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Informal consultation on draft MLA Convention

Between 27 and 29 January, a Slovenian delegation participated in, and co-hosted an informal consultation on the preparatory work for the new international convention on international cooperation in investigations and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, known as the MLA initiative.

Among 170 participants, there were 80 representatives of states and 90 representatives of international organisations and civil society. The event was moderated by Silvia Fernandéz de Gurmendi, former president of the International Criminal Court, and introductory addresses were delivered by Prof Philippe Sands, renowned international law expert with extensive experience in international courts, and by Maarten van der Vlugt, Dutch prosecutor specialised in the prosecution of international crimes.

Participants expressed strong support for the adoption of the MLA convention and exchanged views and comments regarding the revised draft of the convention.

The core group launching the MLA initiative, which includes Slovenia, Argentina, Belgium, the Netherlands, Mongolia and Senegal, organised this consultation as the last preparatory step ahead of the final event, i.e. the diplomatic conference, which will take place between 8 and 19 June in Ljubljana. During the conference, participants will endeavour to shape and adopt the final version of the convention thus filling the existing legal gap and ensuring a modern mechanism of international cooperation in the prosecution of the most serious international crimes before national courts.

The MLA initiative was launched in 2011 when Slovenia, the Netherlands and Belgium began seeking support for the adoption of a new international instrument with the main message that international crimes must not remain unpunished. Slovenia’s active role in the initiative testifies to the country’s commitment to the rule of law and the strengthening of international law. More information on the MLA initiative is available here.

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