International Development Law Organization

IDLO and ICC Strengthen Transitional Justice in West Africa

IDLO, in partnership with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and selected judicial training institutes and bar associations of francophone West Africa, has organized a pilot regional training seminar for defense counsel and other legal professionals in Dakar, Senegal. 

The five-day (October 27-31) seminar aims to  prepare legal professionals from the region for eventual prosecution of Rome Statute crimes before both domestic courts and the ICC, with the aim to improve the quality of ICC proceedings and of international criminal justice.

Up to 120 participants will be trained in international criminal law and on the ICC's function, structure, operation and procedure, including the practical role and implications of the complementarity principle. The Rome Statute of the ICC, which was adopted in 1998, is based on the complementarity principle, which provides that the ICC should only seize jurisdiction, or be conferred it, over situations where domestic courts are either unwilling or unable to prosecute crimes of aggression, genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity.

Legal professionals from Benin, Gabon, Algeria, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Chad and Togo, as well as Belgium and France, are attending the seminar. Indeed, the project will also promote networking among defense counsel and other legal professionals about the role and relevance of the ICC. 

If the pilot seminar proves to be a success, IDLO plans to organize similar training seminars in other regions of the world.