Arbeitskreis Völkerstrafrecht

About the Arbeitskreis

The Arbeitskreis Völkerstrafrecht was founded in 2005. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas between German-speaking international criminal law practitioners and academics. The Arbeitskreis meets annually (chatham house rules). The working group currently has around 300 members from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Prof. Jeßberger has been chairman of the Arbeitskreis since 2015. The chair Jeßberger acts as secretariat of the working group.


The Arbeitskreis awards the Robert Kempner Prize for outstanding monographs in the field of international criminal law. The prize is awarded every two years and is aimed at scientists who have not yet reached the age of thirty-five at the time of publication of the award-winning work.

The first awardee in 2016 was Dr. Alexander Heinze (International Criminal Procedure and Disclosure, Duncker & Humblot, 2014). The 2018 Robert-Kempner-Preis was awarded to Dr. Leonie Steinl, LL.M. (Columbia) (Child Soldiers as Agents of War and Peace, Asser Press, 2017). The Robert-Kempner-Preis 2020 will exceptionally not be awarded until 2022.

Coordination Committee

Judge Prof. Dr. Kai Ambos
University of Göttingen and Kosovo Specialist Chambers, The Hague

Franziska C. Eckelmans
International Criminal Court, Den Haag

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Hafner
University of Vienna

Michael Hasenau
Federal Foreign Office, Berlin

Dr. Christoph Henrichs
Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Berlin

Judge Claudia Höfer
International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Den Haag

Prof. Dr. Florian Jeßberger
Humboldt University Berlin

Prof. Dr. Stefan Kirsch
Klinkert Lawyers, Frankfurt a.M.

Prof. Dr. Claus Kreß
University of Cologne

Prof. Dr. Stefan Oeter
Hamburg University

Natalie von Wistinghausen
Lawyer in Berlin

Stefan Waespi
former Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, Bern

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Werle
Humboldt University Berlin

Current events

Due to the pandemic the annual meetingfor the Arbeitskreisplanned for 2021 in Berlin had to be postponed to 2022.

Online workshops will be held in June 2021 on the following topics:

  • Immunität nach 3 BGH 564/19 – Wie weiter?
  • Sexualisierte und geschlechtsspezifische Gewalt im Völkerstrafrecht – Praxis und Reformbedarf
  • Umwelt- und Klimavölkerstrafrecht: Rechtliche Grundlagen und aktuelle Entwicklungen

Meetings so far

Previous meetings of the Arbeitskreis were held in Bonn (2005), The Hague (2006, 2008, 2011, 2017), Berlin (2007), Lausanne (2009), Vienna (2010), Nuremberg (2012), Hamburg (2013), Bern (2015), Göttingen (2016), Marburg (2018), Salzburg (2019) and online (2020).

Since 2008, the articles have been published in the December or January editions of the ZIS-Zeitschrift für Internationale Strafrechtsdogmatik (

  • 2005 in Bonn (Agenda(PDF))
  • 2006 in The Hague (Agenda(PDF))
  • 2007 in Berlin (Agenda(PDF))
  • 2008 in The Hague (Agenda(PDF) & Articles in the ZIS (PDF))
  • 2009 in Lausanne (Agenda(PDF))
  • 2010 in Vienna (Agenda(PDF) & Articles in the ZIS (PDF))
  • 2011 in The Hague (Agenda(PDF) & Articles in the ZIS (PDF))
  • 2012 in Nuremberg (AgendaPDF) & Conference report in the ZIS (PDF))
  • 2013 in Hamburg (Agenda(PDF) & Conference report in the ZIS (PDF))
  • 2014 in The Hague (Agenda(PDF))
  • 2015 in Bern (Agenda& Articles in the ZIS)
  • 2016 in Göttingen (Agenda(PDF) & Articles in the ZIS (PDF))
  • 2017 in The Hague (Agenda(PDF) & Articles in the ZIS (PDF))
  • 2018 in Marburg (Agenda (PDF) &Articles in the ZIS (PDF)))
  • 2019 in Salzburg (Agenda (PDF) & Articles in the ZIS (PDF))
  • 2020 in The Hague /Online (Agenda (PDF) & Articles in theZIS (PDF))