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Philippines: University of St La Salle regains moot court cup in 2012 finals

07-09-2012 News Release 12/181

Manila (ICRC) – Five years after its last victory, the University of St La Salle (USLS) has regained the championship cup of the National Moot Court Competition on International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

USLS faced Ateneo de Manila Law School in the finals held today in the Supreme Court en banc session hall, where they were hailed the winner of the annual competition that aims to promote knowledge and appreciation of IHL among Philippine law students. USLS and Ateneo argued the fictional case of Colonel Jones who was facing charges in the International Criminal Court for alleged violations of IHL.

"All the efforts that we put into preparations paid off when we finally got here, because the last time our school team won was five years ago," said Nadine Abenoja of USLS, who won best mooter for the final round. "In the succeeding years, we worked hard but we didn't make it. Finally, this year we won the cup."

As the winning team, the USLS students will represent the Philippines in the Asia-Pacific regional finals in Hong Kong in 2013.

"It's been a very positive competition. I think it's pretty clear that mooting, in general, suits universities in the Philippines very well," said ICRC Regional Legal Adviser for South-East Asia Christopher Harland, a veteran judge of moot court competitions. "The presence of IHL in curricula, the discussion of this field of law in the media, and the commemoration every year of IHL month in August show that this competition finds a very good home in the Philippines."

The runner-up team from Ateneo Law School did not go empty-handed, winning both awards for best memorials, which contain prepared written arguments from the perspective of the prosecution and of the defence.

Pauline Gairanod from the University of the Philippines College of Law won the Justice Ines Luciano Best Mooter Award as the highest-ranking oralist in the elimination rounds. This award, given for the first time, pays tribute to the Court of Appeals associate justice and chairperson of the IHL Committee of the Philippine Red Cross who passed away last year. The University of the Philippines team also won the role-play challenge, in which teams simulate practical applications of the body of law that seeks to limit, for humanitarian reasons, the effects of war.

Competition was extremely fierce during the final round, which was judged by a distinguished panel composed of Supreme Court Associate Justice Roberto Abad, Dr Mario Aguja of Mindanao State University-General Santos City, Philippine Judicial Academy Chancellor Adolfo Azcuna, Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Human Rights Office Brigadier General Domingo Tutaan Jr, De La Salle University School of Law Vice Dean Jocelyn Cruz, and Harland.

Students from 10 law schools took part in this year's event, which was organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Philippine Red Cross and the Supreme Court of the Philippines, and hosted by De La Salle University in Manila.

Other participants came from Far Eastern University-Manila, San Beda College of Law-Manila, Southwestern University, Saint Louis University, University of Batangas, University of the Cordilleras, and Cor Jesu College Law School.

The moot court contest, which began in 2005 with only six participating schools, has become a prestigious event. It is the only moot court competition that holds its finals in the en banc session hall of the Supreme Court.

For further information, please contact:
Allison Lopez, ICRC Manila, tel: +63 908 868 68 84


Photos

A mooter argues his case during the final round of the 2012 National Moot Court Competition. 

A mooter argues his case during the final round of the 2012 National Moot Court Competition.
© ICRC / S. Velasco

Finalist teams USLS (left) and Ateneo Law School, who tied for at second place for the role-play challenge. In the centre: Philja chancellor Adolfo Azcuna, SC associate justice Roberto Abad and ICRC Head of Delegation Pascal Mauchle. 

Finalist teams USLS (left) and Ateneo Law School, who tied for at second place for the role-play challenge. In the centre: Philja chancellor Adolfo Azcuna, SC associate justice Roberto Abad and ICRC Head of Delegation Pascal Mauchle.
© ICRC / S. Velasco

The USLS team won the moot court championship cup for the first time since 2005. 

The USLS team won the moot court championship cup for the first time since 2005.
© ICRC / S. Velasco