Report: Benchmarks for International Criminal Justice

The International Nuremberg Principles Academy (Nuremberg Academy) and HiiL came together with Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia to launch a three-year research project exploring the feasibility of benchmarks for international criminal justice. This report presents the findings of this combined study.

The Nuremberg Academy conducted a feasibility study together with the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) and in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. The study’s goal was to determine whether benchmarks for international criminal justice could be established and, if so, to assess the practicability of such benchmarks.

Through varied workshops and consultations, the project partners engaged with diverse groups of experts from the international criminal justice system, monitory justice systems and related fields. The study’s main conclusion has been positive: establishing such benchmarks is not only feasible but, in the view of the project partners, necessary.

The study concluded that developing and maintaining such a monitoring system is substantively and operationally feasible and that the benchmarks should be developed to measure the effectiveness of multiple actors in addressing international crimes. 

Risks have been identified but can be managed, building on the experience collected when operating the many monitoring systems that now exist in the field of justice, using a broad range of data-collection methods, and proceeding in a methodical, step-by-step way.

A shared monitoring system can support goal-setting by helping to clarify the varied objectives of international criminal justice. It is also central to engaging with wider stakeholders on the impact of the international criminal justice project in furthering our shared mission to end impunity and achieve sustainable peace through justice. 

The Nuremberg Benchmarks proposed in the 2020 report are particularly timely now, considering increasing demands on the international criminal justice system. However, it is also clear that their establishment is a long-term undertaking. The project partners cannot implement this project as it exceeds their organisational mandates and operational capacities. A new coalition would need to be formed to carry this forward. To facilitate this next phase, the Nuremberg Academy and HiiL are sharing what they have learned in the process of assessing the project’s feasibility.