International criminal prosecution is a crucial part of transitional justice processes, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) is the most important standing institution.
The ICC Trial Competition takes place annually in the Hague and is inspired by the model of the ICC Itself. National teams of students present the case for the prosecution, the defense and the victims in front of internationally renowned experts in international criminal law, including judges of the ICC and ICTY and scholars. Special emphasis is given to ICC procedural rules and on substantive international criminal law. This is a unique course designed to allow second-year students and onwards, including Master students (which are not practicing advocates), to experience in the field of International Criminal Law advocacy, in its various aspects.
Beginning in 2012 the Minerva Center has funded and provided academic and logistic support for a team of Hebrew University law students that participate in the ICC competition. The Minerva teams consisted of 4 undergraduate students, and were supervised by Dr. Maria Varaki (in 2012) and by Dr. Rotem Giladi (since 2013). Participation in the ICC Trail Competition course involves intensive work, dictated by the competition timetable. The date of the competition itself is usually around the month of April, and two months prior to that teams are required to submit pleading in writing.
The 2012 HUJI team of students was the first Israeli team ever to participate in the competition – and to date, no other Israeli university has sent students to this competition. The 2013 team already achieved superb results – making it all the way to the semifinals of the competition and ultimately finishing in 5th-6th place (out of more than 50 participating teams from leading universities around the world). And the 2014 team finished in 2nd place (!) – an astonishing achievement, particularly as this was only our third year of participation.
Every year, The Minerva Center organizes for its team a rehearsal just before their departure for The Hague, open to the public, with senior jurists serving as judges.
Our team's participation in the competition has received support from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which funded the group's flights to The Hague. Accommodations and meals during the week-long competition in The Hague and other course expenses were funded by the Minerva Center.
This is the sixth year in which the Minerva Center for Human Rights is sending a team of students to the competition, within the framework of the Transitional Justice program.
The Hebrew University's 2016-17 ICC competition team consists of 3 students, supervised by Adv. Ido Rosenzweig.
Further details on the competition can be found on this website.