). The course consists of lectures, discussions, workshops and case studies, allowing for discussion and interaction among lecturers and participants. It is held at the Faculty of Law of the University of Salzburg, located at a 16th century residence in the centre of the old town.

Participants will obtain a certificate of attendance, but may also take an exam, for which the University of Salzburg allocates 4 credits according to the European Credit Transfer System.

View Past SLS Programmes