In a Ceremony at the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council: Chief Justice Zidan and Special Adviser Ritscher commend the work of Iraqi Judges to hold ISIL members accountable for international crimes

Baghdad, 6 February 2022 – During a ceremony organized by the Iraqi High Judicial Council and the United Nations Investigative Tea¬¬m to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh/ISIL (UNITAD) in Baghdad today, Judge Faiq Zidan and Special Adviser and Head of UNITAD Mr. Christian Ritscher congratulated Iraqi Judges who completed basic and advance courses in International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law.

The five-month online training course included forty lectures and was developed in cooperation with the Australian National University. It aimed to deepen the knowledge and expertise of members of the Iraqi judiciary in areas related to International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law.

These legal aspects are vital given the nature of ISIL’s crimes in Iraq, as international crimes. Such capacity building of the Iraqi Judiciary would open the door to prosecute ISIL perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Iraq once an appropriate legal framework is adopted in Iraq.

Special Adviser Ritscher underlined the importance of this project saying “this capacity building project aims to establish a new class of Iraqi experts in international criminal law and humanitarian law that will not only benefit Iraq but the region as well. Members of the Iraqi judiciary, now vested with expertise in international criminal law and international humanitarian law, can play a pivotal role in holding ISIL perpetrators accountable for international crimes committed in Iraq, adding that seeing such trials take place in Iraq is our common objective”.

Speaking on behalf of the Council and the participating judges, the President of the Supreme Judicial Council Judge Faiq Zidan thanked UNITAD and the Australian National University for what they provided during this course, which contributes to developing the capacities of the judges. He further welcomed that more of these similar courses be organized.

As part of its mandate and commitment to capacity building in Iraq with the aim of supporting domestic efforts to hold ISIL accountable, UNITAD was pleased and proud to have assembled a group of international lecturers who are not only eminent experts but are all Arabic speakers. This was especially important during the inter–active discussion sessions that followed each lecture.

Source: United Nation