9 February 2021

Call for papers

Transforming Evidence and Proof in International Criminal Trials

iCourts, Copenhagen University, April 22nd - 23rd 2021

Wassily Kandinsky, Composition VIII (1923)
Wassily Kandinsky, Composition VIII (1923)

On July 1st, 2022, the International Criminal Court (ICC) will mark the twentieth anniversary of the entry into force of the Rome Statute, its constitutive treaty. Prior to the Court’s establishment, and through those intervening years, scholars and practitioners have energetically debated the effectiveness of its procedural architecture, it’s evidential model, and it’s deliberations on matters of fact. The twentieth anniversary of the Rome Statute’s entry into force thus provides an opportune time to re-engage with these debates, and to take stock of a dynamic field which has undergone significant development. To this end we are hosting a virtual conference, which will serve both to generate dialogue, and to facilitate engagement with innovative theoretical, and empirical work: research which advances the study of evidence and proof, shaping future practice, and laying the foundations for a dynamic research agenda.

Whilst we welcome contributions relating to the core topic of the ICC, and cognate international criminal courts and tribunals, we would encourage submissions which engage with the overarching topics, as broadly construed. We particularly welcome papers focusing on national jurisdictional approaches to international offences, in addition to theoretical and empirical works whose application reaches beyond the sphere of international criminal adjudication. Contributions may include, but are not limited to, discussions of;

  • Proof and procedure in international criminal courts.
  • Open Source investigations and expert scientific evidence
  • Bayesian and Wigmorean inference networks
  • Evidential reasoning in epistemological and ontological perspective
  • Eyewitness testimony, narrative and memory
  • Innovative jurisdictional approaches to international crimes

We further welcome contributions from researchers, academics, and practitioners across the fields of law, the forensic sciences, political science, psychology, data science, and allied disciplines. Interdisciplinary approaches are particularly encouraged. Interested authors should send an abstract (300 words), and a brief author biography (150 words) to karen.richmond@jur.ku.dk by the 29th March 2021. Authors will be notified of the status of their submission by the 5th of April.

The organisers encourage contributors to submit their papers to a special issue of the International Criminal Law Review. Completed papers will be due by the 14th June 2021, and will undergo blind peer review. Submissions must be original and should not have been previously published elsewhere. More details on the submission process will be provided following acceptance of proposals. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact the organisers.
We are pleased to announce that our keynote Speaker will be Professor Nancy Combs, Ernest W. Goodrich Professor of Law, and Director of the Human Security Law Center at the William and Mary Law School. Professor Combs’ academic work has contributed greatly to academic development in the field of evidence scholarship. Her in-depth analysis of the handling of eyewitness testimony at the ICC, Fact-Finding Without Facts: The Uncertain Evidentiary Foundations of International Criminal Convictions (2010: Cambridge University Press) has made an enduring contribution to international legal scholarship, whilst her academic studies on mass atrocities continue to make a distinctive contribution to the field.