Late April 2009, the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched the new version of the Legal Tools, an online library on international criminal law and justice which will empower victims and others who seek a judicial response to atrocities by providing a central vehicle to obtain information on international criminal law. The Legal Tools amount to a knowledge-transfer platform for international criminal and human rights law made freely available to the general public through the website of the ICC. The Legal Tools Database is the most comprehensive on international criminal law. It contains more than 40,000 documents, including decisions and indictments from all international or internationalised criminal tribunals, preparatory works of the ICC, case documents from the ICC, treaties, information about national legal systems, and relevant decisions from national courts. The service also contains a new knowledge-base on national legislation implementing the ICC Statute. The Legal Tools were designed and developed in the Legal Advisory Section of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor by Morten Bergsmo and his team, while a network of outsourcing partners are collecting and registering the documents, metadata and keywords in the Legal Tools Database: the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (University of Oslo), the Human Rights Law Centre (University of Nottingham), the International Research and Documentation Centre for War Crimes (University of Marburg), the Institute of International Law and International Relations (University of Graz), the T.M.C. Asser Institute, the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law, and Trial. The Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre has developed the knowledge-base on implementing legislation. The Institute of Informatics and Law (University of Saarbrücken) has technically implemented the Legal Tools Database and Website. The Legal Tools can be accessed through this web page: http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ICC/Legal+Texts+and+Tools/. Here are some initial statements about the new Legal Tools: Christopher K. Hall, Senior Legal Adviser, International Justice Project of Amnesty International: “Each of the components of the Legal Tools will be an immensely important contribution to the struggle for international justice. National prosecutors, defence lawyers, representatives of victims and non-governmental organizations working in the field of international justice will soon find that they cannot do without it.” Richard Dicker, Director of the International Justice Program, Human Rights Watch: “The ICC Legal Tools provide free and immediate access to a wealth of information on international criminal law and justice. The project holds the potential to be the leading information provider in the area of international criminal law. It is very significant that the Legal Tools are offered on a public platform of an international organization such as the ICC. This means that the Legal Tools services are fully accessible also to lawyers and others in materially less resourceful countries that may suffer from conflicts and atrocities.” Klaus Rackwitz, former German judge, Senior Administrative Manager, ICC Office of the Prosecutor and Chair of the ICC Legal Tools Advisory Committee: “Access to legal information is essential for the quality and efficacy of all legal processes. It is therefore very significant that the ICC – after only a few years of operation – is in a position to offer free access to a unique knowledge-base on international criminal law. I think this is one of the most successful projects of the ICC to date.” Morten Bergsmo, architect of the Legal Tools, former Head of the Legal Advisory Section, ICC Office of the Prosecutor, currently Senior Researcher, PRIO: “Huge sums are every year invested in the acquisition and development of weapon systems. Hardly any resources have been invested in innovative approaches to effective documentation, investigation and prosecution of unlawful use of such weapons in armed conflict. The Legal Tools Project draws on technology to strengthen the hand of those who seek to bring the law to the worst atrocities committed in conflicts. It puts innovation in the service of justice. It is worth trying this approach.” ******************************************************************* Int-Law - International Law Librarians List: Post messages to [log in to unmask] To unsubscribe send a message with unsubscribe int-law as the text of the message to [log in to unmask] An archive of postings are located at http://listserver.ciesin.columbia.edu/int-law.html. **DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this list are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CIESIN, its staff, or CIESIN's sponsors.