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Nigeria: legal experts discuss integration of war crimes into penal code

26-06-2009 News Release 09/133

Abuja (ICRC) – From 16 to 18 June, 27 legal experts from academic institutions, think-tanks and the Ministry of Justice took part in a workshop in Abuja on international humanitarian law organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The experts discussed the integration of grave breaches of IHL into the country's penal code, using a recent indictment case of the International Criminal Court as an example.

In addition, the participants adopted a curriculum for teaching a stand-alone IHL course for Nigerian institutions of higher learning, as well as a course outline for teaching IHL topics under public international law. They also formed an academic network of IHL teachers in Nigeria, with the ICRC providing technical support for an online forum to share comments, ideas and resources, and to collaborate in areas of research. Finally, a committee was formed to guide the development of and offer advice to an IHL club for students – already in place at the University of Abuja – in universities throughout the country.

Since 1996, the ICRC has organized six workshops for IHL teachers and experts from think- tanks, sponsored the specialized training of 19 teachers abroad, and enabled 18 law students to take part in the moot court competition of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, based in Arusha. The ICRC has also provided IHL publications for teachers and students, and encouraged independent research on IHL.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Anahita Kar, ICRC Abuja, tel: +234 9 4619613 or +234 703 595 4168  

 Blessing Ejiofor, ICRC Abuja, tel: +234 803 333 5280