On Monday 24 October 2011, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights opened a training course titled “International Humanitarian Law and Litigation and Prosecution of War Crimes” at the training hall of Al Quds International Hotel in Gaza City.
Shirin Ash-Shobaki, coordinator of the training and mass communication unit at Al Mezan, opened the workshop and welcomed the 22 training and participating lawyers from throughout the Gaza Strip.
Ash-Shobaki noted the importance of introducing lawyers to international humanitarian law (IHL) in light of the grave and systematic violations of IHL and civilians’ rights carried out by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in Gaza.
This requires building of lawyers’ capacity in the different branches of IHL.
Ash-Shobaki asserted the importance of making good use of the content and participating during the training sessions.
She invited the participants to use their newly acquired knowledge in a way that will serve the cause of Palestinians’ human rights and dignity.
During the course Mrs.
Ash-Shobaki discussed the importance of understanding the relationship between human rights and IHL and of making good use of the knowledge acquired, which should be invested in protecting civilians and prosecuting perpetrators of grave breaches of international law.
The course aims to develop the skills and knowledge of lawyers and other legal professionals in international humanitarian law and litigation procedures for the prosecution of war crimes.
It consists of 24 training hours to be delivered over four days.
Participants will be introduced to a general historic and legal framework of IHL and international human rights law (IHRL); their content; the protected groups under IHL; the application of international law; enforcement mechanisms; the responsibility of an occupying power to the population of an occupied territory; and the legal status of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt); including the Gaza Strip.
The course also introduces lawyers to international criminal law and mechanisms for prosecuting war crimes, in addition to monitoring and documentation mechanisms—an area of increasing importance to legal and human rights professionals in light of the crimes being perpetrated in the oPt.
A team of trainers from Al Mezan, along with lawyers and professors of universities with extensive experience in the field of international humanitarian law, participate in delivering the trainings.
This course constitutes one component of the “Promotion of IHL and ESCR [economic, social, and cultural rights] by Education” project, implemented by Al Mezan in cooperation with Diakonia.
This project aims to raise awareness of IHL among the Palestinian community in Gaza in general, and to enable lawyers in particular to make use of IHL in their legal and judicial work.