|PCHR Concludes the International Criminal Law Moot Court Project with a Two-Day Competition|
|Written by PCHR|
|Sunday, 15 July 2012 00:00|
Today, 15 July 2012, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) organized a closing ceremony concluding the activities of the international criminal law moot court competition that lasted for 2 days. The ceremony concluded by announcing the winning team which is comprised of 5 students from al-Azhar University. The winning students, who played the prosecutor’s role, are Muhannad Khudeir, Mohammed Dalloul, Reem Hamad, Alaa Abu Ghosh and Mohammed Hamdan.
On Saturday, 14 July 2012, three consecutive rounds were held, in which 6 teams competed against each other by presenting their oral submissions, in addition to their previously submitted written submissions. Ten students had been selected from each of the three universities participating in the competition: the Islamic university, al-Azhar University, and Palestine University. Each of the university group was divided into a defense and prosecution team. At the end of the first day, two teams were announced as winners to compete in the second and final day: defense and prosecution from al-Azhar University.
By concluding the International Criminal Moot Court Competition, PCHR has completed the moot court project that started in January 2012. During the preparations for the competition, which took place over a 6 month period, a number of international and local legal experts intensely trained the students at the theoretical and practical levels. The project was funded by UNDP and sponsored by OHCHR.
Judge Kolthoun Ben Kennu, who presided over the three member jury, opened the ceremony and thanked everybody who contributed to the success of the moot court project. Ben Kennu stressed that all the students participating in the competition are high-achieving and noted: "I am surprised by the distinctive and high level of the competing students. I wish them all success and progress."
Secretary General of the Arab Organization for Human Rights and member of the jury, Mr. Alaa Shalabi, praised the high level of the participating students noting: "We did not expect this expertise from the students. We know that they received extensive training over months but what we have seen during the competition seems to be the result of years of work".
"This experience was wonderful and provided an example of cooperation between academic institutions and the Palestinian civil society organizations. I wish that this experience spreads at the level of the Arab world," Shalabi added.
Mr. Mahmoud Qandeel, a member of the jury, said he was happy to be a member of the jury: "I was looking forward to visiting Gaza. I was very impressed when I met with the competing students through whom I realized how skilled and professional Gaza is".
"I thank the institutions that provided care to these students and gave them this chance. I in particular thank PCHR who implemented the project and supervised the training sessions."
Dean of the Faculty of Law at al-Azhar University, Dr. Abdul Rahman Abu al-Nasser, spoke in the name of the three participating universities. He stressed that all the participating students were outstanding. He also said: "The competing students demonstrated a high standard of performance. They gave us confidence in the future of our people. Our students need support and good preparation. What we have seen in these two days was a wonderful example. We must all cooperate in order to develop and building upon this experience in a way that achieves our goal, which is prosecution of Israeli war criminals."
PCHR Director, Mr. Raji Sourani, spoke on behalf of the implementing institutions and the donors. He summarized the joint efforts made together with the participating universities and institutions, leading to a successful implementation of the project: "PCHR’s main objective in the project is to pass on our practical experience in the area of prosecution of war criminals, in light of our belief in the rule of the law, and the fact that we will not forgive and not forget the crimes committed against our people."
"The theoretical and practical preparation for the competition lasted for months and now we witness the achievement and success of this idea in cooperation with a jury that made the training come true," Sourani added.
Chantal Meloni, the legal expert from PCHR, who has been supervising the project, described the moot court project as a great success: "This experience was interesting and what has happened is beyond our expectations. The performance of students was higher than the performance of students in European universities who are given many opportunities in this field." Meloni added: "By the end of the day, I hope that students are really proud of what they have achieved and that they realize the benefit of the skills they have acquired. I also hope that all the students are aware that the competition is not the end but rather the beginning of their careers the field of international criminal law."
The moot court project was implemented for the first time in the Gaza Strip. The project offered the law students from the three universities a unique opportunity to receive practical training in preparing written and oral submissions, presenting legal arguments in the context of a fictional case, enhancing their skills in applying international criminal law principles, in addition to understanding the International Criminal Court system, procedures and litigation mechanism.
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|Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 08:48|