THE International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) last week organized a moot court competition on international humanitarian law for 36 students from nine Anglophone countries in Africa.
The final round of the moot court took place in Arusha last Saturday, the 1st of December 2012 at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, (ICTR) based in the Arusha International Conference Centre and was adjudicated by a panel of three sitting Tribunal judges.
That was the 12th edition of the moot court, called the "All Africa international humanitarian law competition," which was described to be one of many initiatives taken by the ICRC to raise awareness of that body of law.
"The competition generates a lot of interest among young law students in Africa," said Prof Umesh Kadam, the ICRC's regional legal advisor. "This often inspires them to pursue a career in international law."
Modelled on the De Martens and Jean Pictet competitions, this year's All Africa competition brought to Tanzania teams of undergraduate students from Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
The participants' knowledge is challenged on subjects of humanitarian law and action. "They're placed in a fictional conflict scenario where they're required to play the roles of the various parties and demonstrate their legal knowledge and debating skills," Prof Kadam explained.
The competition was also complemented by lectures on the law from ICRC and Tribunal staff as well as discussions on topics related to the case study.