Training Courses in International and Transnational Criminal Law

The international criminal justice system has witnessed significant progress over the past 40 years with the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and several ad hoc international criminal tribunals. Despite these landmark developments, the primary responsibility assigned by international law for the prosecution and prevention of international crimes remains with states. Therefore, the role of national prosecutors and judges is fundamental in combatting impunity and providing access to justice for victims, in preventing crimes, and promoting the rule of law for societies.

To support national jurisdictions, the T.M.C. Asser Instituut, the Antonio Cassese Initiative and International Nuremberg Principles Academy organise training courses on international criminal law (ICL) and transnational criminal law (TCL). The training courses are developed for judges and prosecutors to: - strengthen their capacity to prosecute and try international and transnational crimes; - enhance their ability to protect human rights, including fair trial rights enshrined in international instruments; - ensure effective cooperation with the ICC and other international criminal tribunals; and - increase cooperation among national judiciaries.

Participants in these courses are from countries that are dealing with fragile or weak judicial sectors, as well as ICC situation countries and countries that are facing challenges prosecuting international and transnational crimes including terrorism. The trainers are experienced academics and practitioners before international criminal tribunals and courts.

Looking back

The first training cycle took place during 2018-2019 and consisted of three parts:
- a one-week training in February 2018, The Hague;
- e-streaming sessions via the Help Desk on the International Crimes Database website; and
- a follow-up training in March 2019, The Hague.
The participants included 23 judges and prosecutors from Burkina Faso, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Mali and Niger.

A second training cycle kicked off in 2020 with a one-week training in Arusha, Tanzania in February 2020. The training was co-hosted by the African Institute of International Law and attended by seventeen judges from francophone African countries. A follow-up training was held online in March and June 2021 due to the pandemic. 

The third training cycle kicked-off with an online component in February and March 2022. A follow-up one-week in-person training took place in The Hague from 4-8 July 2022. The training was attended by 18 participants from Burkina Faso, DRC, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger and Tchad.

To hear and read more about the impact and aims of the training, go here.

Looking forward

Our long-term goal is to expand the ICL-TCL training facility in The Hague for judges and prosecutors coming from countries facing challenges in the administration of justice. This facility will seek to become the go-to venue for prosecutorial and judicial training courses on international and transnational crimes.

The training is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of the Netherlands' development policy and managed by Nuffic.

More information
Please contact Maria Sperling, (senior project officer) or Dr. Marta Bo, (project leader and researcher at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and member of the board of the Antonio Cassese Initiative).