AIIC Netherlands Symposium: From Nuremberg to The Hague – Multilingual Justice

02 Dec 17

09:30 — 15:00

The Hague, Netherlands

AIIC regional event


Foyer of the Council Hall in the City Hall of The Hague

Organised by

The Regional Bureau – Ricci Gras, James Norman, Lee Mitzman

In the tradition of our enormously successful Hague Legal Symposiums, the AIIC Netherlands Region invites you to a Mini Symposium accompanying our informative exhibition in the Atrium of The Hague City Hall. Several speakers will highlight the main exhibition topics:

  • The development of international criminal justice, from Nuremberg to the Hague as International City of Peace and Justice.
  • The brains of a simultaneous conference interpreter at work.
  • The rise of simultaneous conference interpretation as a profession exemplified by the international association AIIC.

Preliminary Program

09:30     Welcome with coffee/tea

10:00     International Criminal Law, From Nuremberg to The Hague

Hirad Abtahi, Head of Legal Enforcement Unit, Legal Adviser, Presidency, ICC

Hirad Abtahi has over twenty years of experience in international criminal justice. Since 2004, he has headed the Legal and Enforcement Unit of the Presidency of the International Criminal Court. Previously, he served the Milosevic trial chamber at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and worked for the International Commission of Jurists. 

Hirad Abtahi has also widely lectured, including at The Hague Academy of International Law, and published, including two volumes on the Genocide Convention’s travaux préparatoires. He serves on the Boards of the International Criminal Law Review and the Forum for International Criminal and Humanitarian Law. He is a member of the Société Française pour le droit international and the European Society of International Law. Holding a Diplôme d'études approfondies in international law, Hirad Abtahi was educated in Iran, France, Canada and England.

11:00 Of Language and Lizards - the unexpected relationship between simultaneous interpreting and the reptilian brain

Alexis Hervais-Adelman, Ph.D. Neurobiology of Language Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen

Alexis began his academic career in the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, at the University of Cambridge, where he obtained his doctoral degree in cognitive neuroscience in 2008, for his thesis entitled “The perceptual learning of degraded speech”. Subsequently he worked at the Centre for the Neural Basis of Hearing, Cambridge University Department of Physiology, investigating the representation of speech sounds in human auditory cortex. In 2009 he transferred to the University of Geneva where he held positions in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and the Department of Interpreting. There, he worked extensively on the neuroscience of simultaneous interpreting, examining the brain networks that enable the coordination of the cognitive and linguistic resources required by interpreting. In 2016 he joined the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen, where he works on multiple topics including multilingualism, literacy and speech perception. He will discuss how the neuroscientific study of interpreters has shed light upon how multilingual expertise shapes the brain and the surprising discovery that the primitive brain structures we share with reptiles are central to the cerebral networks engaged by interpreting.

11:45     Coffee and Tea Break

12:15 What AIIC stands for

Angela Keil, President of AIIC, the International Association of Conference Interpreters
Angela is a freelance conference interpreter since 1992, mainly for Spanish and German. She was brought up in Spain and lives in Germany. She has a diploma in conference interpreting from the University of Heidelberg. She works as freelance interpreter for various international organizations and private businesses.

About AIIC

AIIC represents over 3,000 conference interpreters worldwide. Precise and effective communication across languages and cultures is vital for government, businesses and civil society organizations alike. Allowing speakers to use their mother tongue enables them to communicate precisely what they want to say, rather than what they can say.

13:00     Lunch

14:00 Visit the exhibition

From Nuremberg to The Hague – Multilingual Justice

15:00     End of the Mini Symposium 

Please register by mailing the attached form to Claire Parment as participation at the Mini Symposium is limited.

We look forward to welcoming you in The Hague.


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