“The organization and management of the course… was excellent while the teaching was exceptional and of university standard. This is a very significant initiative in deepening the understanding of the just cause of the Palestinian people right around the world.” E.M. participants from Ireland (2021)
The Al-Haq Center for Applied International Law has concluded this week 12 days of its online summer school program. The first edition of the seventh summer school was organized during the period of May 31st and June 12th and included 29 participants from 22 countries and nationalities. 14 of the participants represent countries in the region and others who would usually be denied entrance due to lack of diplomatic ties with the occupying power. The Summer School Program with Al-Haq is considered a unique experience and opportunity to unravel and deepening the understanding of the Palestinian question; and is the only International Summer School with a focus on International Law applications to the Palestinian people. The summer school targets internationals experts and academics in the fields of International Law and human rights from around the world.
The Online Summer School tries to follow the same approach of the on-ground summer school in terms of program and the speakers Al-Haq invites to the summer school sessions. Participants throughout the two weeks program are provided with the opportunity to engage with 24 speaker representing human rights organizations, civil society actors and human rights defenders.
The initial two days of the program are designed to set the grounds in regards to the history of the Palestinian people, the narrative used and the Legal frameworks applicable to the context in Palestine, in which participants explore the application of International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law, the application of the Apartheid framework and the violation to the laws documented by Al-Haq. Starting on the third day of the program, participants start to explore other human rights issues such as the internal human rights situation, state of Palestine responsibilities, business and human rights, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, Palestinian refugees and the ongoing Nakba, the human rights situation in Gaza, situation of people with disability and challenges faced in the Palestinian context, women in Palestine, and International accountability mechanism such as the International Criminal Court. The sessions covered not only Palestinian in the OPT, but Palestinian everywhere including Palestinians inside the Greenline. Sessions have also taken into account the recent developments and the events carried out in Palestine and inside the Greenline in May 2021.
Case studies on communities and different were included in the intervention by different speakers and recorded field visits were offered to the participants to get a feel of life in Palestine; and those included a field visit to Jerusalem, the depopulated village of Lifta, Hebron, Battir and Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. Lectures and sessions with the summer school each run for two hours including a discussion with the invited speaker from Al-Haq or the other individuals or organizations contributing to the program.
Al-Haq has been conducting the Summer School for 7 years starting in 2015, and since 2020 the summer school has been running an alternative online program due to Covid 19 restrictions. Since 2015 Al-Haq has engaged with at least 163 participants in the summer schools only, representing 54 nationalities and countries. Due to the success and the wider target groups with the online summer school, the Al-Haq have decided to run the online versions every year in addition to the on-ground summer school when possible, even after Covid-19 restrictions are over.
Al-Haq is currently working on organizing edition II of the summer school online in 2021, which intends to take place in July to accompany participants from the Americas and countries with a very different time zones in relation to our local Palestinian time zone. This is the first year in which Al-Haq will run two summer schools in one summer and is mainly due to the very large number of excellent and eligible applicants seeking placement at our International Law Summer School Program.