Prosecution of international crimes: an expert meeting with 27 worldwide experts will take place this week in Ottawa

Ottawa, March 14th, 2018 – The expert meeting “Prosecuting International Crimes: Expert Meeting on the Collaboration between National Prosecuting Authorities (NPAs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)” will be held on March 15 and 16, 2018, at the University of Ottawa.

This expert meeting aims at significantly improving the collaboration between NPAs and NGOs in the prosecution of international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

This collaboration is fundamental to the success of the global international justice system created in 1998 by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court that is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. According to this international statute, States bear the primary responsibility to investigate, and prosecute or extradite suspects of international crimes. They are often helped by NGOs, who play a significant role in the cases prosecuted at the national level. But little has been done so far to develop guidelines for ensuring that NPAs and NGOs involved in such cases operate in a way that is mutually supportive, aiming at the goal of a successful prosecution with due regard to fair trial guarantees with a gender perspective at all stages.

The 27 worldwide experts from States, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions will thus share their views on various issues influencing this collaboration based on their experience and knowledge. These discussions will lead to the publication of a report that would have durable impact on the laws, policies and institutions that aim at deterring atrocity crimes and contributing to the healing process of victims.

This meeting is organized by the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Section of the Canadian Department of Justice, the Canadian Centre for International Justice, Lawyers Without Borders Canada, the Human Rights Center of University of California Berkeley School of Law, Université Laval and the Canadian Partnership for International Justice. It is partially funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and by Heritage Canada. Many States and civil society organizations also contribute in-kind support.

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