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, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to proceed with an investigation into that situation and the ICC confirmed that it has jurisdiction over the situation.
In the framework of the IHL course of our LLM in IHL and Human Rights, students pleaded during the entire day of 24 April 2021 for Israel and for Palestine arguing that the side they represent has respected IHL while the adverse side has violated it.
In front of a jury composed of Professor Marco Sassòli, who teaches this course, and Lizaveta Tarasevich, an alumna of the Geneva Academy and Teaching Assistant at the University of Geneva, teams of two students (whose roles were attributed by the lot) have pleaded on:
For the second year in a row, this LLM pleading could not entirely take place face-to-face due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, this year, most students – 16 out of 20 – were present at Villa Moynier, along with the jury. Those four who were not in Geneva or impeded by the sanitary conditions pleaded online. Out of the ten teams, three were composed of at least one student pleading remotely. In this configuration, all students were able to follow the pleadings of their comrades, most of them online, some in presence.
Professor Sassòli reports: ‘Most pleadings were very good, and some were really excellent! Students showed that they mastered the law and facts, their arguments were very convincing and they coordinated very well their interventions. Despite all the emotions linked to the context of Israel and Palestine, the presentations remained always nuanced, professional and respectful of the adverse party, while making the strongest possible legal arguments for Israel or Palestine, respectively.’
As of September 2021, incoming students of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law will have the opportunity to stay at the new Grand Morillon student residence of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.
As of Monday 26 April and the partial lifting of COVID-19 restrictions by the Swiss authorities, students of our three master's programmes partially returned to class.
VOA, via Wikimedia Commons
This online IHL talk aims at shining light on some of the many legal, political and protection-related challenges stemming from the situation in Afghanistan.
Jason Dent, Unsplash
We look forward to welcoming our graduating students, their friends, families and our professors to the 2021 Graduation Ceremony.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, looks at the sources from which public international law rules stem and at the entities that are empowered with the capacity of law-making in the international legal order. It aims at enabling participants to develop a global perception of the international normative system.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, discusses the protection offered by international humanitarian law (IHL) in non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) and addresses some problems and controversies specific to IHL of NIACs, including the difficulty to ensure the respect of IHL by armed non-state actors.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
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.