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.’
After passing the first round and qualifying for the competition’s final stage, Helmer Jonelid and Edward Millet – enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights – participated in the final rounds of the Nelson Mandela Moot Court. These took place in Geneva from 18 to 21 July 2022.
During one week, Francesca Gortan, Sarah Surget and Sophie Timmermans represented the Geneva Academy at the 38th Edition of the Jean-Pictet Competition that took place in Durrës, Albania, from 19 to 26 March.
Joshua Hoehne, Unsplash
We look forward to welcoming our graduating students, their friends, families and our professors to the 2022 Graduation Ceremony.
After having followed this online short course, participants will know who the protected persons and goods are and what rules of IHL can be used for their protection in an international armed conflict. An overview of the rules applicable in non-international armed conflicts will also be given.
This online short course focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.
Dave Klassen/The EITI
This project aims to further identify and clarify policies and practices for States and business, including public and private investors, across the full ‘conflict cycle’ and the ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe