International Investigator Course

Since its inception, IICI has run 27 International Investigator Courses. The course is our flagship two-week residential course covering the essential investigation skills for international criminal and human rights investigations.

The course involves a range of seminars and roleplay exercises, including several days at the Dutch Military School of Peacekeeping.

It is an intensive course aimed at those with an existing level of professional competence and experience in investigations or related areas.  Its workload and exercises are deliberately designed to replicate the pressures of an investigation mission environment.  By the end, trainees will have an enhanced knowledge of international law and be able to identify the required elements of international crimes and violations. They will be able to plan an investigation strategy to collect evidence to prove those required elements. They will have the basic skills to document a crime scene and to interview witnesses and victims in order to collect evidence a standard admissible for criminal prosecution, human rights reporting or other documentation purposes. They will know how to do so in a manner which protects themselves, their witnesses and their evidence.

Examples of modules:

  1. International legal framework:  evolution, role and nature of international criminal, humanitarian and human rights law; international humanitarian law and international human rights law; the meaning of “armed conflict” differences between international and internal armed conflicts; war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide; elements of crimesand modes of liability for international crimes.
  2. Investigation/mission planning (including witness identification and management, logistics, security and resources)
  3. Documenting crime scenes (including photography, sketching and other non-invasive recording (includes practical exercises at the Dutch military base)
  4. Interview skills (using the PEACE model of enhanced interview skills, and includes practical roleplay exercises)
  5. Working with interpreters
  6. Psycho-social aspects of investigations (stress and trauma management)
  7. Financial investigations (strategies, benefits and challenges)
  8. Military organisations, operations and weapons (command and control systems, chains of command, weapon recognition and effects of ammunition)
  9. Security in the field
  10. Checkpoint drills
  11. Forensic death investigations (injury identification, exhumation of human remains from mass graves)
  12. Analysis skills (evaluation of information)
  13. GPS usage
  14. Social media analysis
  15. Open source research
  16. Sexual violence in armed conflict

Thank you for sharing your learning experience, which is clearly going to be such a great asset to me. The practical tips and tools made me feel more confident, helped me to get more feedback on my work from senior people, and allowed me to figure out the style that I am comfortable with.


Investigation of International Crimes Participant

The course was definitely an extraordinary experience. I really appreciate putting things to practice with all the group exercises. It is essential to be part of a multi-disciplinary team and learn how to work with others. It is what I enjoyed most.


Investigation of International Crimes Participant

The best thing being by far the team building experience: work with people I had never seen before and that came from different background, put together our expertise and experiences in a constructive way. Each of us brought something to our team and I believe we all learn about the importance of listening to one another and question our ideas. It was like building a picture to which each one of us contributed with an essential detail.

International Investigator Course Participant