Additional Academic Activities
Many students take part in various activities that measure their achievements and those who participated have emphasized the importance of such activities and their contribution to their studies and practical knowledge.
- The International Humanitarian Law Competition: The students who participate in this competition receive academic credit and recognition from the Academic Center.
Beginning in 2007-2008, students at the Academic Center have been representing it in the International Humanitarian Law Competition. This is a competition sponsored by the International Committee of the Red Cross and almost all of the academic institutions, law schools and schools of international relations participate in it.
The competition is carried out between teams, and each institution has between one and three teams participating. Each team is comprised of three students. The competition takes place over three days in a hotel in the Jerusalem area and in the course of the competition students deal with hypothetical simulations in front of a panel of judges who are experts in international humanitarian law and are invited by the Red Cross from various countries in order to serve as judges in the competition. The students must show their knowledge of the field, prove their expertise, creative thinking and teamwork.
The preparation for the competition is carried out over four months, under the guidance of a lecturer and an assistant who trains the teams representing the College. The meetings take place weekly for two to three hours, and the students practice simulations similar to those with which they will be faced in the competition. Before each meeting the students must master the relevant material.
Preparation for the competition and participation in it is an alternative to a research seminar and entitles the students to academic credit identical to that granted for participation in the research seminar.
- The Debating Club: Participation in the Debating Club and the national competition confers academic credit and recognition by the College.
The objective of the debating course is to provide practical tools and rhetorical skills to students intending to practice various fields of law. Through the academic debate format students learn organizational skills, research, conveying messages, rebutting and structuring arguments. The students develop the ability to engage in logical analysis and processing of information, evaluation of the strength of arguments and how to give them greater weight, creative thinking and distinguishing between the important and unimportant points. Students actively participate in debates in the class, take part in the debating team and represent the College in competitions of the Israeli Debating League.
- Participation in Editing the Journal “Family and Law”
The editorial staff of the journal “Family and Law” is made up mainly of students, with the students who are members of the editorial staff being responsible for preparing the articles received for publication in the journal. After an article is accepted in principle for publication in the journal it becomes the responsibility of students who are members of the editorial staff. At the initial stage, the students responsible for the article put together a document consisting of all the comments and criticisms of the article that need to be dealt with, which is then submitted to the author. The document relates both to comments and criticisms received from the external reader who reviewed the article as well as comments and criticisms of the editorial staff students, who also performed a critical reading of the article. Before this comments document is sent to the article’s author, it is examined by one of the editors of the journal. Upon completion of the substantive editing stage the students go on to do technical editing of the article, in the course of which they check the accuracy of the citations and sources mentioned in the footnotes and whether they comport with standard citation rules.
A student who is a member of the editorial staff of an academic journal may receive an exemption, according to the decision of the editor, from elective law courses comprising four hours weekly for each year in which he is a member of the editorial staff on a continual basis. Serving as a member of the editorial staff of a journal is limited to two years. The exemption is given according to the decision of the editor after he has examined the work of the editorial staff member at the end of each continual year during which he is a member of the editorial staff, and not at the outset.
- Argumentation and Examination of Witnesses Workshops
While studying for a degree the students take a course entitled “Argumentation and Examination of Witnesses.” The goal of the course is to confer tools for use during argumentation or examination of witnesses. During the course the tools are practiced with the major part of the course being carried out as a moot court during which the students are required to prepare cross-examinations and/or oral summations, for cases that were given to them in advance, while implementing the tools learned in the course. The course is carried out with the class being divided into teams of three – plaintiff-defendant-witness or prosecutor-defense counsel-witness who carry out a legal proceeding in its entirety, including the examination of witnesses, objections, oral arguments etc. After presentation of a case there is feedback during which the class considers together the “successes” in handling the case and those things that require improvement. At the end of the course the students are required to submit written briefs in a case that was supplied in advance (the case includes legal pleadings and transcripts of the proceedings to the extent necessary). The grade in the course is comprised of two components: active attendance – 60% and written work (brief) – 40%. Regarding active attendance, the grade is measured in accordance with the active participation of each student, which is expressed in advance preparation of the case, participation in the class in handling the cases and taking a position during the feedback portion after the presentation of each case.