The René Cassin competition is a model of proceedings maximally close to the real conditions of a particular case related to the violation of the rights of citizens of a fictitious state. The topic proposed for discussion is based on real problems on the agenda and reflects a certain level of concern of the European and world society about the development of a particular problem. No single specific case from the practice of the European Court of Human Rights is being considered in its pure form, however, the most characteristic cases of human rights violations, taken from various cases, can appear in the case under consideration.
Participation in the competition can be divided into three stages:
The participating university registers a team whose status (applicant / defendant) is determined by a lot. Each team must submit a written position (memorandum), prepared on the basis of a fictional case drawn up by the Scientific Council, which includes scientists, staff of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights, as well as lawyers.
Thirty teams selected for the semifinals will be required to present their position on the basis of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its protocols and in accordance with the procedures of the Court during an oral hearing before the jury in the halls of the Palace of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights.
The rating of teams is based on two factors - a grade for written work and an overall average of the grade obtained during oral presentations. The best team, representing the position of an applicant, and the best team, representing the position of the defendant, compete in the final, after which the winner is awarded a prize. The Scientific Council also reserves the right to award other individual prizes, such as the prize for the best oral presentation in the final or the prize for public-speaking skills in the semifinals.
Purposes and features of the competition
One of the main goals of the Competition is to extend and deepen knowledge on human rights, to encourage students to study the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the mechanism of work and practice of the European Court of Human Rights.
The contest organizers strive to develop among its participants the ability to apply and interpret legal norms in the field of human rights protection, as well as to help to acquire certain skills of professional performance in front of a wide audience, to improve the system of legal protection of human rights and freedoms through the effective use of international and comparative law, and to help future lawyers and judges in the application of international law in international, regional and national courts.
Participation in the competition allows to develop a row of skills and demonstrate them in an unusual way.
The feature of the competition is that it is French-speaking. All written materials (memorandums), prepared by the teams, and oral presentations of participants during public hearings in the Court, must be made exclusively in French. Thus, participants develop their additional advantage - knowledge of legal French!
If selected for the oral hearing stage, participation in the René Cassin competition allows to speak before highly professional jury in the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights. Persons who are professionally involved in the protection of human rights in the scientific and practical fields and represent various legal systems, officials of the Council of Europe departments and judges of the European Court of Human Rights are invited to be among the jury members, who evaluate the performance of the teams.
Participation in the competition also provides an opportunity to get acquainted with Strasbourg, the capital of united Europe, and to meet with students from other countries: Turkey, Russia, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Canada, Romania, Slovenia, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, in a friendly atmosphere.