Knowledge-transfer, legal empowerment and capacity development

Jonas Gahr Støre, then Foreign Minister of Norway, with the CMN Director, Ilia Utmelidze, first ICC Review Conference, 2010.
CMN Senior Adviser Mark Harmon on mission for the Network.

Several international jurisdictions for the prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide have been established since 1993. Of these, only the International Criminal Court (ICC) is permanent. It can investigate and prosecute only when national jurisdictions are unable or unwilling to do so genuinely. Strengthening such national ability is the primary purpose of the Case Matrix Network (CMN), a department of the Centre for International Law Research and Policy (CILRAP). The cost-efficiency and quality of justice for atrocities are improved by empowering the national professionals involved. It is also important to develop further the capacity of civil society organizations to document professionally serious human rights violations that may amount to core international crimes.

As described in the next section ('Services'), the CMN's services fall in two distinct but related groups. (1) The CMN takes its name from the first of these groups, namely services linked to the Case Matrix application and the Legal Tools Database, tools developed by the ICC. They transfer legal information and knowledge from the international criminal jurisdictions to the national level. (2) But the CMN is also an open platform for a second category of services, described in more detail in the 'Services' section. These services include technical advice on war crimes prosecution strategy, organization of work, development of investigation and work plans, their implementation, and drafting of requisite legislation. CMN experts advise public criminal justice agencies, legal services and non-governmental organizations, on a confidential basis. They are active in many countries, civil law and common law, on five continents.