Osgoode team wins two prizes at trial competition in The Hague

A team of students from York’s Osgoode Hall Law School – Subhi Barakat, Sarah Boyd and Josh Scheinert – made it to the finals and won two prizes at the International Criminal Court (ICC) Trial Competition in The Hague last week.

Students from 12 universities around the world took part in the competition, which focuses on ICC proceedings and international criminal law. The 2007 competition had a distinct structure, with students not only taking on the role of prosecutor or defence, as in traditional moot courts, but also the role of judge.

There were three knockout rounds in which Osgoode’s three-person team played out their roles, at the end of which Osgoode was ranked first overall. In the finals against India’s Nalsar University and South Africa’s Pretoria University, Osgoode drew the position of defence, the Indian team was the judge, and the South Africans were prosecutors.

The team from South Africa ultimately won the competition, but individual prizes were awarded to Boyd for best prosecutor and Barakat for best judge.

The Osgoode team’s coaches were Professor Sharon Williams, a former judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia, and Leo Adler (LLB ’73), adjunct professor and director of National Affairs for the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies.

"We are truly proud of their strong effort," said Osgoode Dean Patrick Monahan. "We are grateful, too, to the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies for generously sponsoring our team."

As a non-governmental organization, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre has observer status at the ICC and has sent delegates to many ICC events in an effort to see that Simon Wiesenthal’s vision for justice is carried out. He believed that war criminals and those charged with crimes against humanity should be brought to trial before competent courts.