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.
Patricia Ötvös is a lawyer with over 15 years of experience as a litigator, legal counsel and human rights advisor. In this interview, she tells about the programme and what it brought to her career.
Six out of the 18 chapters of the new Oxford Guide to International Humanitarian Law – edited by Ben Saul and Dapo Akande – have been written or co-written by Geneva Academy’s professors or experts.
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.
As an annual publication, The War Report provides an overview of contemporary trends in current armed conflicts, including key international humanitarian law and policy issues that have arisen and require attention.