The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) together with the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) organized the national rounds of 13th Henry Dunant Memorial Moot Court Competition on international humanitarian law (IHL).
The main objective of this competition is to raise awareness and interest in IHL and developing advocacy skills of young law students through a friendly competition. More than 81 law students drawn from 27 universities across the country took part in the competition that was held between 22 to 24 September 2022.
Students participated in several competitive rounds of mooting, using their advocacy and research abilities to peruse the cases presented. The teams presented their arguments on a hypothetical case-study before a panel set at the pre-trial stage of the International Criminal Court. The case featured issues relating to the protection of natural environment, protection of civilians in armed conflict and other IHL themes. The jury panel was consisted of academics, judges, officials, and practitioners, while judges from the Bangladesh Supreme Court attended the panel during the Semi Final and Final Round.
The team from University of Dhaka was declared as the winner of the competition after a very intense Final Round against Jahangirnagar University held today at the IUB campus in Dhaka. Commenting on their achievement, winning team members from University of Dhaka stated, "We have learnt a lot during this competition. Such events help reinforce the significance of IHL and we hope that we are able to add value to its contextualized implementation in Bangladesh in the future." T
The top two teams from the national rounds will represent Bangladesh in the South Asia Regional Rounds to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Justice Obaidul Hassan in his speech said, ‘Law students should engage proactively in Moot Court Competitions with a view to realize the full circle of professional knowledge’.
He emphasized over visiting and seeing litigations before the trial court for enhancing the practical knowledge of the students.
“The basic spirit of international humanitarian law is a universal humanitarian principle that preserves human dignity even during war,” said Fabrice Edouard, Deputy Head of Delegation, ICRC Bangladesh. “I am glad to see enthusiastic young students partaking in the competition that serves as one of the excellent forums necessary in promoting IHL,” he added.
University Grants Commission Member Professor Dr. Biswajit Chanda said that law graduates should have solid foundation over theoretical and philosophical foundations for bringing success into their professional life.
Tanweer Hasan, Vice Chancellor, IUB said, ‘Moot court or mock trial can be the only way to get into the reality as a law student before joining the practical world and it has been a distinct privilege for IUB to be partnering with ICRC team in bringing this prestigious competition.
Prof. Dr. Borhan Uddin Khan, Advisor, Department of Law, IUB said, ‘Through participating in this competition, students got the chance to sharpen their advocacy skills, learn team building and hone group work spirit and create new network.’
Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Niaz Ahmed Khan as well as legal advisors from the ICRC were also present. Named after Henry Dunant, the founder of the ICRC and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the competition has grown steadily since its inception in 2005 in both reputation and status.
As part of its mandate to spread knowledge of IHL, the ICRC in Bangladesh promotes the law through education, training and moot court competition involving a wide range of groups and individuals, including legal professionals, law students, instructors, decision and policy-makers and armed forces.