International Courts in the Hague Open Their Doors in Celebration of Just Peace Open Day

International Courts in the Hague Open Their Doors in Celebration of Just Peace Open Day
Photo by Louise Peters, via Flickr


Ryan Haigh

International Justice and Human Rights Researcher

Global Human Rights Defence

On Sunday, 16 October 2022, the Hague celebrated Just Peace Open Day. [1] The celebration was part of the Hague’s Just Peace Month, running from the International Day of Peace on 21 September 2022 to International United Nations Day on 24 October 2022.  Almost 1,000 people attended. [2] As part of this event, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) (successor to Rwanda and Former Yugoslavia Tribunals) opened their doors to the public. [3].  This event gave the public a rare opportunity to better understand various aspects of international justice. 

The International Court of Justice, sitting in the Peace Palace, is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Its mandate is to settle legal disputes between States according to international law. Visitors were able to participate in guided tours of the Palace. At the ICC, the public could engage in interactive meetings with staff in ICC courtrooms, view artwork, and learn about investigations cases and trust funds set up for victims. [4] Court representatives also shared information about employment and internship opportunities. [5]  Court personnel highlighted the ICC’s jurisdiction - limited to only the gravest crimes, including genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.  The ICC is a court of last resort, meaning it seeks to pursue crimes only when the national courts are unwilling or unable to proceed against a suspect. 

The KSC permitted visitors to view press briefing rooms, the media centre and the public gallery overlooking the courtroom.  The KSC presides over crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other crimes under Kosovo law related to the alleged crimes disclosed in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Report of 7 January 2011. [6]  At the MICT, the public could visit the courtroom used to try Mr Felicien Kabuga for his alleged involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. [7]. Information on forthcoming events highlighting international peace and justice can be found on the Just Peace website:

[1]  Just Peace, ‘Just Peace Open Day’ (Just Peace) <,There's%20something%20for%20everyone!> accessed 17 October 2022 (Just Peace). 

[2] Just Peace, ‘Just Peace Open Day’ (Just Peace) <> accessed 17 October 2022. 

[3] Just Peace (n 1)

[4] Ibid. 

[5] ICC Public Affairs Unit, ‘The ICC Opens its Doors on The Hague’s Just Peace Open Day’ (ICC, 17 October 2022) <> accessed 17 October 2022. 

[6] Kosovo Specialist Chambers, ‘Background’ (Kosovo Specialist Chambers) <> accessed 17 October 2022; Council of Europe, ‘Inhuman Treatment of People and Illicit Trafficking in Human Organs in Kosovo’ Doc. 12462, 7 January 2011.

[7] Just Peace (n 1)