International Round of 22nd IHL Moot Court Competition, 6 – 9th March 2024

Congratulations to the Lao team participating in the 22nd Red Cross International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Moot Court 2024 in Hong Kong. The international competition of the acclaimed IHL Moot Court took place between 6 – 9th March 2024 in Hong Kong. The competition hosted 22 teams of law students from different universities across the Asia-Pacific Region. The Inter-University Cooperation Project has been actively supporting the participation of students from the Faculty of Law and Political Science, Vientiane (FLP) in this international competition since 2018. For this year, the team of students from the FLP was coached and supported in participating at the International moot court competition by Dr. Perrine Simon (coach) and Ms. Paulina Baschton (Liaison Officer of the project).

The Lao team has been trained intensively until the last day of the competition after winning the National Round in December 2023. They worked extremely hard and put a lot of effort into this highly competitive moot court. Although the team from the National University of Laos did not advance to the quarterfinals, the team garnered positive feedback from judges, showcasing their oral pleading skills. Moreover, the team received a good scoring in the written memorials with an average of good-good+. It is also notable that the Lao team met the team from the Philippines (the team that later won the overall competition) in the very first round and did a very good job pleading against such a strong team. 

After four days of competition, with a total of 22 teams of law students from across the Asia-Pacific region, the University of San Agustin (Team from the Philippines) won the competition. The first runner-up was awarded to Thammasat University. Ms. Samantha Grajo from the University of San Agustin was awarded the Best Mooter of the Final Round. Tribhuvan University received the award for the best prosecution memorial, while the University of Adelaide was honored with the best defense memorial. For more details on the 22nd IHL Moot Court competition results and announcement, follow the official link here:

This year’s moot problem presented a complex scenario revolving around a conflict between traditional religious values and economic development. It involved allegations against a religious leader for crimes against humanity and war crimes, including the purchase and use of drones and cluster munitions resulting in civilian harm, as well as the recruitment of minors for hostilities. The problem addressed contemporary issues such as the use of drones and cluster munitions in warfare.

During the days of the event, students had the opportunity to attend the Keynote Seminar on “Urban Warfare and the Relevance of IHL in Preventing and Reducing Civilian Harm”. The panel discussion of this Keynote Seminar was led by Ms. Marwa Shabbar (Head of Legal Department, Regional Delegation for East Asia, The International Committee of the Red Cross) and Dr. James Fry (Associate Professor of Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong). At the end of the session, participants had a chance to raise their question and to discuss with the panelists.

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 language skills!
We are very proud of the Lao team of 2024!