18 May 2020
The one-week long conflict over South Ossetia in August 2008 left lives, homes, and communities devastated and gave rise to numerous allegations of violations of international humanitarian law (IHL). In January 2016, the International Criminal Court authorized the opening of a formal investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor into the situation.
In the framework of our LLM in IHL and Human Rights and the course on IHL given by our Director Professor Marco Sassòli, students pleaded online on 17 May for Russia and Georgia 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 and Öykü Irmakkesen, Teaching Assistant who tutors this course, students (whose roles were attributed by the lot) pleaded on:
After the pleadings on the Gaza 2014 Conflict three weeks ago, this is the second time that this exercise takes place online.
‘Students came very well prepared. While teams could not rehearse face-to-face for this exercise, it was clear that they managed to practice as a group. As such, most pleadings turned out to be good, very good or excellent’ explains Professor Marco Sassòli, Director of the Geneva Academy.
‘Technology allowed us to conduct this exercise as if we were all sitting together in the same room. This is remarkable as we have notably one student who came back to Australia due to the COVID-19 situation. Besides the time difference for our Australian student, who must have been very tired at the end of the pleadings, it was like having him with us in Geneva!’ adds Professor Marco Sassòli, Director of the Geneva Academy.
Sandra Pointet/Geneva Academy
The 78 students of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law are starting their classes this week, both in Geneva and online.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
Following the easing of lockdown measures announced by the Swiss Federal Council, the Geneva Academy will gradually reopen its doors from Monday, 8 June.
This panel discussion marks the Launch of our New Research Initiative, carried out jointly by our Swiss IHL Chair Robin Geiß and the ICRC.
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, will cover the ‘nuts and bolts’ of implementation, including national legislation, dissemination and training, and discuss the mechanisms such as the International Fact-Finding Commission, as set out in the treaties.
Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.
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.