Event information

21 March 2023, 18:00-20:00
Register start 6 March 2023
Register end 21 March 2023


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The French Bataclan Trial: What Lessons for the Prosecution of Mass Crimes at the ICC?


Drawing of the Bataclan trial courtroom Drawing of the Bataclan trial courtroom

Although criminal trials are primarily designed to repress individual acts, a new role has been emerging in the era of jihadist trials prosecuted in France. We can observe that criminal trials become a ‘forum’ giving voice to different actors in order to reconstruct a socio-historical phenomenon in all its complexity, as in truth commissions. These trials, and in particular the so-called  ‘historical’ trials, such as the Bataclan trial, become a space where the defendants present their path to radicalization, the victims relate their trauma and expectations, the experts situate the phenomenon in a political, social and medical context, and the police and security services expose their work but also their difficulties. The rich narratives exposed by the different stakeholders, and most notably by the victims, are at the centre of this organic process, which is constantly developed by the actors themselves. Indeed, the larger the trial, the more we go beyond the initial objective of establishing only individual responsibility.

Since 2017, Professor Sharon Weill has been examining with a multidisciplinary research group the role of French judges as transnational actors in the ‘fight against terrorism’ as well as the transformation of legal systems in the face of transnational jihadism. In this event, Professor Sharon Weill will discuss the results of her research conducted in French courts and will highlight the lesson that can be drawn for the work of the International Criminal Court.


  • Gloria Gaggioli, Professor, University of Geneva Law Faculty and Director, Geneva Academy.


  • Sharon Weill, Associate Professor of international law at the American University of Paris and a Research Associate at Sciences Po Paris (CERI)
  • Marco Sassòli, Professor of International Law, University of Geneva Law Faculy


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