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LLM 2020

Protests and demands for justice and accountability by civil society has reaped unimaginable impact on the ground

High level representatives of the local and international community and students attended the opening Ceremony of the 13TH edition of the Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Transnational Crime and Justice on 3 February 2020 at the United Nations Campus in Turin.

This unique training is implemented by UNICRI in cooperation with the University for Peace (UPEACE). This edition envisages the participation of 50 students coming from 18 countries.

“The enforcement of international criminal law is a powerful tool in achieving lasting peace, prevent new conflicts and helping reconciliation,” said Leif Villadsen, Deputy Director of UNICRI, addressing the 2019-2020 LL.M class, and emphasizing that “international justice must be affirmed through international courts and tribunals.”

The LL.M sets as its core objective the education and training of new generations on priority issues related to justice and peace that, beyond a highly specialized knowledge and expertise, require above all a comprehensive vision of the international scenarios and the capacity to address and cope with today’s major challenges.

Mr. Villadsen explained that “the LL.M, by investing a new generation with the tools and approaches to identify, prevent and address transnational crimes, reflects our belief that education and employment are the best investment a society can make.”

The Ceremony was a unique opportunity for the students to meet with Ms. Navi Pillay, Judge ad hoc on the International Court of Justice (in Gambia v. Myanmar), President of the Advisory Council of the Nuremberg Principles Academy and President of the International Commission against the Death Penalty.

“The notion that political power can be a safe haven for impunity would create a dangerous double standard for accountability,” she said, adding that “together, the International tribunals and courts have rendered justice in many situations, holding key perpetrators to account for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.”

“While the jurisprudence of the ad hoc tribunals and the international criminal court show that significant advances have been made in promoting accountability and delivering justice for victims of serious violations of international law, there is no doubt that the fight against immunity is far from being achieved” she spelled out, highlighting the significant role new generations can play in addressing these challenges.

“I remain full of hope for the future of justice and accountability because of current developments” she noted, telling the students that they “are on the cusp of important changes and have a role to play. I wish you well in your studies and hope that you will go on to be active agents for justice and human rights.”

During the Ceremony, keynote speeches were also delivered by Professor Mihir Kanade, Professor, Director of the Human Rights Centre, UPEACE; Roberto Rivello, Judge, Secretary General Turin Court of Appeal; Mr. Stefano Castellani, Turin Prosecutor’s Office and Anti-Mafia Bureau; Ms. Elena Rocci, Judge, Tribunal of Turin; Colonel Andrea Monti, Director of the Post Conflict Operations Study Centre, Italian Army; and Councillor Claudio Strata, Attorney-at-Law, Member of the Turin Bar Council.

Addressing the students, Mr. Villadsen said: “You are a reminder to all of us of the opportunities and the responsibility that we have in creating a world of peace, justice, and strong institutions. Good luck in your journey. We hope it will be enriching and full of knowledge and adventure.”