Judge Christine van den Wyngaert visits the Faculty

Prof Gerhard Kemp and Judge Christine van den Wyngaert

During February 2017 Judge Christine van den Wyngaert (ICC) paid a visit to Stellenbosch University in her capacity as honorary professor in the Faculty of Law. On 7 February she delivered a lecture and advanced seminar on international criminal justice, titled: “International criminal justice at a crossroads:  New challenges for the ICC”. Judge van den Wyngaert posed the important question: is the cross-roads that the ICC is facing the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning? To answer this, the judge considered a number of issues, including an historical perspective, and those factors which make the ICC unique in terms of the international criminal justice project, namely:  The fact that the ICC is actually many courts in one; the importance of the principle of complementarity; the ICC’s universalist vocation; the independent prosecutor; and victim participation. The judge also addressed a number of challenges that the ICC is facing, including:  The issue of “selectivity” (situation and case selection); immunities (especially head of state immunity); co-operation between states; and the ongoing debate about the correct balance between peace and justice.

The seminar was attended by postgraduate students from Stellenbosch, the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town (UCT), the Military Academy, as well as academics and members of civil society from the Western Cape region and beyond.

Judge Christine van den Wyngaert is currently a judge at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where she serves in the Appeals Division. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary doctorates for her work in international human rights and international criminal law. She has published widely in the fields of criminal law, criminal procedure, international criminal law and international humanitarian law. Judge Van den Wyngaert is also a baroness of Belgium and has previously served as a judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

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