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11th annual Ibero-American Week of International Justice: Encouraging reflection on international law and Ibero-American community’s role

ICC Judge Sergio Ugalde

The 11th annual Ibero-American Week of International Justice, organised by the Ibero-American Institute for Peace, Human Rights, and International Justice (IIH), took place from 27 to 31 May 2024 in The Hague, Netherlands. Consisting of a series of events, the Ibero-American Week promotes interest and knowledge about the mandate and activities of the International Criminal Court (ICC), as well as international criminal law more generally, among the Ibero-American communities. It also aims to highlight their support and contribution to international justice and the fight against impunity.

This year’s edition opened with a ceremony at the seat of the International Criminal Court, with the participation of ICC Judge Sergio Ugalde, ICC Registrar Osvaldo Zavala Giler, Guillermo Escribano, General Director of Directorate Spanish in the World, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, H.E. Ms. Carolina Olarte, Ambassador of Colombia to The Netherlands and Coordinator of the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean, and Hector Olasolo, President of the IIH.

The 11th annual Ibero-American Week of International Justice’s opening.

In his opening remarks at the ceremony, ICC Judge Sergio Ugalde said: “The Ibero-American week is a memorable experience that encourages reflection on the state of international law and the role of the Ibero-American community in strengthening it. Justice operates to protect human beings. It is thanks to them and for them that the system exists, and this must always be a priority in all justice systems.”

For the ICC, the Ibero-American week is also about recognizing the large number of Ibero-American countries that are signatories of the Rome Statute and support the Court and its mandate. The ICC continuously works to promote cooperation, complementarity, and universality, which are essential for the effective functioning of the Rome Statute legal system. The Court cannot fulfil its mandate without global support and cooperation.

Hector Olasolo, President of the IIH.

As the ICC Registrar, Osvaldo Zavala Giler, emphasized in his opening remarks at the ceremony, “among the membership of the Court, we proudly have almost all the countries that comprise the Ibero-American platform. This means that the ICC has vast resources that consistently strengthen and nourish our legitimacy and support our ability to face the challenges imposed on the noble work of our Court and of international justice in general”.

Himself from Ecuador, he further added: “Without a doubt, the contributions to the ICC from our countries and societies are of great importance, not only because of the excellent judges, elected officials, civil servants and professionals who have passed through the Court or currently serve its mission, but also because those people inspired to continue deepening the impact of the Court domestically and in academic settings.”

The annual Ibero-American week is supported not only by the Court, but also by the Ibero-American embassies, as well as institutions, international organizations and universities based in The Hague, whom the President of the IIH, Hector Olasolo, thanked in his remarks. He also emphasized the importance of the events taking place, which include seminars, presentations, performances, hearings, meetings, panel discussions and more.

For example, ICC Judge Luz del Carmen Ibáñez Carranza gave a presentation on “Discrimination: dimensions and impact on international justice”, in which she addressed discriminatory practices in international justice, discrimination and its impact on those working to end impunity.

H.E. Ms. Carolina Olarte Bácares, Ambassador of Colombia.

As the Ambassador of Colombia to the Netherlands Carolina Olarte stated, the Ibero-American week seeks to contribute to the work for justice “…through profound academic reflections that are equivalent to a diagnosis of the current state of international justice.” She also stressed that the exercise is an opportunity to renew “the fundamental and permanent commitment of our states to the peaceful resolution of disputes, one of the pillars of the current international public order.”

ICC moot Court Competition.

The week ended with the 11th edition of the Spanish version of the ICC Moot Court Competition, organized by the IIH with the institutional support of the ICC. The best students from 13 universities from 7 Ibero-American countries participated in the preliminary round of this year’s ICC Moot Court Competition. The competition was won by the University of Guadalajara (Mexico), with second and third place going to the University of Cádiz (Spain) and the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) respectively.

The finalists competed in a fictitious case in the main Courtroom of the ICC before a jury of eminent jurists, broadcasted live on the ICC website and the Court’s Facebook channels. Through the participation of students in simulated court proceedings, the competition aims to promote the training of future professionals who will continue to help create a more just world.

Find out more about the activities of the 2024 Ibero-American Week: https://bit.ly/4aF3ejG.

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