The 26th Justice Rapid Response (JRR) training course on international criminal investigations was officially opened on 15 September 2014. The training is being held at the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C. until 19 September 2014. The course is taking place in collaboration with JRR’s long-standing exclusive training partner, the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI), at the invitation and with the support of the State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice.
The training course was officially opened by the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues and Head of the State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice, H.E. Stephen Rapp, a long-time supporter of the work of JRR in the pursuit of accountability for mass atrocities through swift, impartial and well conducted investigations. Participants were welcomed by Andras Vamos-Goldman, JRR’s Executive Director, and Gabriel Oosthuizen, IICI Programme Director.
The course is a collaborative project between JRR, the Department of State and IICI. It provides an opportunity to showcase the potential JRR has for increasing the effectiveness of addressing mass atrocities through genuine investigations. It also ensures that the JRR roster increases the pool of experts who can be made available to participate in investigations into international crimes. This training course in Washington, D.C. is the first of its kind to be held in North America. Previous training courses have been held throughout the world, including in Germany, Belgium, Argentina, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Qatar, Colombia, South Africa and Botswana. Upon successful completion of the training, participants may apply to be certified on the JRR roster. If certified, they will thereafter be available for rapid deployment upon request by States, as well as the United Nations, regional organizations, and other international institutions with the jurisdiction to carry out investigations. To date, there have already been forty successful rapid deployment missions, for example to the UN Commissions of Inquiry for Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Libya, Syria, North Korea and the Central African Republic. There have also been missions to support the International Criminal Court (ICC), MONUSCO Prosecution Support Cells in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as national investigations in Mali, Colombia and Guatemala
Further information about JRR, the Department of State and the Institute for International Criminal Investigations may be found on the following websites: