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The International Criminal Law Defence Seminar


Turin, 25-28 March 2024


Deadline for application: 3 March 2024

in cooperation with

The Office of Public Counsel for the Defence of the International Criminal Court


The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), in cooperation with the International Criminal Court Office of Public Counsel for the Defence (ICC-OPCD), is organizing the twelfth edition of the International Criminal Law Defence Seminar, which focuses on the main issues and strategies related to the field of defence in the international criminal law. The Seminar will be held at the United Nations Campus in Turin (Italy) from Monday 25 to Thursday 28 March 2024. The four-day seminar will cover all aspects of international criminal defence. In particular,  those related to the functioning of the defence teams and Court offices, the lawyer-client relationship, the defence ethics, the strategies of the case and the investigations, the mechanisms behind plea negotiations, the structuring of legal arguments, considerations in trial proceedings, detention issues and the post-trial phase. Topics will be presented in a highly interactive and dynamic way, enabling participants to acquire practical skills that can be of immediate use in daily practice.

The Seminar, led by renowned experts, represents a unique opportunity to acquire a deep understanding of defence within the framework of international criminal law.

Course topics include:

  • Basic principles of International Criminal Law
  • Punishable conducts and modes of liability
  • Introduction to the ICC Rules of Procedure and Evidence
  • Introduction and overview of International Criminal Defence
  • Defence Counsel qualifications and training - setting up a defence team
  • Lawyer-client relationship Defence investigations and strategies
  • Sources of case law
  • How to structure and present legal arguments
  • Direct and cross-examination by the Defence
  • Execution phase

The trainers who will be delivering the 2024 Seminar are:

  • Ms. Marie O'Leary, Counsel, Office of Public Counsel for the Defence of the International Criminal Court (ICC-OPCD)
  • Mr. Michael Herz, Legal Officer, Office of Public Counsel for the Defence of the International Criminal Court (ICC-OPCD)


Key facts 


Course calendar 


  25 - 28 March 2024


  United Nations Campus, Turin (Italy)

Course deadlines

Application deadline

  3 March 2024

Confirmation of acceptance

  4 March 2024

Payment deadline

 11 March 2024


1. Entry requirements

The Seminar is designed for practicing and trainee lawyers interested in the practice of international criminal law, whether in national or international courts and for those professionals working with organizations involved in this area. The Seminar is held in English; therefore, a good command of the language is required


2. How to apply
  • Application deadline: please complete and send the application form to by 3 March 2024.
  • Confirmation of acceptance: the selection process results will be communicated via e-mail within 5 working days following receipt of the application and no later than 4 March 2024.
  • Payment deadline: full payment has to be finalized within 1 week following confirmation of acceptance and no later than 11 March 2024 (i.e. candidates should provide UNICRI with proof of payment via E-mail to

Download the application form

3. Applicants requiring VISA (IMPORTANT)

Those applicants requiring VISA are suggested to submit an early application (preferably by 1 March 2024) and to notify the Seminar Administrative Office on this circumstance. The VISA shall be issued by the competent Italian Diplomatic Authorities in the countries of nationality or residence of participants. Please consider that issuance of a VISA by Italian Embassies and Consulates takes approximately 30 days. UNICRI cannot be held accountable in case of VISA refusal.


4. Registration Fees

Registration fees amounts to 1,000 Euro. Registration fees do not cover expenses such as those related to travel, meals, accommodation, and VISA.

5. Cancellation and Refunds

In the event of a participant cancellation for any reason, including VISA denial, registration fees will not be refunded.


6. Certificate of participation

Lectures are held from 9.30 a.m. until 5.30 p.m. from 25 to 28 March 2024. Upon attendance of all the lectures and completion of the course, participants will receive a certificate of participation issued by UNICRI. Attendance is compulsory for the whole duration of the course. Absence grounded on serious reasons may be considered at the Organizers discretion.

Recognition of professional training credits for Italian lawyers has been requested to the Turin Bar Association.

7. Contacts

Email: (please indicate “Defence Seminar” in the subject of the email). Tel: (+39) 011 6537157 or (+39) 011 6537111.