The IILAT Summer School 2021, titled 'Introduction to Advocacy before International Criminal Tribunals' was held online on the weekend of 28-29 August 2021. The summer school was free of charge. 


18 participants were selected from more than 120 applications from across the world and 16 eventually completed the programme and were awarded the IILAT Summer School certificate. Participants were selected on the basis of their Curriculum Vitae and motivation letter, taking into account also a balanced gender and geographical representation. 


The participants were nationals of the following countries: Czech Republic, Afghanistan, Georgia, Malaysia, Dominican Republic, Algeria/France, UK/Germany, Australia, Norway, Trinidad and Tobago, Armenia, Uganda, Nigeria/UK, Slovenia, Italy and Cameroon/Netherlands.


The programme of the summer school focused on two key advocacy skills: delivering an opening statement and examining a witness. The participants practiced these skills, using a fictional case scenario Prosecutor v. Darth Vader, simulating the procedure before the ICC. The participants were guided by a faculty of six trainers - experienced advocates in litigation before international criminal courts and tribunals. IILAT ensured the diversity of views by inviting trainers who have worked as prosecutors, defence counsel and judicial officers.


During the practical exercises the trainers employed the renowned Hampel Technique. This technique requires practitioners to perform a particular advocacy skill in a simulated courtroom environment and in a strict time-frame. Trainers then observe the performance and identify a single aspect of the performance that could be improved or remedied. By focusing on a single issue and by explaining how, where and why improvement can be made, participants are best able to absorb the information.


IILAT trainers in the 2021 Summer School were: Horejah Bala-Gaye (Trial Lawyer, ICC), Sarah Bafadhel (Defence Counsel, ICC/STL/IRMCT/ICTY), Pubudu Sachithanandan (Trial Lawyer, ICC), Michaela Wagner (Legal Officer, ICC), Paul Bradfield (Prosecutor in Ireland, previously at ICC/ICTY/ICTR) and Claire Henderson (Trial Lawyer, ICC).


The programme of the Summer School included two side events, open to all Summer School applicants who were short-listed in the selection process. Both events attracted an audience of approximately 40 persons each.  


IILAT Summer School 2021

All timings CET​ (Central European Time) – Hague/Berlin/Paris

            DAY ONE: Saturday, 28 August 2021 


10.00 - 11.00     Welcome and introductions of trainers and participants

11.00 - 11.45     Advocacy before International Tribunals (Delivered by Kamran Choudhry)

11.45 – 12.00    Break

12.00 – 13.00    Opening Statements: Presentation, Demonstration, Q&A (Delivered by Sarah Bafadhel)

13.00 – 13.45    Main Break

        13.45          Move into breakout rooms 

13.45 – 14.30    Preparation for the Practice Session (Trainers available for consultation)

14.30 – 16.30    Practice Session: Delivering an opening statement

       16.30           Move to the main session

16.30 – 16.45    Break

16.45 – 17.00    Recap of Day One

17.30 – 19.00    SIDE EVENT 

                            Panel discussion on advocacy before international courts and tribunals 


DAY TWO: Sunday, 29 August 2021


09.45 – 10.00     Welcome

10.00 – 11.00     Examination of Witnesses: Presentation, Demonstration, Q&A (Delivered by

                             Pubudu Sachithanandan)

       11.00            Move into breakout rooms

11.00 – 12.00     Preparation for the Practice Session (Trainers available for Consultation)


12.00 – 13.00     Main Break

13.00 – 15.00     Practice Session: Examining a Witness


       15.00            Move to main session

15.00 – 15.15     Break

15.15 – 16.00     Recap of Day Two and Closing Ceremony


16.00 – 17.00     SIDE EVENT

                             Securing an internship/job at international criminal courts and tribunals tips to 

                             maximize your chances (Delivered by Johann Soufi)