On Sunday 24 May 2009, Al Mezan commenced a training course on International Humanitarian Law (IHL), litigation and war crimes.
Mahmoud Abu Rahma, Communications and International Coordinator at Al Mezan, opened the course at Al Mezan's Gaza City office; 20 practicing lawyers, trainee lawyers and law college students are attending.
The course aims to develop the skills and knowledge of lawyers and legal professionals of international humanitarian law and litigation procedures for the prosecution of the perpetrators of violations of international law and war criminals.
The course comprises 28 hours to be delivered over five days and will introduce the participants to: the historical and legal framework of international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL); the content of IHL and IHRL; protected groups under international law; the application of international law; enforcement mechanisms; the responsibility of an occupying power towards the population of an occupied territory; and the legal status of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
The course will also introduce the participants to international criminal law, mechanisms for prosecuting war crimes, in addition to monitoring and documentation mechanisms – an area of increasing importance to legal and human rights professionals in the context of the crimes being perpetrated in the oPt.
A team of Al Mezan and International Committee of the Red Cross trainers, and lawyers and lecturers from Palestinian universities with expertise in IHL are delivering the course.
This course constitutes a component of 'The Promotion of IHL and ESCR (economic, social and cultural rights) by Education' Project, implemented by Al Mezan in the framework of cooperation with Diakonia.
This project aims to raise awareness of IHL among the Palestinian community in Gaza in general and to enable lawyers to make use of IHL in their legal and judicial work in particular.