News and Events

  • On 24 February 2017, the Edward Elgar Publishing published a chapter co-authored by Kate Gibson, John RWD Jones QC, Michael G. Karnavas and Melinda Taylor, titled Regulation of the International Bar: The Particular Challenges for Defence Counsel at the International Criminal Courts and Tribunalsin Research Handbook on International Courts and Tribunals (William A. Schabas and Shannonbrooke Murphy eds., 2017). This chapter examines and evaluates the different structures (independent, internal and external) protecting and regulating the defence profession at the various international and mixed criminal courts and tribunals, and identifies defects and lacunae in the current infrastructure.
  • In November-December 2016, Michael G. Karnavas was selected by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Serbia as the International Consultant to make an assessment and submit a report with specific proposals for reform and improvement of the institutional and regulatory framework of the Attorney’s Academy (Academy) of the Bar Association of Serbia (BAS), and to recommend a detailed program for the organization of the training activities and a strategic plan for a long term (2-3 years) Continuing Legal Education program.  The BAS is a national “umbrella” bar for eight regional bars with approx. 8000 members. The BAS established the Academy in 2013 for the purpose of providing professional training for Serbian lawyers and trainees.  As part of the assessment, Mr. Karnavas went on two field visits (5-7 December and 18-21 December 2016) to conduct a series of interviews with the representatives of the BAS, the Ministry of Justice, the Judicial Academy, civil societies, and NGOs. Mr. Karnavas submitted a preliminary report 29 December 2016.

  • On 26 November 2016, International Criminal Law Review published an article by Michael G. Karnavas, Defence Counsel Ethics, the ICC Code of Conduct and Establishing a Bar Association for ICC List Counsel (International Criminal Law Review, Volume 16, Issue 6, pages 1048 – 1116 (2016).)   This article is based on Michael G. Karnavas’s presentation Lawyer Ethics and the work of the ICC Disciplinary Organs at Maastricht Seminar for Members of the List of Counsel before the International Criminal Court on 16 & 17 July in Maastricht University, Maastricht, 17 July 2015.  The article analyzes the Defence Counsel’s duty to zealously represent their clients: What exactly does it mean to ‘zealously represent’ a client before any of the international criminal courts or tribunals? How unproblematic is it for defence counsel to meet their ethical duties? Would an International Criminal Court (ICC) Bar or professional association for ICC List Counsel and their assistants be of any significance to that end?
  • On 6 July 2016, Michael G. Karnavas conducted a 1,5 hour lecture at the ICTY on the role of the defence before the international criminal tribunals for a visiting group from the University of Salzburg, Austria.
  • From 20-21 June 2016, Michael G. Karnavas delivered a training program on Plea Bargaining and the role of Kazakhstan Procedural Prosecutors in Astana, Kazakhstan, organized by The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Kazakhstan Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO). This was part of an initiative by the OSCE, PGO, the Kazakhstan Supreme Court and other government agencies. Among the new concepts, pleas bargaining was introduced within the framework of the criminal procedure code (CPC) to establish a more efficient criminal justice system in Kazakhstan, without compromising a balance between due process and procedural economy. The aim of the two day (16 hours) training was to familiarize the participants (more than 20 prosecutors and 5 criminal defense lawyers) with the best practices in using plea bargaining in criminal proceedings and in strengthening their understanding and practical skills through intensive discussion and mock exercises.
  •  On 14 June 2016, Michael G. Karnavas conducted a 3 hour training on drafting submissions and motion practice, as part of the Mock Trial training organized by the ADC-ICTY and ICLB (International Criminal Law Bureau). Focused on the technical aspects of drafting motions, responses, replies, motions for reconsideration, motions for clarification, and interlocutory appeals, the training also covered strategic decision-making in filing submissions, ethics in drafting, due diligence and perfecting errors on the trial record for purposes of appeal.
  • On 10 June 2016, Michael G. Karnavas lectured at an international affairs class on atrocity crimes taught by Dr. Craig Etcheson, at Pannasastra University, Phnom Penh Cambodia. The focus was on the rights of the accused and fair trial rights in the context of representing accused on charges such as genocide and crimes against humanity, before international tribunals, and in particular the Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).
  • From January to April 2016, Michael G. Karnavas provided research and a comprehensive analysis on the principles of reasonable doubt and in dubio pro reo to assist in their application to Macedonia’s new criminal procedure code, which is civil law based with adversarial modalities.
  • From March 2015 to April 2016, Michael G. Karnavas chairing the working group on drafting the constitution for and registering under the Dutch law the International Criminal Court Bar Association (ICCBA) for Counsel and their staff appearing before the ICC.
  • On 2 and 9 March 2016, Michael G. Karnavas provided pro bono ethics training at the Royal University of Law and Economics in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, consisting of two three-hour sessions on the general obligations and responsibilities of a lawyer, with a particular focus on conflicts of interest.
  • From February to March 2016, Michael G. Karnavas provided intensive cross-examination training for the Bosco Ntaganda Defence team at the ICC.
  • From 8-12 February 2016, Michael G. Karnavas participated in the Sub-Regional Seminar of Counsel and the Legal Profession in Arusha, Tanzania, hosted by the ICC Registrar. The first part of the Seminar (8 and 9 February) was aimed to provide a platform for dialogue and cooperation of legal professionals in the region and the International Criminal Court (ICC). The second part of the seminar was devoted to training. On 9 February 2016, Michael G. Karnavas participated in a panel discussion titled The Importance of Establishing an ICC Bar Association. He also moderated a 2-hour closed-session discussion among the participants on the ongoing developments of drafting the constitution for the ICC Bar Association (ICCBA). The ICC List Counsel among the participants expressed 100% support of the work of the Drafting Committee and the idea of establishing the ICCBA.Click here for the agenda.
  • On 23 January 2016, Michael G. Karnavas made a presentation before the International Criminal Defence Lawyers (ICDL)-Germany 10th Annual Meeting in Berlin, Germany, titled List Counsel of the ICC Unite: Vision or Illusion for a Bar Association of List Counsel and their Staff?  Click here for the agenda.
  • On 18 January 2016, Michael G. Karnavas participated in a roundtable discussion The Amicus Curiae in International Criminal Justice, hosted by Leiden University in cooperation with the Australian Human Rights Centre. The roundtable discussion was divided into three panel sessions addressing: the strategy and impact of the amicus curiae briefs before the ICC (panel 1); the possibility of the amicus curiae affecting fair trial rights and the possibility of “co-opting” amicus as defence, the amicus prosecutor and victims and states amicus (panel 2); procedural implications, ethical challenges and future directions for managing the amicus curiae process (panel 3). For more on Michael Karnavas’s presentation outline, click here. To view the agenda, click here.  To view the executive summary, click here.  To view the full roundtable report, click here
  • On 5 December 2015 the Association of Defense Counsel Practising before the ICTY held a Conference on the Situation of Defence Counsel at International Criminal Courts and Tribunals in The Hague.  Michael G. Karnavas was a member of a panel on The Importance of a Bar Association for Interantional Criminal Courts and Tribunals.
  • From 25 to 30 October 2015, Michael G. Karnavas conducted a series of one-day trainings for criminal defense lawyers in effective criminal defense, with special emphasis on General Principles of Evidence and Objections, in Skopje, Macedonia, sponsored by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Macedonian Bar Association.
  • On 22 and 23 October 2015, Michael G. Karnavas participated in the Third International Meeting of Defence Offices at the International Criminal Courts in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • From October to November 2015, Michael G. Karnavas developing the concept and contents for the E-learning course and examination on professional ethics for lawyers for Macedonia, sponsored by the the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Macedonian Bar Association.
  • The Globe Lawyer, a new website addressing issues of genocide and crimes against humanity, has re-published a post by Michael G. Karnavas, Hybrid Courts:  A Marriage of Inconvenience, first published on this Blog 29 June 2015.
  • From left to right: Emmanuel Altit, Michael Karnavas, Principal Counsel of the OPCV Paolina Massidda, Luc Walleyn, ICC President Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, Geoff Roberts, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel, and Principal Counsel of the OPCD Xavier-Jean Keïta. ©ICC-CPI
    From left to right: Emmanuel Altit, Michael Karnavas, Principal Counsel of the OPCV Paolina Massidda, Luc Walleyn, ICC President Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, Geoff Roberts, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel, and Principal Counsel of the OPCD Xavier-Jean Keïta. ©ICC-CPI

    Michael G. Karnavas attended a meeting of the Principals of the three organs of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”) held on 17 September 2015 with the Drafting Committee for an association of counsel.  The Committee, which was met by the ICC President, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, together with Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Registrar Herman von Hebel, consists of experienced lawyers from, inter alia, the List of Counsel of the ICC, as well as the Principal Counsel of the Offices of Public Counsel for the Defence and Victims, who have been working on a draft constitution for an association of counsel.   As Chairman of the Drafting Committee, Michael provided an update on the work undertaken since the Committee was established following a consultative expert conference organised by the Registrar in March 2015 at the seat of the Court.  He further informed the Principals of the Court that the draft constitution has been circulated to all members of the ICC List of Counsel for input. The Committee hopes to finalise its constitution in the near future after extensive consultations with the Court.

  • Michael G. Karnavas is featured on the 31 July 2015, Interviews with the Defence section of the ECCC Blog, discussing his evolution into an international criminal defence attorney and his view of the role of the defence to insure fairness in the criminal justice system.
  • On 16-17 July 2015, Michael G. Karnavas participated in the Maastricht Seminar for Members of the List of Counsel before the International Criminal Court, hosted by the Maastricht University, and delivered a presentation titled Lawyer Ethics and the work of the ICC Disciplinary Organs. To view the agenda, please click here.
  • On 23-24 March 2015, Michael G. Karnavas participated in the Expert Conference, hosted by the ICC Registrar as part of the ReVision project for reorganizing of the current setup of the Registry, to discuss the proposed Victims and Defence Offices within the ICC Registry, and the potential establishment of a bar association for List Counsel. For more see Michael’s blog on Expert Conference on the Establishment of an ICC Victims and Defence Office (March 31, 2015).
  • On Thursday 12 March 2015, Michael G. Karnavas conducted a Defence Symposium as part of the Advocacy Training at the Association of Defence Counsel Practising Before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (“ADC-ICTY”). The topic was “Evidence and Objections”.
  • On 11-12 December 2014, Michael G. Karnavas participated in the Regional Rule of Law Conference on The Judicial Chain: Cooperation in Criminal Proceedings in Budva, Montenegro, to speak about and moderate a debate on the Changed Position of the Prosecution within the Judicial Chain. To view the conference agenda, please click here.
  • 10 December 2014, Michael G. Karnavas was elected as one of the two permanent members of the Disciplinary Appeals Board of the International Criminal Court (ICC).  The ICC Disciplinary Organs for counsel, consisting of the Disciplinary Board, the Disciplinary Appeals Board, and the Disciplinary Commissioner, are established in accordance with Articles 33.1, 36, and 44 of the Code of Professional Conduct for counsel (ICC-ASP/4/32).
  • On 3-5 December 2014, Michael G. Karnavas participated in The Defence in International Criminal Courts conference, hosted by the International Research and Documentation Centre War Crimes Trials (ICWC) in Marburg, Germany, and delivered a presentation titled The Position of the Defence in Adversarial and Inquisitorial Trial Proceedings. For more see Michael’s blog post on Hybrid Courts: a marriage of inconvenience (June 29, 2015). To view the conference agenda, please click here.
  • On 8 November 2014, Michael G. Karnavas delivered the Keynote Address at the ethics training held by the Association of Defence Counsel Practising Before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ADC-ICTY) in The Hague, The Netherlands.
  • On 5 June 2014 The International Legal Resource Center (ILRC), a joint project of the American Bar Association (ABA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), completed UNDP/HQ: Implementing New Penal Codes. This compilation was prepared in response to a request for information on implementing new penal codes. The report includes the professional views of nine experts. They have shared this feedback on behalf of the ILRC, but in their own capacity. Team leaders, Kevin Maguire and Michael G. Karnavas, reviewed each section and provided further guidance where needed. Maguire & Karnavas also authored the section entitled: A Practitioner’s Perspective. A link to the report will be posted here as soon as it is available.
  • On 16 April 2014, Michael G. Karnavas delivered a lecture on Conflicts of Interest at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, hosted by the Association of Defence Counse (ADC-ICTY).
  • On 26 February 2014 Michael G. Karnavas presented a lecture at the Brown University International Organization (BRIO), in Providence, Rhode Island:  Just how relevant is the ICC? A viable court of last resort or a politicized court of low expectations.
  • On 7 January 2014, The Cambodia Daily, quoted Michael G. Karnavas in an article on commencement of an investigation by international lawyers into allegations of criminal conduct by the Cambodian government and security forces in the months since the July 2013 election.
  • On 7 December 2013, Michael G. Karnavas lectured on Fair Trial Rights and Defences in International Criminal Law at the Royal University of Law and Economics (“RULE”) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
  • On 13-14 September 2012, Michael G. Karnavas participated in the conference on Hybrid Perspectives on the Legacies of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), organized by the ECCC and the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and delivered a presentation titled Internationalizing domestic cases – Applicability of ECCC cases at the domestic level. The conference was aimed at fostering debate among a variety of experts and stakeholders on the ECCC’s legacies in a domestic, regional and global context.  To view the program, please click here.