Workshop with the Leadership of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) ‘The International Criminal Court and Its Relevance for Afghanistan’

The Foundation hosted Commissioners and other staff members of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) during 19–23 October 2015

The Max Planck Foundation hosted Commissioners and other staff members of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) at the workshop "The International Criminal Court and Its Relevance for Afghanistan" during 19–23 October 2015 in Heidelberg, Germany. Two experts in the field, Prof. Payam Akhavan, McGill University, and Dr. Rod Rastan, Legal Advisor in the Office of the Prosecutor OTP, jointly conducted the workshop.

In light of the ongoing preliminary examination by the OTP into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on Afghan soil since Afghanistan’s ratification of the Rome Statute in 2003, the objectives of the workshop were twofold. First, it aimed at strengthening the Commission’s knowledge and insight into the functioning of the ICC and its potential role in addressing accountability for international crimes in Afghanistan. Second, it opened a channel of communication between the AIHRC and the OTP for cooperation if the International Criminal Court (ICC) were to investigate and prosecute specific cases in the future.

The highlight of the workshop was a visit to the ICC in The Hague, The Netherlands. Following a tour of the Court, the Commission engaged in a fruitful interaction with the OTP team responsible for the preliminary examination into the situation in Afghanistan. This was a mutually beneficial exercise that allowed each institution to express avenues for future cooperation in the event of prosecution of specific cases before the ICC.