Congratulations to the Lao team participating in the 21st Red Cross International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Moot Court 2023 in Hong Kong between 8 – 11th March 2023, which was organized as a face-to-face competition, after a long period of restrictions due to Covid-19. The competition hosted 24 teams of law students from different universities in the Asia-Pacific Region. The University of Luxembourg has been actively supporting NUoL’s participation in this international competition! For this year, Dr. Perrine Simon supported the team and the project as Co-coach jointly with Ms. Paulina Baschton who is the Liaison Officer of Uni.lu,.
The Lao team has been trained intensively until the last day of the competition after winning the National Round in December 2022. They worked extremely hard and put a lot of effort into this highly competitive moot court on International Criminal Law, entirely in English, to challenge universities from the Asia-Pacific region.
After four days of competition, with a total of 24 teams of law students from across the Asia-Pacific, the University of Adelaide (Team from Australia) won the competition. The first runner-up was awarded to the University of Auckland, Ms. Annalise Delic from the University of Adelaide was awarded as the Best Mooter of the Final Round. The best prosecution memorial was awarded to Brickfields Asia College of Kuala Lumpur and the best defense memorial went to Singapore Management University. For more details on the 21st IHL Moot Court competition results and announcement, you can find the link here: https://www.redcross.org.hk/en/moot21/results.html
The moot problem the participating teams faced this year focused mainly on the war-related environmental protection problems. This moot problem raised the team’s awareness on using chemical weapons in an armed conflict, particularly the use of natural environments as military targets, the deprivation of the fair trial rights of war criminals, and the forced participation of enemy civilians in military actions against their own country. The moot problem also incorporated relevant topics from current issues like the definition of mercenaries and their legal status.
During the days of the event, students also had an opportunity to attend the Keynote Seminar which was organized under the topic “The Use of Indiscriminate Weapons and Their Impact on the Environment”. The panel discussion of this Keynote Seminar was led by Dr. David Michael Baker (Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, HKU), Dr. Nishara Mendis (Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Colombo), and Ms. Kelisiana Thynne (Head of the Legal Department ICRC Manila). At the end of the session, participants also had a chance to raise their question to discuss more with the panelists.
Unfortunately, and despite best efforts the team from NUOL did not pass on to the quarter finals but the team received very positive feedback from the judges during the oral pleading of the general rounds! They also managed a good scoring in the written memorials with an average of adequate-good.
This Moot court organised by the ICRC is a great way to stimulate legal thinking, by learning how to develop legal arguments appropriately. Students also have improved their critical thinking and problem solving skills, analyzing skill, presentation skills, debating skills and also their English!