Local Owen Sound Master student to appear at the International Criminal Court

This past weekend (March 12 – 13) saw three master students of Osgoode Hall Law School compete in the highly prestigious International Criminal Court (ICC) Moot Competition. The North American and Caribbean leg of the competition was hosted by Pace Law School New York and saw three of Osgoode law students compete at this year’s competition.

                       (L-R) Josef Wolanczyk, Vlad Hachinski & Abrie Kilian          photo by Abrie Kilian

Competing against 14 elite North American law schools, the team of Osgoode were knocked out during the semi-finals. Vlad Hachinski, Josef Wolenski and Abrie Kilian (Owen Sound) were selected to represent York University at the annual IBA ICC Moot Competition.

Wolenski argued the position of the Prosecutor on behalf of the international community, whilst Mr Hachinski represented Defendant in the matter. Kilian was counsel for the victims in the simulation. The team is coached by Professor Heidi Matthews, Professor/Assistant Professor in international criminal law.

“We may be flying to the Netherlands as everything may be held remotely,” says Kilian. “Either way this is a huge honour and opportunity.”
Remote meeting:

8 May 2022 @ 2pm CET Online via Zoom Opening Ceremony of the 2022 IBA ICCMCC
9 May – 29 May 2022 Online via Zoom Oral Rounds of the 2022 IBA ICCMCC

Reaching the semi-finals, Osgoode qualified to compete in the Netherlands and together with fellow Canadians from the University of Ottawa, will represent Canada in the Netherlands. Vlad Hachinski’s written memorial took first place as the best-written defence memorial on the defence’s behalf.

The IBA ICC Moot Court Competition hosts universities from all over the world for a large-scale moot court simulating the proceedings of the ICC. The Competition consists of an extensive six-day educational and social program, which brings together top law students of diverse backgrounds and cultures to The Hague to challenge their skills as future international lawyers.

The establishment of the world’s first International Criminal Court provided a fantastic opportunity to further support the rule of international law and the fight against impunity by garnering a youth-led interest. The Competition involves collaboration with judges from international courts and tribunals, international (criminal) law professors, and other legal professionals. This network makes the ICC Moot Court Competition a realistic simulation of ICC proceedings.

The Competition’s case addresses fundamental issues of substantive and procedural international criminal law. The Competition was founded in 2004 at Pace Law School. Based upon the success of what was created as an in-class exercise by Prof. Matthew Brotmann and Prof. Gayl Westerman, the moot was expanded to an invited list of schools in 2005. The following year the ICC Moot was opened up to law schools from around the world. Pace Law School continues to host the Regional Round of the Americas.

In 2021, the Grotius Centre consolidated its partnership with the IBA by signing a new five-year Memorandum of Understanding which positions the IBA as the primary supporting partner of the event.

The final round is expected to take place in an actual ICC courtroom with ICC judges adjudicating.