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International Criminal Law & Universal Jurisdiction: Presentation by Hope Rikkelman, Head of Syria & Iraq Projects at The Nuhanovic Foundation

November 7, 2023

On 7 November 2023, Hope Rikkelman, Head of Syria & Iraq Projects at The Nuhanovic Foundation, gave a presentation to Ukraine Legal Network (ULN) members about the organisation’s long-standing work in the area of International Criminal Law and Universal Jurisdiction. Next to its focus on information-sharing regarding the experience of investigating and prosecuting grave international crimes in the Dutch jurisdiction and The Nuhanovic’s strategic focus in this regard, this event also served as preparation for a court visit ULN is organising on 30 November 2023 to attend a groundbreaking crimes against humanity trial in The Hague: the first-ever Syrian regime-related criminal trial in The Netherlands.

Ms. Rikkelman explained how the Dutch Police’s International Crimes Unit and Prosecutor’s Office investigate and prosecute international crimes in the Netherlands and related this to details about the latest case that the Dutch war crimes prosecutor is preparing to take to trial on 30 November 2023 regarding the conflict in Syria.

The ensuing discussion included the topic of the role of civil society organizations in triggering these kinds of cases and the difference between national and international prosecutions of international crimes. This provoked the question whether the future of international justice lies in domestic courts. Zooming out, participants considered the larger value of criminal trials next to their punitive characteristic, for example as a platform for victims to be heard and as efforts to document and archive information as legal facts including for future generations.


November 7, 2023


Amsterdam Law Hub, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Netherlands + Google Map


The Ukraine Legal Network
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