A TEAM from Moi University in Kenya has been crowned winners of the 12th edition of the moot court after beating 12 other African universities here, recently.
Dubbed the "All Africa international humanitarian law competition," the competition which was held at the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UN-ICTR) Chambers of Arusha, was geared towards raising awareness of humanitarian law.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) organized the moot court competition on international humanitarian law for 36 students from nine Anglophone countries in Africa. The final round took place at the end of last week and was adjudicated by a panel of three sitting Tribunal judges.
It was a stiff competition between Moi University, University of Abuja, Uganda Christian University and the University of Zimbabwe which had made it to the semi-finals. However, in the finals it was between Uganda Christian University and the Moi University.
Other winners were the best female speaker which was awarded to Zimbabwe's, Dorothy Pasipanodya and best male speaker which was awarded to Uganda's, Jonathan Kiwana. The Henry Dunant Award went to the Catholic University of Kenya.
"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 together undergraduate students from Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
The participants' knowledge was challenged on subjects of humanitarian law and action. "They were placed in a fictional conflict scenario where they were required to play the roles of the various parties and demonstrate their legal knowledge and debating skills," Prof Kadam explained.
The competition was complemented by lectures on the law from ICRC and Tribunal staff as well as discussions on topics related to the case study. Since its inception in 2001, more than 360 students from different African universities have taken part.