NOTE: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, at this time, the premises of the Mechanism are closed to the public. More information
Members of the public are welcome to visit the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (“Mechanism”) at its respective branches in Arusha and The Hague. The regular opening hours of the Arusha branch are from 08:30 to 17:30, Monday through Thursday and 08:30 to 14:00 on Friday. The regular opening hours of the Hague branch are from 09:00 to 17:30, Monday through Friday. Visitors ages 16 and over can observe public hearings from the public galleries of the courtrooms. For more information on scheduled dates of hearings, please consult the Court Calendar.
The Mechanism also offers organized group visits. Learn more in Group visits below.
In Arusha, there is limited parking available on the Mechanism’s premises. Visitors can also park outside the Mechanism’s premises and walk in.
At the entrance to the Mechanism’s premises in Arusha, you will be asked to present valid photographic identification and to go through a security check, including a metal detector. You will then be issued a pass to enter the Mechanism premises.
The courtroom is located on your left after entering the main gate. Restrooms are located at the entrance of the courtroom.
In The Hague, visitors are kindly asked to use the main entrance located on Churchillplein 1. Please note that no parking is available on the Mechanism’s premises. Visitors can use parking facilities offered by the World Forum and in the surrounding area.
At the entrance to the Mechanism’s premises in The Hague, you will be asked to present valid photographic identification and to go through a security check, including a metal detector. You will then enter the building and approach the information desk in the lobby to receive a pass to enter the courtrooms.
The courtrooms are located behind the information desk in the lobby. Restrooms can be found behind the information desk to the left and to the right.
Public galleries and facilities at both branches are wheelchair accessible.
Please note that no food, drinks, cameras, cell phones, audio recorders or other electronic equipment are permitted in the public galleries of the courtrooms. It is possible to leave these items with the Mechanism Security Officers in deposit boxes available at the main entrance. If you opt to use the Mechanism deposit boxes, please plan for extra time to store your items, and be reminded that the Mechanism shall not be liable for any loss or damage to any items or equipment.
No filming, audio recording or photography is allowed inside the Mechanism’s respective buildings.
As in many national jurisdictions, a visit to a court of law is subject to certain rules, including as outlined below.
Attending the hearings
Before entering the courtroom, you will be subject to another security check, with a metal detector.
Inside the courtroom, visitors are asked to follow the rules of decorum. Everyone in the courtroom, including those in the public gallery, will be asked to rise when the usher announces the entrance of the Judges, and you will remain standing until the Judges have taken their seats. This procedure is repeated when the session adjourns.
Although there is no formal dress-code for visitors, we kindly ask that you dress appropriately. Persons wearing provocative clothing or displaying potentially disruptive or offensive insignia or images will not be allowed to enter the building. Please note that the Presiding Judge may order the removal of a person from the public gallery in the event of any disruption. While on the premises, visitors are kindly asked to follow the instructions of security officers.
You can choose to hear the proceedings in the floor language (the language used in the courtroom), in English or in French. The channels for the different languages are indicated in the public gallery. Headsets are available.
In Arusha, the courtroom is generally open from 08:30 to 17:30, Monday through Thursday, and 08:30 to 14:00 on Friday. In The Hague, the courtrooms are generally open from 09:00 to 17:30, Monday through Friday. For more information on hearing schedules, please consult the Court Calendar.
Please note that children under the age of 16 are not permitted in the courtroom public galleries, unless previously authorized by the Presiding Judge in the proceedings.
The Mechanism welcomes group visits and makes special arrangements accordingly. Visits are free of charge and consist of an interactive introduction given by staff from the External Relations Office, an opportunity to observe a hearing (depending on the court schedule and available space in the public gallery), and a tour of the courtroom, where possible. The Mechanism can also organize lectures and discussions on specific topics with representatives of different organs of the Mechanism (Chambers, Office of the Prosecutor, Registry), according to the group’s interests.
If you are interested in booking a visit for your group, please complete the Group Visit Request Form and submit it by email at least six weeks in advance of your proposed visit. For practical reasons the number of visitors per group should not exceed 25 persons. In order to comply with security requirements, you will also need to provide a list of all the visitors’ names and passport numbers to the External Relations Office at least one week before the visit. You can also use online form.
Once in the building, visitors who are part of a group visit are asked to follow the same rules as other visitors.