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Leiden IHL Clinic participates in 1st IHL Clinic International Exchange Programme conference in Israel

From 15 to 20 November 2015 twelve members of the Winter-semester intake of theInternational Humanitarian Law Clinic of the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum attended and actively participated in an international exchange conference on International Humanitarian Law at Radzyner Law School, IDC in Herzliya, Israel.

The conference is part of the new international exchange program between the IHL clinics of Leiden Law School (The Netherlands), Emory Law School (Atlanta, USA), and Radzyner Law School (Israel).

During the five days of the conference, the participants were able to get in-depth knowledge of the conflict situation in the area on the one hand, as well as discuss the applicable rules of international humanitarian law, on the other hand. The clinic students and their supervisors received first-hand practical information from members of the Israeli Defense Forces, representatives of the Israeli Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense. Furthermore, they were able to exchange ideas with their counterparts from the USA and Israel, learn about their different legal and cultural backgrounds, and also had the chance to hear the perspectives of Israeli non-profit organizations and academics.

During the conference the participants went on two field trips. The first one was to Jerusalem, where many of the particular problems of the conflict related to the city were made clear. This trip included a visit to Hebrew University, the High Court of Justice and the City Hall. The participants also had the chance to meet and listen to Judge Gabriel Bach, a former Prosecutor of the Eichmann Trial. During the second field trip, the participants of the exchange programme went to Neve Shalom, which is a cooperative village founded by Israeli Jews and Palestinian-Israeli Arabs, who live peacefully together side-by-side in one community. It was very interesting for everyone to see how the community solved the differences between the two people.

As a result, students were able to step outside the classroom environment and experience the real, practical approach to International Humanitarian Law within an area affected by armed conflict.

The one-week conference is part of a three-year cooperation between the three IHL clinics at Leiden Law School, Emory Law School, and Radzyner Law School, and will be followed by exchange conferences in Leiden/The Hague in 2016, and Atlanta/Washington in 2017.

Below, the Leiden IHL clinic team members India Duncan, Lydia Aylett, Lewis Mooney, Guillaume Muller, Sara Levac, Neha Dubey, Janine Ensing and Marin van Hove, with their supervisors Geirrún Tomasdottir, Nuria Pérez Cusó and Christine Tremblay, as well as Leiden IHL clinic director Dr. Robert Heinsch among participants from the two partner law clinics.

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