On 6 November, the Secretariat of the European Network of Contact Points in respect of persons responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes (Genocide Network) held a seminar entitled: Introduction to core international crimes and the duty to prosecute, hosted by Eurojust.
Expert speakers delivered addresses on the following topics:
- Fundamentals of international criminal law and its relation to international humanitarian law and human rights law;
- Core international crimes – structural elements, objective and subjective elements of crimes, cases:
a) War crimes,
b) Crimes against humanity,
c) Crime of genocide;
- The duty to prosecute – national and international jurisdiction:
a) International conventions and primary obligation of states,
b) International jurisdiction – International Criminal Court,
c) ICC Office of the Prosecutor and assistance to national authorities,
d) Conflict of jurisdictions in prosecuting international crimes (primacy v. complementarity); and
- Immunity from prosecution
The seminar proved to be enlightening and afforded participants the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and understanding of international core crimes, both from an academic and a practical perspective. Further seminars on the investigation and prosecution of core international crimes are envisaged.
13th meeting of the Genocide Network
On 7 and 8 November, Eurojust hosted the 13th meeting of the Genocide Network.
The meeting was convened by the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union and supported by the Genocide Network’s Secretariat and Eurojust.
The main issues discussed were: enhancing cooperation among immigration authorities and law enforcement/prosecution services in investigating and prosecuting core international crimes, and criminal information collection methods in the ongoing conflict in Syria. Furthermore, presentations were heard on the possibilities of establishing Joint Investigation Teams for investigation and prosecution of core international crimes. The exchange of national experiences and best practices in this regard formed part of the meeting. Later, questions relating to the obligation to prosecute or extradite were discussed as a result of the International Court of Justice judgment involving Belgium and Senegal.
In her opening address, Ms Katerina Loizou, representing the Cyprus Presidency and also National Member for Cyprus at Eurojust, stated: “Close cooperation between authorities at national level and cooperation between states are essential in preventing impunity of perpetrators of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.”
The meeting brought together delegates from the majority of European Union Member States, together with observers from Norway, Switzerland, Canada and the USA. In addition, representatives from the International Criminal Court, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, Redress, Trial, Amnesty International, and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court were present.
For more information about the Genocide Network, please visit www.genocidenetwork.eurojust.europa.eu.