Legal Conference at AUA Examines Armenia’s Prospects for Joining the International Criminal Court

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YEREVAN–Legal experts from around the world joined their Armenian counterparts on Saturday, April 6, for a conference at the American University of Armenia dedicated to exploring the challenges and prospects Armenia faces in ratifying the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Based in The Hague, the ICC was established in 2002 as the permanent international court for prosecuting genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and aggression. .

The conference represents a necessary first step for the Republic of Armenia as it considers whether to join the 122 states from around the world that have become parties to the ICC Statute, which established the court.

“This conference explored a number of nuanced and interesting legal and political issues and raised the profile of the ICC in the Republic of Armenia as well as that of Armenia at the ICC,” explained Dr. Arman Sarvarian of the University of Surrey, United Kingdom. “Moreover, it comes in the context of crucial negotiations between Armenia and the European Union in which the question of ratification of the ICC Statute is expected to play a prominent role.”

In addition to discussing the challenges and prospects for Armenia ratifying the ICC Statute, the conference was also designed to inform civil servants and state officials, legal professionals, politicians, law students and the general public about the ICC system.

Conference panelists included well-known public international lawyers, the Registrar of the ICC and a member of the ICC judiciary, as well as domestic and international academics and practitioners specialising in international criminal law.

Presentations delivered during the day-long conference also focused on the jurisdiction of the ICC and its relationship with the national jurisdictions of its Member States.

The conference also addressed a number of fundamental questions concerning the ratification of the ICC Statute, including its impact on Armenia’s judicial system, the implications for Armenia’s strategic alliance with Russia and other neighbors, as well as the benefits and risks connected to national strategic priorities such the Artsakh dispute and the campaign for recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

The conference was organized by the AUA and the International and Comparative Law Centre of Armenia and was sponsored by the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and the International Committee for the Red Cross.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.

For news about AUA, visit the university Newsroom or follow developments as they happen on the AUA Facebook Page.

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