Turning Theory into Practice: International Humanitarian Law
Israel and International Humanitarian Law
at SCIL 2013
Countering 'Lawfare' in International Humanitarian Law Student Conference on International Law ('Scil') brings 60 global participants to Israel for
high-level conference from August 26-29, 2013.
In recent years, anti-Israel groups have increasingly utilized international legal frameworks and courts to attack Israel in the international arena.
In response, The Israel Forever Foundation is proud to be a
co-sponsor of the Student Conference on International Law (SCIL), taking place August 26-29, 2013 in Jerusalem, led by Israel education organization, StandWithUs.
In 2012, sixty top law students from throughout the world engaged with the process of “Turning Theory Into Practice” regarding international law and contemporary legal challenges in an Israeli context.
This second SCIL conference draws on the experience of last year's successful program developed by StandWithUs Israel Fellows of Hebrew University. Sponsored by the Faculty of Law at Hebrew University, Washington, DC law firm of Heideman, Nudelman & Kalik, PC, The Israel Forever Foundation, and donors from around the world, SCIL Jerusalem 2013 will foster a deeper understanding of the legal issues confronting Israel in the international legal arena.
The 60 participants hail from 25 countries and speak 18 different languages. All are law students (undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral) who were chosen based on their academic excellence, social activities, internships and relevant work experience with organizations such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, which issued an Advisory Opinion on legal issues relating to Israel’s terrorism prevention security fence located between Israel and the Palestinian territories, the UN and NATO, among others.
For many, the conference marks their first visit to Israel, like our participants from last year.
One grew up in Tehran until the age of 19 and is currently finishing a Masters’ degree in international law in the Hague; for him, the visit to Israel is a childhood dream come true. Another is a Chinese student who works in the district court in one of the biggest provinces in China. One participant from the Netherlands is working as a legal advisor to NATO.
In addition, select presidents of different student law unions in Europe and Asia will participate together with an editor of an Australian law journal, doctoral students from Germany and the Netherlands, along with law students from the U.S., India, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Ireland, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Greece, Nigeria, Romania, Switzerland, Denmark, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Participants will learn from leading experts in international law including former Israeli ambassador to the UN Professor Gabriella Shalev, Supreme Court Justice Neil Hendel, Channel 2’s senior commentator Ehud Ya’ari, a representative of the IDF Military Advocate General, professors from the Faculty of Law at Hebrew University and delegates from other relative international and local organizations including UNESCO. Sessions also include a geo-political tour with Col (ret.) Miri Eisen, former IDF spokesperson.
StandWithUs Israel Director Michael Dickson said, “This initiative is all the more impressive because it is spearheaded by Israeli students concerned about how legal minds of the future are viewing their country today. In order to fully appreciate the balance that Israel is striking every day between upholding the highest humanitarian standards and complying with international law, you need to come here. Studying in the field, seeing security checkpoints, witnessing the lay of the land, is crucial understanding the strategic threats that Israel faces every day.”
Richard D. Heideman, Honorary Chairman of the Student Conference on International Law, will speak to the conference participants on “Holding Sponsors of Terrorism Legally Accountable”. Heideman commented, “All legal students and scholars can benefit from a deepened understand of the interrelationship between Israel and the law. As a nation-state, at the United Nations, in the various venues around the world, and in the court of public opinion, Israel is so often treated as a second-class country, wrongly accused of human rights violations and falsely held out as an apartheid criminal racist state.”
Heideman continued, “Those who hate and desire to annihilate Israel must not be permitted to mis-brand Israel as a cover for their own heinous acts of terrorism against. Israel has the right, and obligation, to defend her people. This conference attempts to give up-and-coming international attorneys the ability to understand the important issues of the day and greater legal ability to contribute positively to the world in the future.”
Dr. Elana Heideman, Executive Director of The Israel Forever Foundation, a co-sponsor of the conference, added, “It is noteworthy that participants from cultures throughout the world will be hosted by their Israeli peers, creating bonds and reaching a new level of understanding about the meaningfulness of Israel’s existence and the many dimensions of her realty. The effects of this conference can reach beyond the realm of the law and be transformed into an ongoing respect for and commitment to the future of our one and only Jewish state.”
Participants will also tour Jerusalem's holy sites and attractions and enjoy its lively student nightlife, giving them a chance to interact with Israelis and with real-life Israel.
The rich and important academic experience, combined with a robust mix of enjoyable social and tourist activities is designed to strengthen the participants’ positive image of Israel and lead them to share the knowledge gained over the week with their colleagues in their home countries.
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StandWithUs (SWU) is an eleven year-old, international, non-profit Israel education organization that supports people around the world who want to educate their campuses and communities about Israel. SWU educates through social media, hosts speakers, programs and conferences in cities around the world, offers website resources and creates brochures and materials about Israel in a variety of languages and on a variety of topics that are distributed globally.
Based in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters across the U.S., Israel, France and the UK.
About the StandWithUs Israel Fellowship
In its sixth year, the StandWithUs Israel Fellowship brings together 150 of Israel's elite students from six major Israeli universities and trains them to be effective global ambassadors for Israel and to assume leadership roles in Israeli society. The fellows' training topics include lectures, debate skills, running campaigns, building coalitions, and media skills. Their final projects must highlight a positive aspect of Israel to share with the global community.
About Heideman Nudelman & Kalik, PC
This global law firm represents American Victims of Terrorism and has brought cases against Libya, Syria and Iran as State Sponsors of Terror as well as against banks which are accused of funding terrorism.