On January 18, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ivars Bickovics participates in the Ceremony for the Opening of the Judicial Year and Judicial Seminar of the International Criminal Court Seminar in the Hague. The event is dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.  

The annual opening of the judicial year is a tradition of the European Court of Human Rights, and this year the International Criminal Court has taken over this form of judicial dialogue, inviting court presidents of member states of the Rome Statute, as well as judges from other international and national courts to attend the 20th anniversary ceremony and seminar.

The aim of the seminar “Judicial Reflections on the International Criminal Justice System after the 20th Anniversary of the Rome Statute” is to address achievements and challenges in ensuring judicial responses to the gravest crimes under international law, as well as on the importance of the International Criminal Court. The discussions are also intended to feature reflections on the paramount importance of impartiality and fairness in judicial proceedings and the role of judges as the ultimate guardians of the rule of law. As well as such topics as cooperation of states as a key challenge for the International Criminal Court’s effective functioning and recent trends in global politics undermining multilateralism and the rule of law at the international level will be addressed.

The question “whether judicial proceedings provide an effective response to mass atrocities” shall also be discussed.  The purpose of this discussion is to provoke critical reflections as to the effectiveness of criminal proceedings in addressing large-scale international crimes and human rights violations.

The International Criminal Court was established in 2002 on the basis of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 17 July 1998. Latvia ratified them on 20 June 2002.

The Preamble to the Rome Statute states that “the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished”. It is one of the fundamental principles of the European Union.


Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: +371 67020396, +371 28652211