Symbiosis Law School, Pune is pleased to conduct the 1st Edition of the Symbiosis International Criminal Trial Advocacy Competition, 2016 which is due to take place from the 18th -20th of March, 2016. Although in its nascent stage, the Competition seeks to familiarize inquisitive law students with procedural aspects of international criminal trial advocacy.
The genesis of international criminal trial advocacy can be traced back to the Nuremberg Trials conducted in the aftermath of World War II. As significant as the Trials have been, their rudimentary conduction in terms of absence of due procedure as we understand the term today, left a sense of resounding dissatisfaction among the common masses within the political framework of the Axis Powers.
The significance of international criminal law cannot be overstated. The world has been made a witness to civil society unrests and mass uprisings in the wake of the contemporary Arab Spring. The bygone saw political leaders committing international crimes, while the international community faced a crisis in securing effective legal remedial instruments to contain the killings of thousands. Right from infamous killing fields of Cambodia to the genocides in Rwanda and Yugoslavia, International Criminal Law as a defeated progeny of the Nuremberg Trials has faced a tedious task in establishing its vitality as an effective dispute resolution mechanism. However, the historical evolution of this novel field of law, with its fair share of disappointments, has certainly bestowed upon the prospective generations invaluable lessons to gain from.
However, it shall be unfair to term the hostilities we face today as a mere revival of that era. The fine distinction which haunts the world community today is in terms of the constitutive nature of the body of perpetrators discerning hatred and abusing essential tranquillity. Unlike the bygone era, the perpetrators of today are predominantly civilians and rogue leaders of unregulated, unidentified groups of militia. With the prospects of transitional peace in Syria being far from reality, agencies established to uphold international criminal law shall serve to be the only legitimate avenues of redressal for survivors and dependants alike.
A special mention must also be made to the auspicious moment in which the Competition is introduced. With nations contemplating a peace resolution regarding the Syrian crisis to be passed in Geneva, the Competition aims at furthering the common mandate of the world community towards a peaceful transition to stability and rehabilitation in favour of all migrants dispossessed of their lands.
Against such contemporary developments, the novelty of the Symbiosis International Criminal Trial Advocacy Competition, 2016 lies in its adherence to procedure and rules of evidence that set it apart from most ICC based moots, including the famed ICC Moot Court Competition. The Competition tests a participant’s advocacy skills with special relevance being placed on witness briefing and the skill of being able to extract all relevant factual submissions from the witness concerned. Further, the Competition shall seek ingenuity in terms of appropriate evidence appraisal, in lieu of the facts and the collaboration of the same The Competition shall witness 13 top teams from India, selected through an invite-only process, competing against one another and being adjudged by top legal luminaries from the fraternity. This time the Competition is seeing participation from 18 law schools including 5 International Law Schools including the coveted Sussex Law School, London and Kuwait International Law School. Gracing us with their presence we have Hon’ble Mr. Justice M. Jaichendren, Judge, Madras High Court and Justice Mohan Pieres, Former Chief Justice and Attorney General, Sri Lanka who will be adjudicating the finals of the Competition.
Adorning the bench of the final rounds we also have Dr. Anna Marie Brennan, Consultant, Trial Chamber, International Criminal Court, The Hague who is a renowned expert in the field of international criminal law and an established academic at the Liverpool University.
With the Symbiosis International Criminal Trial Advocacy Competition, 2016, Symbiosis Law School, Pune aims at making a humble contribution in sensitizing the world community to the international criminal justice system and its latent potential.