Over the past few decades, governments have established various international criminal courts and tribunals (ICCTs), including several ad hoc entities — such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) — as well as a permanent body in the form of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Additionally, international actors have also established a wide array of non-judicial monitoring, reporting, and fact-finding (MRF) missions, such as commissions of inquiry, monitoring components of peace operations, and special rapporteurs. This working paper discusses opportunities and challenges for achieving a greater degree of interoperability between international judicial and non-judicial accountability efforts.

Part I focuses on the mandates of MRF missions and the statutes of ICCTs to present an overview of the ways that interoperability has been foreseen — or not foreseen — by the founding documents of these bodies. Part II focuses on specific points of potential interaction between MRF missions and ICCTs. This section addresses the triggering of investigations, information sharing, capacity sharing, and the influence of the legal analysis of MRF missions on ICCTs. Part III examines several factors that complicate efforts to promote interoperability.

In particular, these issues are reputational considerations, standards of proof, victim/witness protection in the context of a fair trial, and differences in information gathering methodologies. Weighing these factors, Part IV concludes that the identified challenges can only be overcome through extensive engagement on both the institutional and the professional levels with practitioners involved in ICCT and MRF work.