Mechanism concludes its Second Judicial Colloquium in Arusha

Group photo closure of colloquium

Today, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism) concluded its Second Judicial Colloquium, which was held over two days on 28 and 29 February 2024 in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania (Tanzania). This high-level event was funded through a generous contribution by the late Mr. Benjamin B. Ferencz, former Prosecutor at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, and his son, Mr. Donald Ferencz.

The Second Judicial Colloquium, entitled “The New Face of Atrocity Crime Proceedings: Internationalisation of Standards, Regional Dialogues on Procedural and Cooperation Matters, and Use of New Technologies”, brought together approximately 100 international and regional experts. Among the participants were eminent jurists from the countries of the East African Community, including Judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACtHPR) and the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), as well as Judges of the Mechanism and other legal practitioners and academics in the field of international criminal justice.

The Minister of Constitutional and Legal Affairs of Tanzania, H.E. Hon. Ambassador Dr. Pindi Hazara Chana, officially opened the event, highlighting Tanzania’s commitment to international justice and paying tribute to the work of the Mechanism and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda before it. Following her remarks, an introductory panel comprising the President of the Mechanism, Judge Graciela Gatti Santana, the President of the EACJ, Hon. Justice Nestor Kayobera, and the President of the ACtHPR, Hon. Lady Justice Imani D. Aboud, addressed the roles played by their respective institutions in delivering justice and the immense value of judicial dialogue and shared insights. The United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Ms. Alice Wairimu Nderitu, subsequently delivered a powerful keynote address, emphasising the importance of moving knowledge “from the courtroom to the classroom” in the context of cases adjudicated by international courts and tribunals.

Over the course of the Second Judicial Colloquium, participants were able to exchange views within the framework of five interactive panel discussions on topics as diverse as: fair trial rights and harmonising standards of justice; fitness to stand trial and counsel’s representation; State cooperation and practical challenges; cooperation at the regional and national levels; and the use of new technologies in court proceedings. Participants also visited the Mechanism’s premises in Lakilaki, where they were welcomed by Mechanism Registrar Abubacarr M. Tambadou and had an opportunity to see the courtroom and learn about the archives managed by the Mechanism. During that visit, Mechanism Prosecutor Serge Brammertz delivered a moving tribute to the life and legacy of Mr. Benjamin B. Ferencz.

The video recording of the Second Judicial Colloquium will be made available on the Mechanism’s website in due course to ensure that the expertise of the participants reaches a wide audience.