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24 Teams of Asia-Pacific Law Students fight in Humanitarian Trials

(Hong Kong.15 March 2014) Amidst the recent armed conflicts among several neighboring countries, mixed with internal combats, a “hospital ship” with large red cross emblems displayed carrying over 100 wounded people on board was air-stricken; some civilian districts were being cut off water, electricity and communication by the government; a country has transferred several dozens of “expats” to undisclosed detention venues; drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) carrying cluster munitions were deployed for autonomous missions, bombing both military and civilian facilities, leaving numerous casualties …  

These complex scenarios are the humanitarian challenges that over 100 law students from renowned Asia-Pacific universities need to tackle this week. It is the simulated case for The 12th Red Cross International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Moot. A total of 24 teams of future attorneys from 22 Asia-Pacific cities battled in trials this week in Hong Kong.

The University of Adelaide (Australia) captured championship, and the runner-up went to National Law University, Jodhpur (India), after a series of tough simulated trials about controversial issues. Mr Sui Yi Siong (Singapore Management University and National University of Singapore (Joint Team)) was adjudged the Best Mooter. (see below for List of Award Recipients and Participating Teams). They were presented with the prizes by The Hon Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li.

The annual competition is now the largest inter-university competition in scale of its kind in the Asia-Pacific Region. Since 2003, nearly 750 law students from 22 countries or regions have participated. Participation reaches record high this year with 24 participating teams - 4 teams are from Mainland China, 2 from Hong Kong, and 1 from Taiwan. And for the first time, Mongolia, Nepal and Laos have sent teams to compete.

New Technologies of Warfare challenge IHL
The competition is co-organized by the Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in collaboration with the Faculty of Law of The University of Hong Kong and the Faculty of Law of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. It aims to raise law students' concerns over humanitarian issues and their understanding of IHL.

Mr Vincent Lo, Chairman of the HKRC, thanked all the judges and Mr Ambrose Ho, Chairman of the Organizing Committee for this year’s Moot, for their contribution in making the event a success. This year’s judging panel consists of 95 members, including distinguished judges, lawyers and legal scholars from Hong Kong and overseas, as well as IHL experts from the International Red Cross.

Mr Lo said while IHL have been applied in the last 150 years to limit the effects of armed conflict, they faced increasing challenges of all kinds including new technologies of warfare. “This year’s moot problem thus aimed at challenging our future legal leaders on issues related to complex international relations, as well as controls or responsibilities for lethal decisions on battlefield by autonomous weapons supposedly with little human intervention.”

List of Award Recipients:

Award

 University

Winning Team

 

The University of Adelaide (Australia)

 

Runner-up Team

 

National Law University, Jodhpur (India)

Best Mooter

(Highest Score)

Mr SUI Yi Siong - Singapore Management University and National University of Singapore (Joint Team)

 

First Honourable Mention

(2nd Highest Score)

Ms CHIA Yaru - Singapore Management University and National University of Singapore (Joint Team)

 

Second Honourable Mention

(3rd Highest Score)

Ms Dian Shiloma DAVID - University of Jaffna (Sri Lanka)

 

Best Memorial (Prosecutor)

Best Memorial –National Law University, Jodhpur (India)

 

First Honourable Submission –The University of Adelaide ( Australia)

 

Second Honourable Submission –Thammasat University (Bangkok, Thailand)

 

Best Memorial (Defendant)

Best Memorial –The University of Adelaide (Australia)

 

First Honourable Submission –Shanghai Jiao Tong University

 

Second Honourable Submission –Singapore Management University and National University of Singapore (Joint Team)

 

 

List of the 24 Participating Teams (in alphabetical order)

  • Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan)
  • East China University of Political Science and Law (Shanghai)
  • Gadjah Mada University (Yogyakarta, Indonesia)
  • Handong Global University (Pohang, Republic of Korea)
  • Ho Chi Minh City University of Law (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
  • Kathmandu School of Law, Purbanchal University (Bhaktapur, Nepal)
  • KDU University College (Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia)
  • National Law University, Jodhpur (Jodhpur, India)
  • National Taiwan University (Taipei)
  • National University of Laos (Vientiane, Laos)
  • National University of Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia)
  • Peking University School of Transnational Law (Shenzhen)
  • Renmin University of China (Beijing)
  • Royal University of Law and Economics (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
  • San Beda College (Manila, Philippines)
  • Shahid Beheshti University (Tehran, Iran)
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai)
  • Singapore Management University and National University of Singapore (Joint Team) (Singapore)
  • Thammasat University (Bangkok, Thailand)
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
  • The University of Adelaide (Adelaide, Australia)
  • The University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
  • University of Jaffna (Jaffna, Sri Lanka)
  • University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand)

About “Red Cross International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Moot”
The IHL Moot Competition is co-organized by the Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in collaboration with the Faculty of Law of The University of Hong Kong and the Faculty of Law of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. It aims to raise awareness of international humanitarian issues among law students through examination of, and debate on, wider social issues, with an emphasis on real world application rather than black letter law. Each participating university would be assigned at random the role of the prosecutor or the defendant for a fictitious court case based on real-life facts. Participating law students would debate whether certain acts violated the Law of War and whether the commander of the concerned armed forces should have criminal responsibility for the violating acts.
(For details, please visit: Moot 2014
)

About “International Humanitarian Law (IHL)”
The HKRC is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement that endeavours to prevent human suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. The Geneva Conventions are the bedrock of IHL and the cornerstone of the Movement. IHL is the body of rules which, in wartime, protects people who are not or are no longer participating in the armed conflict.  The four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and its three Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005 are the principal instruments of humanitarian law and are endorsed by nearly every nation in the world.


The 24 participating teams and the judges in front of the High Court Building


The Champion Team:The University of Adelaide

Media Enquiries:
Ms Denise Wong, Corporate Communications Manager, HKRC
(2507-7111 / 9842-6002 /
wf.wong@redcross.org.hk )    



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13th Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot
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