Cooperation and Judicial Assistance Database: Interview with Professor Olympia Bekou

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Interview with Professor Olympia Bekou about the Cooperation and Judicial Assistance Database (CJAD)

CJAD is a freely accessible database of national legislation implementing the ICC Statute. Professor Olympia Bekou (CMN Deputy Director and the Head of the ICJ Unit at the University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre), together with her team and Dr. Will Lowe (Senior Research Specialist and Lecturer, Princeton University), designed and implemented CJAD within the remit of CMN’s International Criminal Justice Toolkits project.

What prompted the development of CJAD?

CJAD was developed following a request by The Hague Working Group of the Bureau of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Building on the success of the National Implementing Legislation Database, which was earlier developed by the Human Rights Law Centre at the University of Nottingham, it was felt that a tool to facilitate access to legislation pertaining to cooperation with the ICC was needed.

What are the main features of CJAD?

CJAD allows users to conduct specific searches depending on their particular interests. They can get accurate paragraph-level information, which has been made possible through the adoption of purposely-designed keywords and they can easily see which parts of the ICC cooperation regime have been implemented. CJAD also has a catalogue function allowing users to quickly identify what legislation is available in each State. Information is also organised by geographical regions. Besides English, the interface is currently also available in French and Spanish.

Who are the intended users of CJAD?

National legislators and policy-makers, as well as criminal justice practitioners, researchers and academics who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of the approaches that are available to States in the implementation process.

Could you describe concrete examples of CJAD’s utility for the different type of users?

National legislators wishing to draft domestic legislation are able to access examples of other States’ provisions and compare different implementation approaches, including those of States within the same geographical region. Criminal justice practitioners are able to identify applicable provisions in a given national legal order. Researchers and academics can compare and contrast as well as analyse different approaches to legislation.

CJAD was launched last November. What progress has been achieved since and what are the next steps in its development?

CJAD is being continuously updated to include additional pieces of legislation as well as amendments to existing legislation. This helps to keep the database current and to extend its coverage. More legislation will be searchable soon in the Spanish language interface. Moreover, significant work has been done to finalise the Arabic version, which should also be available in the near future.

Free access to CJAD

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