Accountability for Atrocity Crimes

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This short course examines the mechanisms and institutions available in international law to hold individuals legally accountable for acts amounting to atrocity crimes.

The first two sessions will cover issues concerning the institutional framework of the International Criminal Court (ICC), such as the scope and ambit of the ICC jurisdiction, the complementary of the ICC to national jurisdictions, and the relationship between the ICC and the United Nations Security Council.

The third and fourth sessions will explore the main features of the so-called mixed or hybrid tribunals as well as the prospects for an African Court under the Malabo Protocol.

Finally, the last session will discuss the role of national courts in the fight against impunity, with an emphasis on universal criminal jurisdiction and the so-called aut dedere aut iudicare principle.

Ultimately, the course intends to provide participants with a solid understanding of the existing pluralistic system of international accountability for international crimes and of its main challenges.

In Geneva and Online

The course can be followed in Geneva or online. Please note that the number of places to follow the course in Geneva is limited.


This short course forms part of the Geneva Academy Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict. It is open to professionals – diplomats, lawyers, legal advisers, judges, NGO staff, human rights advocates, media specialists, professionals working in emergency situations, UN staff and staff from other international organizations – who are not enrolled in the Executive Master and who want to deepen their expertise in this specific issue.


Classes take place on:

  • Friday 20 May 2021, 18:00 – 20:00
  • Thursday 21 May 2021, 15:30 – 17:30
  • Friday 27 May 2021, 18:00 – 20:00
  • Thursday 28 May 2021, 15:30 – 17:30
  • Friday 3 June 2021, 18:00 – 20:00
  • Thursday 4 June 2021, 15:30 – 17:30


Participants obtain a certificate at the end of the course (no ECTS credits are gained).

Fee information

The fee for this short course is 1,250 Swiss Francs.

How to register

Applications for this short course must be submitted via this online form.

Your application will need to include:

  • A short motivation letter (no more than one page)
  • Your curriculum vitae
  • Proof of your competence in English (a certificate or statement highlighting your solid background in English)
  • A valid copy of your visa or residence permit for candidates wishing to follow the short course in Geneva (only applicants who require a visa to enter the Schengen area)

Once admitted to the course, participants receive instructions on how to pay. Proof of payment is required before you begin the course.