Advocate Yael Vias Gvirsman Yael is the Director and Founder of the first and only International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic in Israel

Yael is the Director and Founder of the first and only International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic in Israel, based at the Radzyner Law School, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya. She has been working on Defence at the International Criminal Court in The Hague since 2011. She is completing her PhD on the Role of International Criminal Justice in Times of Conflict- Intervention, Legitimacy and Notions of Justice at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Having completed her Legal education in France and The Netherlands, Yael holds an LL.B, a Maitrise in law and a French Masters in International Relations (DESS). She was accepted to the Israeli Bar Association in 2006 after completing a legal traineeship with the International Law Department of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Legal Advisor’s Office. Yael worked as a prosecutor with the State Attorney’s office in Jerusalem, dealing mainly with extradition cases, mutual assistance and universal jurisdiction. In parallel to starting her PhD in September 2007, Yael worked as an Eligibility and Legal Officer with the UNHCR office in Tel Aviv. From April 2008 onwards, she participated as a researcher in various research projects in international criminal law, international humanitarian law and human rights.

My belief is, that if you are a practitioner of international criminal law, you cannot accept the jurisdiction in the Palestinian situation […] the way to keeping away from arbitrary is to set the rules from the start, ex ante, and then apply them. And not to reformulate as we go along. That’s not justice.

Yael Vias Gvirsman explains the principle of legality in criminal law. The principle requires the judicial organs, including the Prosecutor and the judges to apply a strict interpretation of the law and to avoid any broad interpretation. The principle of legality is a fundamental principle without which there is no law, there is no justice. There is only arbitrary.