For the fifth consecutive year the Foundation is sponsoring a Palestinian team to participate in the International Criminal Court ‘Moot Court Competition’. Over 60 universities from all over the world come together in The Hague for a large scale moot court simulating the proceedings of the ICC. The Competition consists of an extensive six-day educational and social program, which brings together students of diverse backgrounds and cultures to The Hague to challenge their skills as future international lawyers. This year the Foundation is sponsoring 5 law students and their coach from Birzeit University. You can read a story of one of the participating students down below.
My name is Haya Omari and I have recently graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from Birzeit University – Ramallah, Palestine. During my senior year at the University, I was honored to be chosen as a member of the 2017 Birzeit University ICC Moot Court Competition Team, which took place in May 2017, at The Hague – The Netherlands.
Throughout the course of 9 months, I had the chance to work with the most brilliant, highly-skilled and supportive team-members. Yara Abu Meizer, Melina Ansari, Fuad Massad, Elias Al-Hihi, Coach Dr. Halla Shoaibi, and I shared common enthusiasm towards International Law, and were ready to go the extra mile in order to best represent Birzeit University and Palestine at the competition.
Dr. Halla Shoaibi had carefully put together a training program to prepare the team for the written memorials phase and the oral pleadings phase of the competition. This meant that we had to spend countless hours working on matters related to legal and critical analysis, legal writing, research methods, and oral pleadings skills. This focused training provided us with the required skills to analyze facts, apply relevant rules and theories to the facts, build solid arguments, and resolve complex issues.
In addition to the tremendous effort we invested in drafting our written memorials, we received intensive training from professors, professionals and experts in order to strengthen our oral argumentation and debating skills. Each time we took the floor to present our pleadings, our knowledge, abilities and sometimes temper were all put to test. It was evident that the more we trained, the better we performed. With all the hard work, determination and motivation the team was able to qualify to the semi-finals round and win the best Defense Counsel written memorial.
Being part of the 2017 ICC Moot Court Competition provided me with the opportunity to work in a highly competitive yet inspiring environment. It allowed me to practice International Criminal Law at first hand, and acquire an in-depth knowledge from the heart of international criminal justice. It forced me to test my abilities to the fullest, and challenge myself both academically and mentally. It also taught me that with hard work and persistence anything can be achieved; and that even a team whose mother tongue isn’t English can still excel in a highly ambitious international field.
We are grateful for the Rabbani Foundation on making such an amazing experience possible, and I hope that their support continues to touch the lives of other prominent Palestinians.
The next ICC Moot Court Competition takes place from 27 May – 1 June 2018. You can find more information on the website.
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