The Hague Academy of International Law

2018 Session

The 2018 Advanced Course on International Criminal Law will take place from 12 to 16 November 2018.

Special focus: International Criminal Law in an Age of Innovation:

New Technologies and Changing Enforcement Strategies

Approaches towards the investigation and prosecution of international crimes are in flux. Technology develops much faster than domestic and international legal frameworks. Cyber-criminality poses novel threats to governments, companies and traditional criminal justice systems. Forums, such as the internet, social media, and smartphones are used by individuals  to commit crimes across international borders. Media providers are increasingly required to balance free speech protections with the need to curtail the spread of violence and crime through the internet. At the same time, modern technologies help to strengthen accountability. Crimes are more difficult to hide. More and more violations are documented and recorded through new technologies.  This poses new challenges for investigations, criminal procedures and enforcement practices. There is a strong trend towards to the privatization of information gathering and investigation. Domestic and international courts face challenges as to how to rely on open source evidence in criminal or terrorist trials (e.g., foreign fighters). Private organizations, such as Bellingcat, have managed to reconstruct essential patterns of the MH17 attack through open-source investigation. Private entities are called to preserve material for purposes of verification or cooperation with public authorities.  In Syria, international crimes have been investigated by multiple investigative entities, such as the UN mandated International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM), the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA) and the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM). International and domestic courts must develop new techniques to verify the reliability of open-source material and privately recorded information (e.g., videos, images) and translate it into evidence, while preserving fairness and due process guarantees.  Cross-border data flows require effective cooperation and legal assistance. 

This course explores these novel challenges.  It starts with a discussion of the state-of the-art and challenges of combating cyber-criminality. It then explores new trends and challenges in the monitoring and investigation of international crimes through novel technologies, including evidentiary and due process challenges. It includes a discussion of the interplay of institutions mechanisms in the Syrian context. It then reviews trends and developments regarding  enforcement, including universal jurisdiction. It concludes with a discussion on the changing system of extradition and mutual legal assistance and immunities.  


Monday 12 November 2018

International Criminal Law, New Technologies and Cyber- Crime

8.30 – 9.00 Registration and Coffee

9.00-9.30 Welcome

Prof. Jean-Marc Thouvenin, Secretary-General of The Hague Academy

Prof. Carsten Stahn, Leiden University

9.30-10.15 Opening Keynote:  International Human Rights Accountability in The Digital Age

10.15-10.45 Q & A

11.00 – 12.30 Panel Discussion:  New Technologies and International Criminal Justice: Opportunities, Threats and Challenges 

13.30-14.00 Introduction Round

14:15 – 16:15 International Criminal Law and Combat of Cyber Criminality: State-of-art

16.30 – 17.30  Cybercrime and electronic evidence: Experiences from  Practice

17:00 Welcome drinks


Tuesday 13 November 2018

International Crimes and New Technologies: Evidentiary Issues

9:00 – 11:00 Human Rights Fact-Finding and Collection of Open-Source Material

11.15 - 12.45 New Technologies and Procedural Challenges  (Evidence, Due Process)

14.00 – 17.00 Discussion: Guidelines on Treatment of Open Source Evidence: State-of the art


Wednesday 14 November 2018

Crimes and New Technologies: Changing patterns of monitoring and investigation

9.00 - 10.30  Role and Responsibilities of Social Media Providers 

11:00 – 13:00 Privatization of Fact-Finding and Investigative Bodies – Insights from Practice (e.g., Bellingcat, CIJA)

14.00 – 17.00 Case Study Syria


Thursday 15 November 2017

New Technologies and Enforcement Mechanisms

9:00 – 12:00 Visit to the ICC: ICC and New Technologies

14.00 – 16.00 Trends and Developments in Universal Jurisdiction Prosecutions (incl. Habré trial)

16.15 – 17.30 Practical exercise


Friday 16 November 2018

Cooperation and Impediments to Enforcement  

9:00 – 12:00 Changing Law on Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance

14.00 – 16.00 Law of Immunities

16.00-16.30 Certificate Ceremony

17.00 Farewell Drinks


Register for our newsletter: