top of page

IILAT's Advocacy Training for Legal Practitioners

On Saturday, 6 July 2024, IILAT conducted its annual Advocacy Training for Junior Advocates. This is IILAT’s most sought after training. We received over 170 applications for a total of 16 places in the training.


The training was intended for junior advocates with limited experience in courtroom advocacy, coming from different judicial institutions and practising in different roles: as members of prosecution and defence teams, or as legal officers in chambers and in other organisations. The advocates learned about and practised examination and cross-examination of witnesses, using a fictional criminal case.

As in all advocacy trainings organised by IILAT, we used the renowned Hampel method of training. The trainers at this year’s edition were ICC Judges Joanna Korner and Beti Hohler, Principal Trial Lawyer Andrew Cayley, Senior Trial Lawyer Leonie von Braun and Trial Lawyer Kamran Choudhry. The training was free of charge, and we are grateful to the experts and colleagues who played witnesses for donating their time. IILAT’s Kamran Choudhry and Matas Stankevičius acted as convenors of this event.


The advocacy training for junior advocates has been a constant in IILAT programme since 2021.


IILAT’s Symposium on Ethics

WhatsApp Image 2024-03-14 at 19.04.46.jpeg
WhatsApp Image 2024-03-13 at 20.08.25.jpeg

More than 120 international criminal practitioners and students took part in IILAT’s Symposium on Legal Professional Ethics at International Courts and Tribunals on 13-14 March 2024. The two-day event consisted of a Panel discussion with an impressive line-up of international judges and counsel, and a workshop where hypothetical scenarios were debated. The event took place at the International Criminal Court. It was prompted by the discussion organised by the International Committee of the Inner temple in London on 29 June 2023. IILAT reacted to the calls for a debate on legal professional ethics in an international context to also be held in The Hague, the home of most international (criminal) tribunals. 


More than 120 participants attended the Panel discussion on 13 March 2024, moderated by ICC Judge Joanna Korner CMG KC. The speakers were: ICC Judge (and KSC Judge) Nicolas Guillou, Principal Trial Lawyer in the ICC Office of the Prosecutor Brenda J. Hollis, Defence Counsel Michael G. Karnavas and Victims’ Counsel Simon Laws KC. They discussed the importance of ethics, how to approach ethical dilemmas and provided examples they encountered during their careers. The following day, the Symposium continued with an interactive workshop. Approximately 60 participants – prosecutors, counsel and students – met in subgroups to discuss six scenarios raising ethical issues and then discussed them in a plenary session. In addition to the speakers mentioned above, the workshops were moderated by ICC Senior Trial Lawyer Leonie von Braun and ICC Trial Lawyer Kamran Choudhry. 

The Symposium was one of IILAT’s best attended general events and demonstrated the desire and need for discussions about ethics in the international context.  IILAT remains committed to ensuring the platform for such discussions also in the future. 

Michael Karnavas has published an insightful and engaging post about the importance of different legal professions discussing ethical dilemmas - together. This was the aim of IILAT's Symposium on 13-14 March 2024, which Michael describes in some detail in his entry. We were lucky to have Michael as a panelist along with a number of other distinguished international criminal lawyers. As Michael writes "it takes four to tango in [ICL] proceedings. Five if you also include the interpreters, without whom the wheels grind to a halt." [...] and "Ethics is prevalent in any criminal proceeding. Everything done by anyone in a case before any of the ICTs is under code of conduct scrutiny. Ethical dilemmas are inevitable. When they arise, they have the potential to impact the course of the proceedings – not just the person(s) involved."  


Read Michael's post in full here:

Advanced Advocacy Training

On 3-4 June 2023, IILAT organised a 2-day Advanced Advocacy Training course for mid-level and senior advocates, in partnership with the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple (UK). 

The training brought together a dynamic blend of 18 experienced prosecutors, defense and victims’ counsel from all over the world.

Participants focused on enhancing advocacy skills in all areas associated with a criminal trial, in small groups, under the guidance of experienced trainers. The Training Faculty for the course included a judge of the international criminal court, senior UK barristers and senior lawyers, all of whom have extensive experience in teaching advanced advocacy.

The training was free of charge and was held in person at the premises of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

Advocacy Training for Junior Lawyers

​IILAT organised the Advocacy Training for Junior Lawyers on 10-11 December 2022 in The Hague. We received a total of 103 applications, more than seven times the places available. This demonstrates the interest in and need for this type of trainings in The Hague.

The training was aimed at young practitioners with no or limited experience in the courtroom. We welcomed 12 trainees of 11 different nationalities who are practising in The Hague, either with the Prosecution, Defence, Legal Representatives of Victims or working as legal officers with the judges. They were taught about and practised the skills of examination and cross-examination of witnesses, using a mock case scenario.


It was an excellent opportunity for junior lawyers to improve their advocacy skills with the help of some of the most experienced and respected advocates in the field of international criminal law and interact with fellow legal professionals from different institutions in The Hague. 

The trainers at the event were Joanna Korner KC, Simon Laws KC, Douglas Stringer KC, Beti Hohler, Kamran Choudhry and Leonie von Braun.

Workshop: Witness Preparation

On 28 November 2022, IILAT held a succssful workshop on how to prepare witnesses for trials before international criminal courts and tribunals. The workshop explored what practitioners can do to ensure that witnesses provide relevant, accurate and structured testimony. It also explored the differences in approach when preparing vulnerable witnesses.


The workshop was a hybrid (online) event that took place at the International Criminal Court. It was provided by:

  • Elizabeth Geddes - former US Federal Prosecutor who spearheaded the successful prosecution of R.Kelly in New York and is a founding partner of the law firm, Shihata and Geddes LLP

  • Nicole Samson - Senior Trial Lawer with the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court

Thank you to Liz Geddes and Nicole Samson for sharing their experience with legal practitioners and talking about best practices.

The IILAT 2022 Debate

On 3 October 2022, IILAT held its annual debate which addressed a topic that has for years divided international legal practitioners from all sides of the courtroom: witness preparation. 


An esteemed panel comprised of His Honour Judge Bertram Schmitt, Her Honour Judge Joanna Korner CMG KC; Ms. Brenda Hollis and Mr. Rodney Dixon KC debated whether "failing to prepare is preparing to fail?".  The panel discussed the advantages and disadvantages of witness preparation in international criminal courts and tribunals. They also considered how witness preparation should be conducted in cases where it was permitted.

IILAT Workshop with Haitian Lawyers

On 9 September 2022, IILAT Directors Johann Soufi and Julian Elderfield led a workshop, facilitated by Avocat sans frontières Canada, with Haitian lawyers from the Bar Association of Haiti.

The interactive session focused on human rights violations in Haiti and potential legal avenues to accountability at the local and international level.

The IILAT Directors shared their views on the likelihood of a variety of mechanisms, including their pros and cons.

IILAT’s First Training the Trainers Course

From February 19-20, 2022, in collaboration with The Honorable Society of the Inner Temple, IILAT conducted an exclusive “Train the trainer” event at the International Criminal Court in The Hague titled: Advocacy in the international Courtroom. ​

The purpose of the training was to train six experienced lawyers and judges in the use of the Hampel method, a recognized and effective tool for teaching oral advocacy. ​ Trainees came from three international jurisdictions in The Hague: the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Kosovo Specialized Chambers (KSC) and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT).

Nine other lawyers were given the opportunity to act as Counsel during the training. ​The training was delivered by Her. Hon. Justice Joanna Korner CMG QC, Justice Martin Griffiths and Rehana Azib QC.

Previous trainings and events

6 July 2024                           IILAT's Training for Legal Practitioners

13-14 March 2024                IILAT’s Symposium on Ethics

3-4 June 2023                      IILAT Advanced Advocacy Training 

10-11 December 2022        IILAT Advocacy Training for Junior Lawyers  

28 November 2022              Workshop: Preparing witnesses before they testify  

3 October 2022                     IILAT 2022 Debate 'Witness Preparation: is failing to prepare, preparing to fail?'  

9 September 2022               Workshop with Haitian lawyers on potential legal avenues for accountability

                                                 (Organised in collaboration with Avocats sans frontières Canada)    

25 June 2022                         Joint Training on the Investigation and Prosecution of Core International Crimes
28 April 2022                         Judicial Integrity: Strengthening Transparency and Trust in Justice

January-May 2022               Moot Court Coaching at the University of Paris-II (Panthéon Assas)
 19-20 February 2022          IILAT 'Training the Trainers' Course 

                                                 (Organised in collaboration with The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple)                          

16 November 2021             IILAT Online Debate 'The Secrets of Advocacy Before International

                                              Criminal Tribunals'

 28-29 August 2021           IILAT Summer School 'Introduction to Advocacy before International

                                              Criminal Tribunals'

22 December 2020           "Advocacy and International Criminal Courts" at Bilkent University

28-29 September 2019    Annual advocacy mock trial, “The use of social media evidence in court"

                                              (Organised in conjunction with OTP ICC and Bellingcat)

17 May 2018                       Mock trial weekend in French (l'art de la plaidoirie devant les Tribunaux                                                                                                   internationaux) at ICC (Co-organized with OTP ICC)

21 & 22 October 2017       Mock trial “Expert witness at the ICC” (Co-organized with the OTP ICC)

19 June 2017                      Seminar "Effective advocacy: a view from the bench" at ICC

28 February 2017               Seminar "Advocacy and the use of telecommunication evidence" at ICC

30 November 2016           Training session in taking vulnerable witnesses and victims in Court at 

                                              ICC (Co-organized with the OTP ICC)

21 & 22 May 2016              Mock Trial Weekend with the UK Advocacy Training Council at ICC

4 & 5 July 2015                    Mock Trial Weekend with the UK Advocacy Training Council at ICC

24 May 2015                       Mock Trial Weekend with the UK Advocacy Training Council at ICC

17 June 2014                      Seminar "Appellate Advocacy" at ICTY

24 May 2014                       Dealing with argumentative & hostile witnesses" at ICTY / MICT

29 April 2014                      Seminar "Motion & Application advocacy" at ICTY / MICT

29 March 2014                   "Expert evidence and prior inconsistent statements" at ICTY

14 December 2013            Mock Trial at ICTY

26 November 2013           Mock Trial at ICTY

30 September 2013          Mock Trial at ICTY

29 July 2013                        Seminar on "Tendering evidence"

29 & 30 June 2013             "Cross Examination" at ICTY

1st & 2nd June 2013          "Examination in chief" at ICTY 

24 May 2013         ‘              The Art of Advocacy’ at STL

bottom of page