Verwiel & Van der Voort

Lawyers specialised in Criminal Law, Human Rights and International Law

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26 September 2014                                        Expert training at International Criminal Court

On 26th September, our law firm organised a training in cooperation with the ICC Office of Public Counsel for the Defence on the issue of ethics for defence counsel at the international tribunals. The room at the ICC Haagse Veste building was filled with lawyers working for the various international tribunals located in and around The Hague.

The first panel focused mainly on the ICC proceedings. First, Rodney Dixon, QC barrister and counsel before various international tribunals spoke about ethical rules for lawyers, and addressed his work as an international lawyer, including his experience working for the prosecution of the ICTY. The next speaker, Karlijn van der Voort, partner at Verwiel & Van der Voort and having worked for the defence of accused persons before various international tribunals, discussed the developments in case law on defence ethics and disciplinary proceedings at the ICTY and ICC. Anna Ivanovitch of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, dealt with the Prosecutor's Code of Conduct. 

The second panel consisted of Wayne Jordash, QC and Héleyn Uñac. Wayne Jordash, QC and counsel before various international tribunals, compared the disciplinary systems at the various tribunals, and raised several practical matters in relation to defence investigations and presentation of witnesses at trial. Héleyn Uñac, Deputy Head of the Defence Office at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, finally, addressed the challenges that specifically the defence at the STL encounter, including the appointment of counsel against the accused's wish and defence counsel's role in the in absentia proceedings.

Besides the excellent presentations, for which we thank the speakers, we also would like to thank all participants, coming from a variety of cultural and legal traditions, who participated in the panel discussions and made it a highly informative and insightful training!

foto’s: ©

You can follow us on Twitter: @karlijnvdvoort and @IntCrimLawNL

One of our partners’ pro bono activities is the monitoring of the proceedings before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the tribunal in Leidschendam that tries five persons in relation to the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of Lebanon. Our monitoring reports can be found at Feel free to comment and join our discussion there!

12 September 2014                            ProDemos | Night of the Dictatorships | Peace and Justic debate

Verwiel & Van der Voort would like to thank ProDemos for the very
interesting debate of 12 September during the Night of the Dictatorships.

The debate dealt with the prosecution and trial of dictators, and
transitional justice in authoritarian countries.

Experts Alphons Orie, Joris Voorhoeve and Karlijn van der Voort
received many interesting questions from the audience.

24 December 2014                            Monitoring mission in Turkey for Lawyers for Lawyers

Our lawyers are actively involved in the work of the organisation Lawyers for Lawyers, that brings the position of threatened lawyers throughout the world to the attention of national and international organisations. Karlijn van der Voort traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, for this organisation, to monitor several politically motivated trials against lawyers. The monitoring of such trials and reporting thereof is a method employed by Lawyers for Lawyers to support these lawyers. For more information about this organisation, please visit their website

27 March 2015                            Lawyers for Lawyers at UPR on Iran

From 18 to 20 March 2015, Karlijn travelled to Geneva to attend th
e UPR procedure on
Iran on behalf of Lawyers for Lawyers. The UPR procedure provides for the assessment of a UN State Party’s human rights situation, and this time it was Iran’s turn. Several states made statements on the human rights situation in Iran, to be followed by NGOs giving their oral statements. Lawyers for Lawyers was the first NGO to give an oral statement, and highlighted the situation of lawyers in Iran and more specifically its concern about a bill that envisages to tighten control over lawyers and further threatens the independence of the bar association. For further information and the oral statement by Lawyers for Lawyers, see:  UPR on Iran.

A side event was held after the UPR procedure, where Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Iranian lawyer, and Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, were present. During this meeting the treatment of minorities in Iran was highlighted.


19 October 2015                            ‘Evidence Matters’ Expert Training at International Criminal Court

On 18 September, our law firm organised an expert training in cooperation with the ICC Office of Public Counsel for the Defence. The training dealt with ‘Evidence Matters’. Defence team members appearing before the ICC shared their useful insights and practical experiences on legal developments and practical aspects relating to evidentiary and investigative matters before the ICC.

The first panel, dealing with defence investigations, consisted of Caroline Buteau and Jennifer Naouri, and was chaired by Christopher Gosnell. The speakers dealt with the differences in rules and protocols between the various cases before the ICC, and how to conduct your own (successful) defence investigations.

During the second panel (chaired by Karlijn van der Voort) Geoff Roberts spoke about complex forensic evidence at the Lebanon Tribunal, Göran Sluiter dealt with the lack of legal protection in relation to state cooperation and the interception of telecommunication, and Melinda Taylor gave a highly informative talk about the interpretation and application of privilege at the ICC. Finally, Aurelie Roche-Mair and Wendy Betts of the International Bar Association gave an introduction into the eyeWitness project, which is directed at the collection of verifiable video of human rights violations for use in investigations and trials. 
We would like to thank the speakers for their excellent presentations and the participants for their attendance and their contribution to the discussions. We hope to welcome you all again next year.