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.
In his latest report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the UN Secretary-General refers to our Guidelines on Investigating Violation of IHL, co-published with the International Committee of the Red Cross.
In this interview, our alumna Jelena Plamenac, an international humanitarian lawyer with over 10 years’ experience in practicing humanitarian and human rights law in international criminal justice systems and humanitarian organizations, tells us about the programme and what it brought to her career.
Join us for our open house to learn more about this part-time programme designed professionals, meet staff, students and alumni, and discuss career opportunities.
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.