The EU Project Pravo-Justice and the National School of Judges completed the training of judges and prosecutors on investigation and trial of international crimes
On April 26, the EU Project Pravo-Justice in cooperation with the National School of Judges of Ukraine (NSJU) completed the cross-disciplinary training course "Investigation and trial of international crimes and gross violations of human rights", which was attended by 32 judges and prosecutors.
Nataliya Shuklina, Vice-Rector for research, scientific and methodological work of NSJU, thanked the Project for the organization, development, and implementation of the course.
"It is very important that judges and prosecutors, despite their tense schedule, find time to improve their professional skills regarding pre-trial and judicial investigation of international crimes and other crimes related to serious violations of human rights. Although the Criminal Code of Ukraine contains articles on international crimes, crimes that violate the rules and customs of war, Ukrainian judges and prosecutors have not previously worked with these articles of the Code. However, the current conditions require appropriate knowledge and skills. That is why the professional, methodical, and methodological assistance provided to the Project by authoritative international experts, the developers and speakers of the course, are invaluable," Nataliya Shuklina noted.
Anna Adamska-Gallant, the EU Project Pravo-Justice International Key Expert on judicial reform, noted that the course is being held by the Project in cooperation with NSJU for the second time.
"We understand what a challenge the entire judicial system of Ukraine is currently facing. Therefore, when creating and implementing the course, we tried to share our experience in the investigation and trial of international crimes, as well as to show the peculiarities of application of international humanitarian law, which is now extremely relevant for the Ukrainian judicial system. After all, currently a lot depends on prosecutors, judges, their interpretation of law, evaluation of evidence that is already being collected in war conditions. From our side, we are always happy to provide the necessary support," said Anna Adamska-Gallant.
During the six modules of the course, international experts of the EU Project Pravo-Justice Gary Collins, specialist in humanitarian law (USA), as well as Cornelius Verhaeren, specialist in investigative activities, law and order and security (Netherlands), highlighted the principles of international humanitarian law, the concept and classification of international crimes, forms of responsibility for war crimes. Also, international experts considered the circumstances that exclude responsibility for international crimes, the arguments of the defense parties, which are typical for international crimes.
In addition, Cornelius Verhaeren and Anna Adamska-Gallant talked about the methods of interviewing vulnerable witnesses and discussed them with the participants based on the Akayesu case (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda).