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Focal Points

In the past, ICWC staff have been able to carry out various interdisciplinary research projects related to war crimes trials and the coping with mass violence.

World War II

Within the framework of a German-Chinese research cooperation, German and Japanese war crimes during World War II were investigated. This included in particular testing the use of biological and chemical weapons and conducting medical experiments on thousands of victims. In addition, the ICWC supervised several dissertation projects dedicated to research on the Nuremberg Trial of the Major War Criminals and carried out a research and documentation project to describe, digitise and present the Belgian war crimes trials after World War I and II and trials from the 1990s onwards. Finally, a number of research projects on German, French and British criminal proceedings were carried out.

International Criminal Procedure

International criminal procedure describes, as a generic term, the procedural law used by international criminal courts to enforce international criminal law. Within the framework of this project, particularly critical aspects of international criminal proceedings have been dealt with in various individual projects. This includes questions of witness and victim protection, in particular with regard to the Extraordinary Chambers in Cambodia, the topic of "pre-trial detention in international criminal proceedings - human rights requirements for the implementation and enforcement of pre-trial detention before international criminal courts" as well as an investigation of disclosure rules and their historical development since the Nuremberg Trial of the Major War Criminals, the UN ad hoc Tribunals and the ICC.

Transitional Justice

Transitional Justice (TJ) is one of the central concepts of peace consolidation in post-war societies that have been developed since the mid-1990s by the international community and global civil society to ensure sustainable peace in post-conflict societies. The following projects were carried out in cooperation with the Center for Conflict Research: Transitional Justice and Reconciliation in Cambodia, European Experiences in Prosecuting Human Rights Violations as well as a Workshop on Transitional Justice. Finally, a separate project examined the role of victims at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Legal Tools

Legal Tools is a virtual library with integrated data management software for international criminal law. The aim is to enable the user to access and manage a multitude of information via the Internet and thereby make practical use of it.

The Legal Tools consist of three parts. The basis is a database, which contains all kinds of sources of international criminal law, such as laws, international treaties, court decisions, essays, etc.
The second level of the Legal Tools consists of a specially created commentary on substantive international criminal law, criminal procedural law and application examples of evidence from international legal practice, the so-called means of proof.
Finally, the third level contains an administration and application software, the so-called case matrix. From here, the other two levels of legal tools can be accessed, but at the same time the software also offers tools for the process management of practical cases, such as the administration of evidence in international criminal proceedings.