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Research Training on Supranational Criminal Law

Final Activity Report Summary - SUPRA-RT (Research Training on Supranational Criminal Law)

The last decade has seen a breakthrough in the development of the body of law concerning the adjudication of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. After the establishment of the Yugoslavia and Rwanda Tribunals in the 1990's, the Statute of the International Criminal Court entered into force on 1 July 2002. These examples have led to the establishment of other tribunals, both national and internationalised courts. The basis of this part of international criminal law is a combination of many old law families and traditions.

In the last four years (2006-2010), the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies (Leiden University, Campus The Hague) carried out the Marie Curie project. This project was financed by the European Commission and the Leiden University Fund (LUF). It aimed to train young researchers on the scientific discipline of international criminal law. The project offered young and talented academics to pursue part of their research in The Hague, to deepen their knowledge, to exchange ideas and to build a network.

The project consists of top summer schools, research courses (with follow-up weeks), and network conferences. The various events include leading academics and practitioners with international reputations of relevant disciplines of law, which guaranteed broad knowledge and experience on current issues within international criminal law. This training provided the selected young top researchers a distinct advantage over researchers pursuing standard single discipline education.

The top summer schools participants followed a programme covering the current topics of international criminal law falling within those three main areas: substantive criminal law, procedural law and legal policy. The lecturers were a mixture of highly knowledgeable academics and practitioners of the courts and tribunals in the Hague and from NGOs working in the field. Each researcher was asked to present their respective PhD topics to the whole group. Following their presentation, their topics were discussed by the rest of the group, by an expert on the subject and the coordinators of the project.

On the other hand, during the research courses, each participant was asked to produce a research article which would be published together with the contributions by eminent international judicial experts in one of the following publications:
-'Future perspectives on international criminal justice' by TMC Asser Press, editors Carsten Stahn and Larissa van den Herik (published in 2009);
- 'Diversification and fragmentation of international criminal law in a global society' by TMC Asser Press, editors Carsten Stahn and Larissa van den Herik (forthcoming in January 2011).
- 'International criminal law and legal pluralism' by TMC Asser Press, editors Carsten Stahn and Larissa van den Herik (forthcoming).

Finally, the network conferences held in March 2008 and in March 2010 were a great opportunity for all the Marie Curie participants to further extend their existing network in the field of international criminal law.