Fundamentals on Defence Rights before International Courts

Fundamentals on Defence Rights before International Courts

Fundamentals on Defence Rights before International Courts

Registrations closedThe Course start 15 - 19 May 2017
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The Fundamentals Course aims at providing the necessary foundational knowledge on different procedural aspects of the exercise of defence rights at the international level. To address court-specific procedures and issues linked to specific transnational crimes in more comprehensive detail, a series of specialisation courses have also been developed to complement and supplement the Fundamentals Course.  It is intended that participants may further specialise in their areas of practice or interest.


The core themes tackled by the Fundamentals Course are:

  • exercising defence and fair trial rights in the context of international court procedures;
  • substantive and procedural aspects of human rights and their importance for the protection of defence and fair trial rights;
  • developing effective defence strategies;
  • enhancing counsels’ management of defence pleadings and motions in international legal assistance proceedings.

Fundamentals Course Objectives
The Fundamentals Course will develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of:

  • international legal principles relevant to defence rights and the right to a fair trial;
  • international norms and standards in defence rights;
  • jurisprudence of relevant international courts and human rights bodies;
  • the role of the defence lawyer in international investigations and modalities of international cooperation in criminal matters;
  • international court procedures related to defence rights and the right to a fair trial;
  • defence advocacy skills and techniques in the context of court proceedings;
  • current and emerging international challenges for defence lawyers, including in the areas of transnational organised crime, money laundering, terrorist financing, cybercrime, trafficking in drugs and persons.

Participants will benefit from the significant experience of international experts who are defence lawyers, judges, prosecutors, as well as officials of international courts and tribunals, relevant international organisations, and the Programme’s partners.
The distinguished speakers are


Click here for the full syllabus


Eligibility Requirements

To participate in the Fundamentals Course, participants must:

  • be a lawyer with at least two years’ experience in conducting defence cases or other relevant experience before international courts, tribunals and related bodies, and/or at the national level;
  • have in-depth knowledge of their state’s relevant constitutional and other national legal instruments (both in English and in their domestic language), such as national criminal codes, criminal procedural codes, legislation and related agreements on international cooperation in criminal matters including on mutual legal assistance, and other laws relating to cooperation with international courts, tribunals and related bodies;
  • be an international jurist, an officer working for international justice institutions, an official working for national and international organizations or associations dealing with defence rights and justice in the broader sense, including human rights protection; a related subject matter scholar or advanced researcher;
  • have a high level of proficiency in English.

Prior to commencing the Fundamentals Course, participants are strongly advised to study the course materials that will be distributed in advance.

Certificate & Accreditation

  • A certificate of attendance will be issued for each participant who successfully completes all course modules, at the end of the course.
  • The Siracusa Institute is ready to liaise with relevant lawyers’ and bar associations, in order to have course attendance recognised as valid within the respective continuing legal education system (CLE).  To this extent, each participant is requested to inform the course organisers of any relevant procedures to activate the accreditation.


Duration and Location of the Course
The Fundamentals Course will be conducted between 15 and 19 May 2017 in Siracusa, Italy. It will take place at the premises of the Siracusa Institute.


Language of the Course
The Fundamentals Course will be presented in English and so a high level of proficiency in English is required.


Registration Fees

  • Inaugural promotional fee: 1.400 euros until the Course begins.

Application procedure and deadline

  • Registration must be done online after the login;
  • Registration will be available for limited positions;
  • Acceptance into the course will be on a “first come, first served” basis;
  • Legal Notice.

Participants requiring a Visa

Participants needing a Visa to participate in a Course who may require the Siracusa Institute’s assistance in completing or submitting their Visa application, are kindly requested to register for the Course as early as possible and notify the Institute’s Administrative Office of their specific request for assistance by email at:

The Institute is only able to assist participants once full payment of registration costs has been finalised.

All participants are responsible for initiating and pursuing his/her Visa application.

Please consider that Visas are usually issued by Italian Embassies and Consulates more than 30 days after a Visa application is submitted.

Registration Fees

Fundamentals on Defence Rights before International Courts

  • Early Bird Registration Fee: 1.400 euros up until 1 months before the Course begins;
  • Standard Registration Fee: 1.800 euros in the last month before to the Course begins.

Specialisation Courses

  • Early Bird Registration Fee: 700 euros up until 1 month before the Course begins;
  • Standard Registration Fee: 900 euros in the last month before to the Course.

Special Discount

Partner member
    10 % discount

Young Lawyers (up to 35 years)
    10 % discount (can be added to the Partner membership discount)

Attendance to previous Courses of the same Programme for International Defence Counsel
    10 % discount (can be added to the Partner membership discount)


Contact Us

The Siracusa Institute

Via Logoteta 27, 96100 Siracusa - Italy


Telephone: +39 0931 414515

Fax: +39 0931 67622