Opening of the Judicial Year 2023 and 5th Judicial Seminar of the ICC

Event with Focus on the Legal Profession |

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

International Criminal Court Marks Opening of the Judicial Year 2023

On 20 January 2023, the International Criminal Court held a solemn hearing for the opening of its judicial year, featuring speeches of keynote speaker Mr Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, ICC Principals, and the President of the ICC Bar Association. ICC judges as well as the Vice-President of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), Ambassador Kateřina Sequensová, Representatives from national jurisdictions, regional or international courts, the diplomatic corps, civil society and international organisations, also attended the event in ICC Courtroom 1 or through the online streaming.

The solemn hearing was followed by the ICC’s Fifth Annual Judicial Seminar attended by ICC judges and ca. 35 judges from international, regional and national courts, including several chief justices of ICC States Parties. This year's edition of the Judicial Seminar focused on the crucial role that national courts and jurisdictions play in the international criminal justice system aimed at closing the gap of impunity for the gravest crimes under international law. The participants discussed the legal aspects of the principle of complementarity, the support of the United Nations for the capacity building of national jurisdictions as well as the concrete experiences of national and hybrid jurisdictions. The ICC is grateful to the European Commission for its financial support of the Judicial Seminar.

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.