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By Dr. Christophe Paulussen,
Senior researcher/Academic coordinator International Humanitarian Law/International Criminal Law Programme

On 4 June 2013, the final lecture of the second season of the Lebanon lecture series was concluded.
The Lebanon lecture series, or more officially, the inter-university programme on international criminal law and procedure (2011-2015), was launched in November 2011 by the T.M.C. Asser Instituut in The Hague in cooperation with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
The programme is unique in that each season caters for the delivery of 14 exceptional lectures on international criminal law and procedure, streamed, via internet from the T.M.C. Asser Instituut in The Hague to one of the eight lecture theatres of the participating universities in Lebanon (Lebanese University, Beirut Arab University, Université Saint Joseph, Université La Sagesse, Université Saint Esprit de Kaslik, Notre Dame University, American University of Science and Technology and the American University in Beirut).
The participating Lebanese students are in the 3rd or 4th year of their (law) studies. Lecturers include prominent (international) academics and practitioners in the field, the first two seasons have been kicked off by STL President, Sir David Baragwanath. Lectures are delivered in English with simultaneous translation to Arabic.
Each (1-1.5 hour lecture) is followed by an interactive question and answer session with the lecturer via Skype. Many lecturers have described their lecture as rather surreal, but definitely a fascinating and tremendously stimulating experience!
This programme’s formula could be used in any country in the world. The Lebanon lectures have not only filled a gap in the current curricula of the eight participating universities, it has also strengthened the cooperation between these universities. The main themes of the programme are:

History of the law of the international tribunals
Sources of international criminal (procedural) law
Substantive law: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and terrorism
General principles: modes of liability, rights of the accused, role of victims
Jurisdiction, admissibility and complementarity
International criminal proceedings: pre-trial, trial, judgment, appeal and sentencing
Students complete their participation in the programme by sitting an exam in Lebanon. The 25 best students are rewarded with a study trip to The Hague, where they make a tour of the international institutions and of course visit the T.M.C. Asser instituut.

This technically challenging project, has been most rewarding to date as exemplified by the following quote:
“Dear T.M.C Asser Instituut,
I want to say thanks for this big opportunity that you gave me: first to let me explore the real world of justice. Second to introducing us to respectful professors and judges in this program which is first of its kind in Lebanon and the Middle East.

And finally, all the words of thanks will not be enough to express my gratitude and appreciation for your efforts to build a better future for young generations.”

Participant of the Lebanon Programme 2011/2012
For more information, please contact: c.paulussen@asser.nl

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