The International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic provides students the opportunity to gain practical experience and top-notch theoretical knowledge in international criminal and humanitarian law. Students work on cases heard before international criminal courts, mostly based in The Hague, and provide legal research on topics relevant to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) based in Tel Aviv and in Geneva.
International criminal law (ICL) focuses on the investigation and prosecution of individuals suspected of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. As of 1 January 2017 and providing a 2/3 vote by the Assembly of State Parties to the ICC Rome Statute, the International Criminal Court (ICC) will have jurisdiction over the Crime of Aggression. All these while respecting the legacy of the Nuremberg Trials in the aftermath of the Second World War and in respect of the principles of due process and the rights of the defendant. From 2016-2017, the Clinic also focuses on the role of justice in political transitions, from conflict to peace and form dictatorships to democracies, a field referred to as transitional justice.
International humanitarian law (IHL) focuses on the laws of war- combatants' duties and privileges, legal targets and objectives and more. IHL also governs the laws of belligerent occupation- the duties of the military commander, between law and order, the rights of the protected population and the military necessity of the force effectively exercising power over the territory.
The ICHL Clinic is apolitical and non-partisan. Alongside the Clinic's theoretical element in ICL and IHL, where we examine the principles and historical development of the law, case studies and conflicts worldwide, and the specific challenges in the Israeli context; The Clinic students participate in projects vis-à-vis international organizations and courts, governmental entities, civil society, individuals- practitioners and victims. The work is done in teams and under the Clinic Director's supervision and training. Legal analyses and arguments can be provided to all participants in the international criminal procedure, Defence, Prosecution, Victim Representatives and Chambers. The Clinic works closely with the ICRC Delegation based in Tel Aviv and Geneva. Projects relating to the ICRC Tel Aviv relate to Israel's implementation of laws in the Territories.
The Clinic developed cooperation programs with twin clinics in The Hague, the US, Geneva and Rome. Every year, Clinic participants take part in one of two IDC Clinic delegations, within the International Clinic Exchange Program, and in cooperation with the Geneva Academy.
In 2016-2017, the IDC Clinic went for a study week in The Hague, hosted by our twin, the IHL Clinic at Leiden University
Students take an active part in the weekly Clinic meetings, with guest lectures, debates and the theoretical course. Students take part in one of the practical exercises by rotation, namely a moot court based on the ICC Moot Court Competition, 'Editorials' presenting legal analyses to current developments and a simulation where students act as the legal advisors to military commanders in armed conflict.
In November 2017, the IDC ICHL Clinic- Law of War Branch, took part in the international clinic exchange program hosted by the Emory University IHL Clinic with the participation of the twin, Leiden University IHL Clinic. The meeting was made possible with the generous support of Mr. Benjamin Ferencz, last surviving Prosecutor from the 1945 Nuremberg Trials, aged 96. Herein please see the link to his video testimony. 'It is with sorrow and with hope that we here disclose the deliberate slaughter of more than a million innocent and defenseless men women and children'. Sorrow and hope are the two principles that have guided me in that trial and everything that I have done since that time". Ferencz also testifies to summary military trials held before the establishment of the Nuremberg IMT that led to the execution of approx. 1000 German soldiers. In April 2018, a Delegation of the ICHL Clinic (Transitional Justice Branch) will visit Nuremberg and benefit from a Special Guest Lecture by Ferencz's son, Prof. Don Ferencz on the Crime of Aggression and the recent triggering of the ICC's jurisdiction on 15 December 2017.
The clinic awards students with 8 ECTS, including 50 academic teaching hours. An additional 6-8 weekly hours on team projects is required. An Intensive, three-day training will be held prior to the school year. The clinic includes one weekly class and a four-hour weekly practicum, across one calendar year.
For more information please contact program director Adv. Yael Vias Gvirsman at email@example.com