Seminar on International Courts and Tribunals for Practitioners from

the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus Region

May 17-21, 2001

Tehran (Islamic Republic of Iran)

REPORT

Summary

On May 17-21, the Project on International Courts and Tribunals (PICT) held in Tehran (Iran), a regional training course entitled "Seminar on International Courts and Tribunals for Practitioners from the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus Region".

The course was jointly organized by PICT, the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC).

The course was attended by 37 participants: 22 from Iran and 15 from the targeted regions.

The international judicial bodies and dispute settlement mechanisms illustrated during the five-days seminar included:

  • International Court of Justice
  • International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
  • European Court of Human Rights
  • UN human rights mechanisms,
  • United Nations Compensation Commission
  • Iran-USA Claims Tribunal
  • World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement System
  • International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes
  • International Criminal Court

1) The Aim of the Course

The aim of the course was to provide governmental officers, private practitioners and staff of NGOs of the targeted regions crucial information concerning the law and procedure of a large range of international courts and tribunals, thereby facilitating access to them.

2) Partners

The seminar was organized by PICT, the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC). In particular,

PICT:

  • Designed and prepared the course
  • Identified, invited and paid for transport to and from Tehran of the speakers (except those for the International Criminal Court)

IPIS:

  • Selected and invited Iranian particpants to the course;
  • Provided logitical support to the course, including accomodation and meals for all the speakers and participants;
  • Made available class rooms and equipment for the course.

UNITAR

  • Publicized the event
  • Selected and invited all foreign participants to the course;
  • Prepared and shipped the teaching materials for the classes (see infra (7)).
  • Helped with the general organization of the course

CICC

  • Organized a one-day workshop on the International Criminal Court, and identified, invited and paid for transport to and from Tehran of the speakers for the workshop.

3) Sponsors

The event was financed with funds of the Center on International Cooperation (Ford and MacArthur foundations), of the IPIS, UNITAR and CICC.

4) Participants

37 participants attended the classes: 22 of them were from Iran and 15 from the targeted regions. They were governmental officers, students, academics, practitioners and staff of NGOs (see Annex I). 26 of them were males, 11 females.

The participants were nationals of 12 countries, namely:

Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Egypt
Iran
Kazakhstan
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Turkey

5) Speakers

Presentations have been made by judges and senior officers of the various international courts and tribunals and dispute settlement bodies, and by practitioners and academics (for a short bio of the speakers, see Annex II):

  • International Court of Justice: Eduardo Valencia Ospina, Registrar.
  • International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea: Tullio Treves, Judge.
  • European Court of Human Rights: Jessica Simor, Practitioner.
  • UN Human Rights System: Monica Pinto, Professor.
  • International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes: Margrete Stevens, Senior Counsel.
  • World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement System: Peter van den Bossche, Acting Director, Appellate Body, World Trade Organization.
  • Iran-USA Claims Tribunal: Saeid Mirzaee Yengejeh, Legal Adviser, Iranian mission at the UN.
  • United Nations Compensation Commission: Mojtaba Kazazi, Secretary, Governing Council.
  • International Criminal Court: William Pace, Convenor CICC; Helen Brady, ICTY; Fiona McKay, Kurdish Human Rights Project; Rolf Fife, Government of Norway; Mohammed Aziz Shukri, Damascus University; Morten Bergsmo, ICTY.

6) Presentations

Presentations were 2 ‡ hours long each (two parts of 1h 15m). The speakers were asked in particular to address the following issues:

  • Where is the institution and what, in generals terms, does?
  • What rules and instruments govern its activities (constituent instrument, Statutes, Rules of Procedure, regulations, etc.)? What law does it apply?
  • Who may bring proceedings?
  • How is it organized and who are the judges? (Composition, plenary/chambers; appellate structure, technical/scientific assessors; registry/secretariat)
  • What is its contentious or advisory jurisdiction, in terms of persons, subject matter, and time? How are proceedings instituted?
  • Is financial assistance available?
  • Are there preliminary challenges to admissibility and jurisdiction?
  • Can it order provisional or interim measures (injunctions, etc), and if so, are they binding?
  • How are written pleadings organized?
  • How are oral arguments presented, and who is entitled to appear?
  • Can third parties, intervene? How? Under which conditions?
  • What powers do they have to take binding decisions and impose remedial measures?
  • Are there any ground of appeal?
  • What are the likely costs of proceedings?
  • How can judgments or decisions be executed, including in national courts?
  • Where can more information be found, including reports of judgments, awards and decisions?

The one-day workshop organized by the by the CICC had a different agenda. It covered the history of the establishment of the ICC, the basic provisions of the Rome Statute, the work of the Preparatory Commission, and the ICC and the Middle East.

7) Teaching Material

All participants received a binder, prepared by PICT and UNITAR, containing the following materials:

  • Course Schedule
  • Speakersí Bios
  • Printout of the relevant chapters of Sands. P./Mackenzie, R./Shany, Y., Manual on International Courts and Tribunals, London, Butterworths, Vol. 1 (1999) and Vol. 2 (forthcoming).
  • Copy of the PICT Synoptic Chart
  • CD Rom containing the PICT Research Matrix

Moreover, a certificate of attendance was issued to all those participants who attended the whole seminar.

8) Costs

A summary of expenditures sustained by PICT will be prepared in due time once requests for reimbursement have been received from all speakers.

9) Assessment

In the aftermath of the course held in Pretoria, it was suggested by some speakers and participants that, in the future, the week-long course, might be broken in two parts, holding at the mid of the week, rather than formal presentations, a round table discussion (2 ‡ hours) including all speakers and open to questions and interventions of the participants. This was intended to help avoiding any physiological drop in the level of concentration of the participants and allow the speakers to exchange ideas on the respective bodiesí practices.

The suggestion has been put into practice in Tehran with extremely satisfying results. If possible, in the future 2 roundtables of half a day each (one at the mid and one at the end) should be organized.

Moreover, as compared to the course held in Pretoria, the high-level of preparation of participants and the presence of several members of NGOs has facilitated even more lively and fertile discussion to the benefit of all.

10) Photo Album

ICCC Panel

Mojtaba Kazazi and Saeid Mirzaee

Participants

Monica Pinto

Final Remarks

Roundtable

This way to IPIS

Martin Bohnstedt, Philippe Sands and Tullio Treves

Philippe Sands and Margrete Stevens

Speakers

Eduardo Valencia Ospina

Peter Van den Bossche

Speakers

Jessica Simor