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The ICC Legal Tools Programme of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights and the Broader ICC Legal Tools Project

Oslo, 27 September 2007

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) has developed a unique suite of electronic legal services in international criminal law known as the 'Legal Tools Project' (http://www.legal-tools.org). The Project has developed and offers three types of services: (1) raw-data in international criminal law organized in more than ten collections and databases of legal sources such as court decisions, treaties, preparatory works and publications; (2) digestions of such raw-data in three comprehensive commentaries on substantive and procedural international criminal law, as well as means of proof for the legal requirements of core international crimes and modes of liability; and (3) an application tailor-made for the investigation, prosecution, defense and adjudication of serious human rights violations which may amount to core international crimes (the Case Matrix). The ICC has outsourced the content development of these resources to different academic institutions, among them the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (NCHR).

The Legal Tools Project is not a mere collection of computer tools or databases. Rather, it represents a carefully designed system aiming to rationalize over time the way individuals and organizations work with serious human rights violations and core international crimes, to increase the quality of such work processes, and to empower participants at every stage of such processes to perform better. It also seeks to democratize general access to international criminal law information. In sum, the Legal Tools are a non-contentious, technical set of measures aiming to strengthen documentation, analysis, investigation, prosecution, defence and adjudication of human rights violations which may amount to core international crimes,

This seminar organized by the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights in the seminar series of the Forum for International Criminal and Humanitarian Law brought together key actors in the Legal Tools Project to consider the progress towards the longer-term objectives of the Project and to evaluate the NCHR Programme with a view to (a) analyzing its activities in the broader context of the ICC Project; (b) assessing how the NCHR Programme can benefit from the work of other ICC outsourcing partners; and (c) discussing how the NCHR Programme can become even more cost-effective and well-functioning.

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