#RDVExpertise - Justice in wartime: how to ensure its resilience?

Rendering justice in times of war and armed conflict

Dispensing justice in times of war and armed conflict, be they interstate aggression or civil war among territorial populations, represents a considerable challenge.

Expertise France invites you to the Rendez-vous de l'Expertise on March 29 on the theme of the resilience of justice in wartime. The #RDVExpertise are conference-debates dedicated to issues of international technical cooperation and official development assistance. Expertise France promotes its role as a coordinator by bringing together different players - institutions, public players, NGOs and companies - to discuss development issues covering the agency's fields of action.

The aim of this year's Rendez-vous de l'Expertise is to question magistrates, jurists and lawyers, as well as those working in the field, who will be invited to share their experiences and best practices in ensuring justice in times of war and armed conflict.

To ensure compliance with international law, a single judicial system is not enough.
Several bodies have been set up:

  • the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
  • the International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)

Institutions whose mission is to contribute to a stable and just international order.

The ICC was born of a treaty known as the "Rome Statute", adopted at a diplomatic conference of plenipotentiaries held from June 15 to July 17, 1998. However, major powers such as the United States, Russia, China and India have yet to ratify it. It only came into force on July 1, 2002. It is headquartered in The Hague and has 123 members.
In addition to the limited number of signatory states to the treaty, the judicial choices made by the Court are often guided by diplomatic considerations.

Between 2010 and 2015, the ICC undertook to set up a new generation of internationalized criminal tribunals (Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal, Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic, specialized chambers for Kosovo) and, based on a renewal of universal jurisdiction, national judges took on a new role in the punishment of international crimes.

On February 27, 2022, Ukraine brought an action against Russia before the International Court of Justice following Russia's military invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Its aim is to establish the illegality of the actions launched by Russia on Ukrainian territory and to obtain a halt to the operations.

However, the procedure is very long and difficult, as the various stages of the prosecution (gathering evidence, identifying the alleged perpetrators, trial with due respect for the rights of the defense) are made more complex here by the nature of the crimes and, at present, by the unlikely arrest, by judicial decision, of the alleged perpetrators and their extradition or spontaneous surrender.

The international prism is essential for this conference-debate, which will provide a forum for discussion on the subject of
"Justice in wartime" to exchange their perspectives on the theme under two round tables that will help define the pivotal role of justice in international relations and sustainable development.