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.’
We have been conducting research for more than 10 years on armed non-State actors, and continue to do so via two leading projects.
Since this academic year, recipients of the Henry Dunant Prize will have the opportunity to publish their paper in the International Review of the Red Cross, a leading publication on IHL, humanitarian policy and humanitarian action.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, examines the conduct of hostilities in situations of international armed conflict, also known as the Law of The Hague.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, examines the sources of international humanitarian law (IHL). It provides an introduction to the key principles and terminology of IHL.
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.
This project will explore humanitarian consequences and protection needs caused by the digitalization of armed conflicts and the extent to which these needs are addressed by international law, especially international humanitarian law.