Olympia Bekou is Professor of Public International Law and Head, International Criminal Justice Unit, University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre. A qualified lawyer, she specialises in international criminal law. Olympia has undertaken numerous capacity-building missions, including in post-conflict situations (such as Uganda, the DRC and Sierra Leone), has provided legislation drafting assistance to Samoa (with legislation enacted in November 2007) and Jamaica, and has been involved in training the Thai judiciary. She is Deputy Director of the Case Matrix Network and a member of the Advisory Board and Editor of the Forum of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law. She is also a member of the Board of Civitas Maxima. Olympia is responsible for the National Implementing Legislation Database (NILD) of the ICC Legal Tools Project, the creator of the Cooperation and Judicial Assistance Database (CJAD), and has taught extensively worldwide. In 2014, she was awarded the University of Nottingham Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Award for Societal Impact in Social Sciences for her work and in 2015-2016 she was recognised as an Impact Leader as part of ESRC’s impact leaders programme.
Twenty years after the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the ICC is thought to be in crisis. Despite the many successes, including completing the institution-building process and the Court's emerging jurisprudence, the ICC is also facing a number of challenges. Universality, independence, effectiveness and efficiency, but also cooperation and the relationship with national courts have challenged the ICC’s operation to date. In light of the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute, the lecture considers some of the Court’s achievements and reviews the above challenges affecting the fulfilment of the ICC’s mandate to end impunity.