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.
The RULAC entry on this conflict has been updated with an analysis of the situation and its evolution since the beginning of the conflict back in 2007, as well as developments in 2020 as the fighting continues in spite of COVID-19.
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 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 short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, discusses the extent to which states may limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter-terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.
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 project aims at compiling and analysing the practice and interpretation of selected international humanitarian law and human rights norms by armed non-state actors (ANSAs). It has a pragmatic double objective: first, to offer a comparative analysis of IHL and human rights norms from the perspective of ANSAs, and second, to inform strategies of humanitarian engagement with ANSAs, in particular the content of a possible ‘Model Code of Conduct’.