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.’
During one week, Mina Radoncic, Stephanie Mutasa and Tamara Aburamadan – currently enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights – represented the Geneva Academy at the 35th edition of the Jean-Pictet Competition that took place in Durrës, Albania.
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This IHL talk aims at shining light on some of the many legal challenges stemming from the resurging violence in Israel and Palestine since May 2021.
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.
Medical Aid for Palestinians / Ezz Al Zanoon
This project aims to ensure better protection of and assistance for persons with disabilities in situations of armed conflict or its aftermath by identifying legal obligations to protect and assist persons with disabilities during conflict, and the policies and practices required to put these obligations into effect.
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.