Training Courses in International and Transnational Criminal Law

More than 70 years after the Nuremberg Trials, the international criminal justice system has witnessed significant progress that has led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and several ad hoc international criminal tribunals. Despite these landmark developments at international level, the primary responsibility assigned by international law for the prosecution and prevention of international crimes (such as war crimes and crimes against humanity) remains with states. The role of national prosecutors and judges is fundamental in combatting impunity and providing access to justice for victims, in preventing crimes, promoting the rule of law for societies, and in securing lasting peace.

The T.M.C. Asser Instituut and the Antonio Cassese Initiative jointly organise training courses in international criminal law (ICL) and transnational criminal law (TCL), two fields that are increasingly intertwined. The training courses are developed for judges and prosecutors to strengthen their capacity to prosecute and try international and transnational crimes, and to enhance their ability to protect human rights, including fair trial rights enshrined in international instruments. Participants in the courses are from countries that are dealing with fragile or weak judicial and prosecutorial sectors, as well as ICC situation countries and countries that are facing challenges prosecuting international and transnational crimes including terrorism.

The training course’s objectives are the following:

  • to increase knowledge of ICL and TCL and to strengthen specialised competence, as well as practical skills, in carrying out proceedings dealing with international and transnational crimes;
  • to increase standards of fairness in national proceedings;
  • to endow local authorities with the capacity to ensure effective cooperation with the ICC and other international criminal tribunals; and
  • to increase cooperation among national judiciaries.

The Asser Institute and the Antonio Cassese Initiative are committed to ensuring the high quality of the training courses. The majority of trainers belong to the Asser Institute and Antonio Cassese Initiative’s network of trainers who are highly qualified academics and practitioners before international criminal tribunals and courts. Participants to the training courses will also benefit from a Help Desk accessible via the website of the International Crimes Database (ICD), through which they can access the ‘Asser Academy’, an online interactive environment that allows them to access course materials and maintain informal connection with each other and with the Asser Institute’s and Cassese Initiative’s ICL and TCL networks.The ultimate goal of the Asser Institute and the Cassese Initiative is to set up a permanent training centre for judges and prosecutors in The Hague, offering a bi-annual programme, supported by e-learning, in the field of ICL, TCL and International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

From 5 to 9 February 2018, the Asser Institute and the Cassese Initiative successfully hosted the training course entitled ‘Strengthening Domestic Capacity to Prosecute International and Transnational Crimes in Africa’, for judges and prosecutors from francophone African countries (Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo, Burkina Faso, Niger, Democratic Republic of the Congo). For information click here.

From 18 to 22 March 2019, a follow-up training course for the same group of judges and prosecutors will be organised at the Asser Institute.

More information

Please contact Dr. Marta Bo, Project Leader, Researcher at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut and the Graduate Instituteof International and Development Studies, and Member of the Board of the Antonio Cassese Initiative.