The Annual Kirby Lecture in International Law: The International Criminal Court and global criminal justice: are we making progress?

Date & time
6–7pm Thursday 24 August 2023

Australian Centre of China in the World,
Building 188, Fellows Lane
The Australian National University
Acton, Canberra, ACT

Professor Tim McCormack FAAL
Centre for International and Public Law (CIPL)
Annual event

Part of the Annual Kirby Lecture on International Law series

Tim McCormack FAAL

2023 marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Rome Statute and the 21st anniversary of its entry into force. Those joint milestones present an opportunity to reflect on the major achievements and the limitations of the world’s first permanent international criminal tribunal. Just a few years ago the ICC faced a crisis of discontent with the US, Russia and Israel angry with the opening of formal criminal investigations into the situations in Afghanistan, Georgia and Palestine and the ICC’s purported jurisdiction over the conduct of their respective armed forces despite not signing on to the Rome Statute. Now, States Parties have been rushing to support the work of the ICC in investigating Rome Statute offences in Ukraine and the Court is enjoying an unprecedented level of multilateral support. The trial work of the Court continues but, intriguingly, the spectre of ICC jurisdiction provides an incentive for States to take more seriously the investigation of alleged war crimes by their own armed forces – confirmed in NZ’s Operation Burnham Inquiry, Australia’s Brereton Inquiry and the work of the OSI and in the UK’s Haddon-Cave Inquiry. All of those initiatives are welcome developments given the limited resources of the ICC. 


  • Professor Tim McCormack FAAL »

    Tim McCormack FAAL

    Tim McCormack is a Professor of International Law at the University of Tasmania and the Special Adviser on War Crimes to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Tim was a member of the Australian Government Delegation to the Diplomatic Conference in 1998 for the negotiation of the Rome Statute and has closely followed the progress of the Court since. He was first appointed to his current role by Luis Moreno Ocampo in 2010, reappointed by Fatou Bensouda in 2012 and reappointed by Karim Khan KC in June 2021. Tim has just returned to Australia from 2 months at the ICC in The Hague.


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