DR Congo

Seminars on the International Criminal Court in DRC universities continue

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For the second consecutive year, and following those held in the universities of Goma and Bukavu in January and February 2011 respectively, the Outreach Unit held seminars on the International Criminal Court (ICC) at Lubumbashi University from 9 to 12 April and Kisangani University from 15 to 16 April 2011.

Over two hundred first and second year undergraduate students of law attended the seminars on the ICC which consisted of: a general introduction; key features of the ICC in relation to criminal law, criminal procedure and the Court’s structure and jurisdiction; and international cooperation between the Court and States. Use of the Court’s jurisprudence in practical exercises to reinforce the theory was particularly popular with the students, enabling them to analyse judicial practice in terms of the law applicable before the Court.

The seminars sparked lively debates on subjects such as the role of the United Nations Security Council, the issue of head of State immunity, the tension between state sovereignty and the ICC, victims’ rights and the ICC’s work in Africa. Discussions also focussed on judicial developments in the cases before the Court.

Congolese students’ ever-increasing interest in the ICC is apparent from the number of final year dissertations and theses on the Court, despite the difficulties they experience in accessing information. To overcome these obstacles, the ICC Outreach Unit has started to provide the relevant materials to the law faculties of partner universities in the provinces. In Kinshasa, information is more readily available at a small library, provided free of charge by the Court, and which includes over fifty legal volumes, enabling Outreach Unit staff to regularly assist students with their research.

In July, to mark the Day of International Criminal Justice, the ICC’s Outreach Unit in the DRC will organise an inter-university moot court competition in partnership with the universities.

For more information, please contact Patrick Tshibuyi, DRC Outreach Assistant on +243 (0)998011416 or by e-mail at: patrick.tshibuyiwatshibuyi@icc-cpi.int