The 29th Justice Rapid Response (JRR) training course and fifth course for forensic experts on International Criminal Investigations was officially opened in Adana, Turkey, on 27 April 2015.
The training course was officially opened by Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kibar, Rector of Cukurova University; and Prof. Dr. Mete Gulmen, Professor at Cukurova University who is kindly hosting the course. Participants were welcomed by Mr. Andras Vamos-Goldman, Executive Director of JRR and Mr. Gabriel Oosthuizen, Programme Director of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI). H.E. Mr. John Holmes, Ambassador of Canada to Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan; and H.E. Mr. Johnson Akara Olwa, Ambassador of Uganda to Turkey, were also in attendance.
The training is being held from 27 April to 1 May 2015 in Adana, Turkey, at the kind invitation of the University of Cukurova. It is being held in conjunction with the International Sexual Violence Investigations Symposium organised by the Eurasian Academy of Forensic Medicine and Sciences. The training course is a collaboration of JRR and IICI, and is made possible thanks to the contributions of the governments of Canada and Denmark, as well as in-kind contributions from the University of Cukurova. This international criminal investigations course has a special focus on addressing conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, and is tailored for experienced forensic professionals, mainly from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the Central Asia regions. The purpose of the course is to increase the pool of these experts in the JRR roster, so they can be rapidly deployed to participate in international investigations.
The previous courses tailored for forensic experts were held at the Netherlands Forensics Institute (Netherlands, 2010); the 19th IASF Triennial Meeting (Portugal, 2011); the 22nd IALM Congress (Turkey, 2012); and the Convention and Exhibition Center (Seoul, 2014). Twenty-five highly qualified experts from all regions of the world are participating in the training course for forensic experts in Adana. Successful course participants will become eligible for certification on the JRR roster, in order to be readily available to assist States, as well as the United Nations and other international institutions with the jurisdiction to carry out international investigations. To date, there have already been fifty successful missions, for example, to the UN Commissions of Inquiry for Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Libya, Syria, North Korea and the Central African Republic, the International Criminal Court (ICC), the 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, IICI and the Cukurova University may be found on the following websites: