May 2014, The Hague, the Netherlands. To strengthen Saudi Arabian diplomats’ understanding of different international judicial institutions and international law, UNITAR and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia jointly organized a successful study visit to The Hague, the international city of peace and justice.
At the beginning of the week participants were provided with a general overview of International Criminal Law by Prof. dr. L. van den Herik, Professor of Public International Law and Editor in Chief of the LeidenJournal of International Law. This session took place in the Peace Palace, symbol of peace and justice and home to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).
After the introductory session participants were looking forward to adding to the theoretical knowledge gained by visiting the different international courts, tribunals and an EU agency. During the five-day course the group visited The International Court of Justice (ICJ), The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), Eurojust, The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) and The International Criminal Court (ICC).
Apart from the very interesting and informative briefings by representatives of the different institutions, participants had the opportunity to see different courtrooms in which international justice unfolds. At the end of the week the diplomats emphasized that the combination of theory and practice made this course a very enriching experience. UNITAR’s Multilateral Diplomacy Programme looks forward to continuing to build upon its cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to offering similar workshops to its diplomats in the future.