Programme 2014

Sixteenth Summer Session of 
Salzburg Law School on International Criminal Law, 
Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law
Sunday 3 to Friday 15 August 2014

International Criminal Law at the First World War Centenary -- From Consolidation Towards Confrontation?   

The Salzburg Law School on International Criminal Law, Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law (SLS) welcomes applications for its Sixteenth Summer Session, Sunday 3 to Friday 15 August 2014. This year’s session will scrutinize principles and procedures of international criminal law with a view to their origins and contemporary challenges to their enforcement.

The significance of 1914 for the devolvement of modern international criminal law is twofold. On the one hand it marks the outbreak of a World War I, the mass atrocities and casualties of which led to first serious debates over an international criminal justice system, laying the groundwork for a development that culminated in the establishment of the complementary jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). On the other hand, the first international investigation commission concluded its work.

The International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars underlined the significance of accountability of persons in power positions, who directed or could have easily prevented atrocities. However, it was only in the aftermath of the First World War that the principle of individual criminal responsibility independent of the perpetrator’s hierarchical rank, including as head of state, was recognized by the Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties and subsequently reflected in an international treaty. The penal provisions of the peace treaty of Versailles confirmed the individual criminal responsibility of military personnel as well as of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Several decades later, after the prosecution of war criminals in the aftermath of World War II and trials before two United Nations ad hoc tribunals, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court reaffirmed the irrelevance of official capacity as well as the non-applicability of immunities or special procedural rules in proceedings before the ICC. Despite efforts at the Rome Conference to codify customary international criminal law, the Statute’s provisions on immunities proved to be amongst the most controversial ones. Cases of non-compliance to Court requests have raised complex questions on the relationship between articles 27 and 98 of the ICC Statute, the law on immunities under customary and treaty law, and cooperation duties of non-States parties in a situation referred to the Court by the United Nations Security Council. At its last session, the Assembly of States Parties adopted amendments to the ICC Rules of Procedure and Evidence, introducing special procedural rules for persons fulfilling extraordinary public duties at the highest national level. The controversy has not reached its conclusion. Upon request of the Kenyan Government, a number of proposals for amendments of the Statute have been circulated. These proposals include an amendment to article 27, aiming at providing incumbent heads of states and other persons with personal immunity from prosecution during their term of office. Academics and practitioners will critically assess relevant legal issues and the political context related to the current discourse on the law on immunities. In this context, sessions will shed light on the smouldering conflict between the International Criminal Court and African States Parties as well as the African Union on the Court’s practice of selection of situations and cases.

The legacy of World War I was equally decisive for the development of crimes penalizing the outbreak of armed conflict and the use of poisonous gases. However, codification in these areas was not finalized until the first Review Conference of the Rome Statute held in Kampala in 2010. The crime of aggression and amendments to article 8, extending criminalization of the use of poisonous weapons and gases to situations of non-international armed conflict, have been adopted by consensus. This year’s summer session will take a close look at the current state of ratification or acceptance and the future impact of the Kampala amendments. Furthermore, SLS will address the significance of international investigation commissions, from their first uses in the context of the Balkan Wars and the First World War to the current work of the permanent International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission.

In addition, SLS will provide an opportunity to debate current developments in the field of international criminal law, i.a. the situation in the Ukraine and aspects related to latest judgements and decisions of the International Criminal Court. These will include the application of Regulation 55 in the cases against Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, the rights of the defence and victims in proceedings before the ICC, and the recent ICTY jurisprudence on the requirement of a specific direction to establish responsibility for aiding and abetting. Participants will be invited to a screening of the documentary “LAW not WAR” (2014), featuring the life of former Nuremberg prosecutor and longstanding SLS lecturer Prof. Benjamin Ferencz.


Confirmed speakers include:

-) Judge Daniel Ntanda Nsereko, Judge at the Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Former Judge at the International Criminal Court and Professor of Law, University of Gaborone, Botswana will deliver the keynote adress on "Africa and the Arab World in the Focus of the International Criminal Court". 

-) Stefan Barriga, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the United Nations
-) Gilbert Bitti, Senior Legal Advisor to the Pre-Trial Division, International Criminal Court 
-) Eleni Chaitidou, Legal Officer at the Pre-Trial Division, International Criminal Court
-) Dr. David Donat Cattin, Executive Director, Parliamentarians for Global Action 
-) Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c.mult. Albin Eser, Emeritus Professor of Criminal Law, University of Freiburg; Emeritus Director of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law 
-) Prof. Paola Gaeta, Professor of International Criminal Law at the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva and Director of the LL.M. Programme in International Humanitarian Law of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
-) Prof. Charles Garraway, Fellow, Human Rights Centre, University of Essex; Vice President of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission
-) Prof. Kevin Heller, Professor of Law, SOAS University of London; Principal Fellow, Melbourne Law School
-) Steven W. Kay QC, International Criminal Lawyer; Defence counsel in the case The Prosecutor v. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta before the International Criminal Court
-) Prof. William Schabas, OC MRIA, Professor of International Law, School of Law, Middlesex University, Professor of International Criminal Law and Human Rights, Leiden University 
-) Kirsty Sutherland, Barrister at 9 Bedford Row Chambers; Member of the defence team representing Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta before the International Criminal Court 
-) Prof. Mia Swart, Professor of International Law, University of Johannesburg 
-) HE Ambassador Helmut Tichy, Legal Advisor, Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs
-) Prof. Noah Weisbord, Associate Professor of Law, Florida International University 
-) Dr. Astrid Reisinger Coracini, Lecturer, Director, Salzburg Law School on International Criminal Law, Humanitarian Law and Human Righst Law 

The academic programme will run from Monday 4 through Thursday 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 weekend. The course consists of lectures, discussions, workshops and case studies, allowing for discussion and interaction among lecturers and participants. It will be held at the Faculty of Law of University of Salzburg, located in 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 4 credits according to the European Credit Transfer System are available.

To apply, please fill in our online registration form and send your CV as well as a letter of motivation at the latest until Friday, 9 May 2014.