Post Date: Tuesday, May 16, 2017
By Negussie NegashThe second national moot court competition of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Ethiopia Delegation and Addis Ababa University, School of Law was held from May 11-13, 2017 at Addis Ababa University.
The competition was based on a hypothetical IHL case involving classification of armed conflicts, principles of IHL, command responsibility, direct participation in hostilities, sexual violence in armed Conflict and means and methods of warfare, among others. The teams argued as prosecutor and defense counsel on the given case. After a heated debate in front of a panel, the Addis Ababa University team won the competition and lifted up their trophy high.
Amen Taye and Liya Mehari, the winning team and representatives of AAU, in one word put forward, “we were well trained both during the memorial submission and oral competition on top of exerting our maximum efforts in the final competition. We did not know what would our result; but, we were doing our best to get what we wanted and finally we have eaten the fruit of our work.”
Mr. James Reynolds, Head of Delegation of the ICRC, remarked on the occasion the competition is of paramount importance for the young students to enrich their knowledge and skills. “University young to be lawyers are one of very good target groups whom ICRC is working with in disseminating IHL”, he added. He also stated the debatable cases for the competition were chosen by getting involved a wide range of experts.
Mr. Yonas Birmeta, Dean for Addis Ababa University School of Law, on his part noted the major objective of the competition is to promote International Humanitarian Law. “Apart from scaling up the students’ theoretical concepts, the competition is useful in strengthening the relationship among law schools of universities”, he stated. According to him, IHL principles as distinction, proportionality and precaution in armed conflict are taken into consideration by experts in designing the case for the competitors.
The competition was held in two rounds; written memorial and oral rounds. From 20 Universities took part in the memorial submission, eight of them qualified for the oral round: Addis Ababa University, Debre Markos University, Wellega University, Jimma University, Wello University, Wolayta Sodo University, Hawassa University and Mekele University. And, the finalists were Addis Ababa University and Debre Markos University. It is learnt that Addis Ababa University won the first competition held at Mekele University last year.
The Ethiopian Red Cross Society was represented through two of its Legal Service staff acting as judges in the competition.