28 April 2020
The conflict in and around Gaza in July-August 2014, called by Israel ‘Operation Protective Edge’, claimed many civilian victims and gave rise to numerous mutual accusations of violations of international humanitarian law (IHL). In 2015, a United Nations Commission of Inquiry made its findings on violations on IHL and human rights committed in this conflict public and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to proceed with an investigation into that situation.
In the framework of the IHL course of our LLM in IHL and Human Rights, students pleaded online during the entire day of 25 April for Israel and for Palestine arguing that the side they represent has respected IHL while the adverse side has violated IHL.
In front of a jury composed of Professor Marco Sassòli, Director of the Geneva Academy who teaches this course, and Öykü Irmakkesen, Teaching Assistant who tutors this course, teams of two students (whose roles were attributed by the lot) have pleaded, most in English, some in French on:
It is the first time that these pleadings take place online, but Professor Sassòli is enthusiastic about the results in several respects.
‘Despite the difficult situation linked to the COVID-19, students – nearly all of whom come from abroad and are therefore even more isolated than others here in Geneva or in their home countries they returned to, and although teams had to prepare without face-to-face contact – showed a total commitment to the task and the highest level professionalism. All pleadings turned out to be good, very good or excellent’.
‘During the IHL class so far, students had been evaluated on written tasks. This oral pleading clearly demonstrated that students who are not particularly strong in written exams can be very impressive in exercises such as pleadings and clearly convey their substantive arguments, which are also legally accurate. This shows progress during the academic year, but also how important it is that we take different kinds of performances into account in our evaluation’.
‘Technology allowed all students to plead realistically. Only one student had to turn off her image because of an unstable Internet connection, but she could proceed with her pleading with her voice only’ underlines Öykü Irmakkesen.
In three weeks, the other half of the class will plead online according to the same formula in favour of Russia and Georgia concerning the armed conflict in Georgia in 2008.
Tim Freccia/Enough Project
Students of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (2019-2020 academic year) dedicated their summer to the writing of their LLM papers – a key output of the programme.
For the upcoming 2020–2021 academic year, our 16 short courses in international law in armed conflict will also be offered online – in addition to taking place in Geneva.
This IHL Talk aims at shining light on the various ways of promoting respect for and implementation of international humanitarian law.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, provides an overview of the evolution of the rules governing the use of force in international law, focusing on military intervention on humanitarian grounds and the creation of the United Nations collective security system. It then addresses the concept of the responsibility to protect.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, focuses on the role of public international law in international relations and on international legal persons.
This research aims at building a common understanding and vision as to how states and the relevant parts of the UN system can provide a concrete and practical framework to address human rights responsibilities of armed non-state actors.
Medical Aid for Palestinians / Ezz Al Zanoon
This project aims to ensure better protection of and assistance for persons with disabilities in situations of armed conflict or its aftermath by identifying legal obligations to protect and assist persons with disabilities during conflict, and the policies and practices required to put these obligations into effect.