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KCIL held the Second Annual Conference in Sulaymaniyah

On December 16, 2023, the Kurdistan Center for International Law (KCIL) organized its second annual conference on international law, titled “International Criminal Justice in KRI – Opportunity for Application,” in Sulaimani. The event received financial support from IFA and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The conference, attended by judges, prosecutors, judicial invistigators, academics, civil society activists, and representatives from the Ministry of Peshmerga and the Kurdistan Parliament, commenced with a speech from the Board of Directors of KCIL. The presentation highlighted the center’s efforts in domesticating international criminal law. A final project video showcased KCIL’s approach and mechanisms in implementing international criminal law, emphasizing the importance of domestication. The video also featured testimonials from the KCIL beneficiaries in 2023, emphasizing the need to activate this issue in legislative, judicial, and governance institutions.

The first panel was entitled ‘Towards International Criminal Justice in Kurdistan,’ and Dr. Ebad Rohi, Dr. Soran Barzanji, and Judge Howard Morrison participated in it. Three different topics were discussed: the first is ‘Domesticating ICL as a Mechanism for Strengthening of the Judicial System in Kurdistan,’ the second is ‘The Efforts of Parliament and KRG for Domesticating ICL in Kurdistan,’ and the third is ‘The Importance of Domesticating ICL in Kurdistan.’ The second panel of the conference was entitled ‘Complexity of International Criminal Justice and Kurdistan Judicial System.’ This panel, attended by ‘Azad Walatbegi’ and Dr. Hassan Mustafa, included two topics: the first is ‘Hybrid Court Models for Prosecuting ISIS fighters in Kurdistan,’ and the second is ‘Individual Criminal Responsibility in Using Drones in ICL.

After the conclusion of the two panels, members of the Executive Board of the KCIL, addressed the comments and suggestions of the conference participants. Generally, the comments presented rich suggestions and questions for argumentation on the issue of the domestication of ICL and how to benefit from it in the ongoing search for justice and accountability of perpetrators of crimes committed against the Kurdish nation, from the previous regime to the genocide of the Yazidis, within the framework of the domestic judicial system and building national support for it, from individual thinking to the entire legislative and judicial system.

During this part of the conference, the discussions were intense, and genuine sympathy was observed for the issue of domestication. Alongside the discussions, the project team of the KCIL, which included enthusiastic legal background volunteers noted all the comments and suggestions so that the KCIL that can share them with the relevant stakeholders.