The International Court of Justice

Report on the course of the day in ICJ

Danae Xanthi & Marilia Danae Patsalidou International Court of Justice

The chairs began the day by introducing themselves and stating the main objectives of the day’s workshop.

The atmosphere at the beginning of the meeting was icy and awkward, as most of the delegates inside the assembly were relative strangers yet somehow the ice needed to break. Firstly, they played some ‘ice breakers’ like two truths and a lie through a fun game so we could get to know each other a better which was very exciting and entertaining since we met more people from different schools, nationalities and cultures.

At 9:40, the chairs started presenting the general information on the International Court of Justice, and then proceeded to explain the course of the debate. They stat- ed the roles to be assigned to the delegates, in which the chairs were acting as the leaders of the court, and the advocates were responsible for the memorandum that was analysed in detail. The chairs related the rules of international law to the topic, while the witnesses were called to support the judges, playing the role of ambassadors.

After a break the chairs discussed specific information regarding the case between Ukraine and Russia as well as showing a video to enhance understanding of the topic.

Another icebreaker took place which related to memory, as the delegates had to remember items stated by previous delegates. We then played “never have I ever”. The chairs asked a question and to whom- ever it applied to, raised their hands. There were moments when the whole assembly was bursting with laughter as it was clear that the atmosphere became lighter and welcoming.

We then proceeded with the mock debate at 11:25. The leaflets as well as the memorandums of the advocates were handed out around. The chairs allowed reading time, during which the chairs gave helpful reminders to guide the delegates – especially the judges-. The advocate of Croatia brought Serbia the grounds of violation of prevention of genocide suggesting clear genocidal intent on behalf of the country. While the advocate of Serbia sur- prisingly admitted other crimes against humanity however he specifically and categorically denies the intent of genocide.

The chairs gave the judges some time to deliberate and reach a verdict. The judges voted by raising hands, and the majority voted in favour of Serbia, which seemed to be a surprise to the chairs perhaps due to the sentimental nature of the case. Overall, it was a day filled with gaiety and bliss.