The CMN-ICJ Toolkits Project

Between 2013 and 2016, the International Criminal Justice Toolkits Project of the Case Matrix Network (CMN-ICJ Toolkits Project) will develop and customize four Toolkits which support legal work, policy and advocacy concerning core international crimes and serious human rights violations. The Toolkits will be customised to the specific legal and resource needs of seven target countries according to the CMN methodology.

This project is directed and coordinated by the Case Matrix Network (CMN) a department of the Centre for International Law Research and Policy (‘CILRAP’) and is grounded in three fundamental features of the International Criminal Court and its Statute:

1) Enhancing the ICC System of Justice: The International Criminal Court (ICC) currently has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes from more than 123 States Parties, in addition to situations that are referred to it by the UN Security Council and non-States Parties. To enable the ICC to function, States Parties are obliged to provide co-operation and judicial assistance to the Court. The CMN-ICJ Toolkits Project supports national justice efforts as well as the co-operation regime between the ICC and States.

2) Complementarity and National Criminal Justice Procedures: The ICC is a court of last resort, and can function only once it determines that States are unwilling or unable to genuinely investigate and prosecute perpetrators for the conduct proscribed in the ICC Statute. This is the principle of complementarity, where national judicial systems are expected to pursue criminal accountability for perpetrators of core international crimes. However, national judicial systems often face legal and technical constraints in effectively pursuing investigations and prosecutions of ICC crimes. This can occur at each stage of proceedings, from ensuring that adequate laws exist, which balance national and international obligations; conducting fact-finding and investigations which reflect the legal requirements of core international crimes under their national legal system; mapping the breadth of incidents and violations as well as prioritising or selecting cases for criminal prosecution and building strong cases which satisfy the national legal framework. The CMN-ICJ Toolkits Project supports each phase of criminal accountability.

3) Co-operation and Judicial Assistance Between the ICC and States: The ICC is dependent on co-operation with its State Parties because the Court does not have its own enforcement mechanism. This poses many challenges to the ICC, to the international community and to States. The CMN-ICJ Toolkits Project supports effort to strengthen the ICC’s co-operation regime, particularly, national efforts to enact co-operation legislation.

Supporting International Criminal Justice Challenges Through Technology-Driven Toolkits

The CMN-ICJ Toolkit Project responds to these challenges through technology-driven toolkits that utilize the experience of the CMN in designing free and open-source IT solutions for managing the different stages of criminal accountability for core international crimes. We believe that IT tools can support national criminal actors to overcome legal constraints in providing criminal accountability and reducing impunity for core international crimes.