Académie de droit international de La Haye

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.  


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

Prof. David Kaye, University of California, Irvine School of Law, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

10.15-10.45 Q & A


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

Including Dr Alexa Koenig, Berkeley Human Rights Centre; Norman Farrell, Prosecutor Special Tribunal for Lebanon and Prof. David Kaye

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch

13.30-14.00 Introduction Round

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

Speaker: Prof. Marco Gercke, University of Cologne (tbc)

16.30 – 17.30    Cybercrime and electronic evidence: Experiences from  Practice

Speaker: Ms. Daniela Buruiana, Chair Eurojust Task Force on Cybercrime

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

Speaker: Alexa Koenig, Berkeley Human Rights Centre

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

Speaker: Prof. Göran Sluiter, University of Amsterdam

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

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

Speakers: Alexa Koenig and Lindsay Freeman, Berkeley Human Rights Centre; Virgil Ivan-Cucu (EUROMED Justice)


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 

Speaker: Dr Emma Irving, Leiden University

11:00 – 13:00 Privatization of Fact-Finding and Investigative Bodies – Insights from Practice

Speaker: William Wiley, Executive Director, Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA)

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.30 Open source investigation: Role and Experiences of Bellingcat

Speaker: Eliot Higgins, Founder of Bellingcat

15.30 – 17.00 Case Study Syria

Including perspectives from:

- Dan Saxon, Leiden University (formerly UN Commission of Inquiry);

- Simon Minks, Senior National Prosecutor, The Netherlands


Thursday 15 November 2017

New Technologies and Enforcement 

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

Speakers: Mr Gilles Dutertre, Ms Cristina Ribero, ICC Office of the Prosecutor

12.00 – 13.00 Lunch

Preparation time exercise

16.00 – 17.30 Practical exercise

Speaker: Dr Emma Irving, Leiden University


Friday 16 November 2018

Trends and Developments in the Law of International Cooperation and Assistance

9:00  - 10.30 Experiences of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism on Syria (IIIM)

Speaker: Ms. Michelle Jarvis, Deputy Head, IIIM

11:00 - 13:00 Changing Law on Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance

Speaker: Prof. Mark Pieth, Basel (tbc)

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 16.00 Criminal Investigations in a Digital World and Challenges for International Law: From Mutual Legal Assistance to Data Sharing Agreements?

Speaker: Prof. Theodore Christakis, University Grenoble Alpes, IUF, French Digital Council

16.00-16.30 Certificate Ceremony

17.00 Farewell Drinks




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