Opening of the 2020 Judicial Year and Third Annual Judicial Seminar

Event with Focus on the Legal Profession |

The Hague | Netherlands (the) | Western European and other States

The Judges of the International Criminal Court and eminent guests at the opening of the ICC judicial year 2020 on 23 January 2020 at the seat of the Court in The Hague ©ICC-CPI

On 23 January 2020, the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court") marked the opening of its judicial year with a Special Session at the seat of the Court in The Hague, Netherlands, featuring keynote speaker Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. The event gathered senior judges representing national jurisdictions as well as regional or international courts, and members of the diplomatic corps, civil society and international organisations. 

The Special Session was followed by the Third Annual Judicial Seminar of the ICC to allow critical reflection and exchange of views on topical issues. In addition to judges of the ICC, the seminar was attended by ca. 30 judges from international, regional and national courts, including several chief justices of ICC States Parties. The two working sessions of the 2020 edition of the Judicial Seminar were devoted to discussions on time limits for the issuance of judicial decisions in criminal proceedings, and on the usage of dissenting and separate opinions. 

The Special Session for the opening of the Judicial Year 2020 and the Third Annual Judicial Seminar were organised with the support of the Governments of Cyprus, Nigeria and Sweden as well as the Municipality of The Hague.

Through specific judicial events and activities, the Court seeks to increase awareness and enhance cooperation with national judicial actors and the legal profession in general. Some of the overall goals are to promote the specialisation and training of lawyers in the law of the Statute and the Rules as per Regulation 140 of the Rules of the Registry, promote dialogue and exchange of expertise, foster a sense of community, increase awareness and support for the Court amongst national, regional and international judicial institutions, as well as develop knowledge and skills, share mutually relevant information, and build and maintain operational and technical relationships with bar associations and the ICC listed Counsel, thus providing a forum for consultations with the legal profession.