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Welcome to the IHL Clinic Giessen

Introduction

The International Humanitarian Law Clinic in Giessen is the first of such type in Germany. It offers students the possibility to study IHL both in theory during our weekly meetings and in practice through the participation in moot court competitions. In this sense, students may acquire a unique experience and develop their legal reasoning skills.

News

On 29th October 2019, the IHL-Clinic had a visitor from the German Red Cross. Dr. Katja Schöberl, legal advisor in the team on International Law of the German Red Cross General Secretary, spoke with the team of the current and previous IHL-Clinic. The focus was specific the research on German state practice conducted by the participants.

In addition, Dr. Schöberl gave a talk on the subject of her PhD, namely the geographical or territorial scope of application of International Humanitarian Law. This had been object of dispute in recent years. We sincerely thank Dr. Schöberl for her visit and hope to meet her soon again!

General

At the IHL Clinic Gießen, students are provided with interactive classes. Students have the opportunity to work in partnership with the German Red Cross by analyzing German state practice regarding IHL. This includes analysis of military manuals, national legislation, case law, and governmental official statements. That work serves the purpose of updating the national practice database of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) regarding customary international humanitarian law.

 

Also, in the end of the year students might participate in a training program at the German Red Cross headquarters in Berlin, where, together with the students from the Bochum IHL Clinic, they can learn from humanitarian experts. Besides, every year we instruct groups of students to participate in moot court competitions for the university team.

Latest work

In 2019 students have been selecting and analyzing official statements from 2017 (for example from the German Federal Foreign Office, the Parliament, etc.) related to IHL and providing translations to make the ICRC database up to date for German national practice. Our next step is to analyze the relevant case law of 2018.

 

With respect to moot courts, the university team participated last March in the Jean-Pictet Competition, which took place in Obernai, France. An overview of this amazing experience can be found here.

 

Moreover, another team is about to participate in the Nuremberg moot court competition in July 2019. An overview of this incredible learning process can be found here.