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Guinea: Students put humanitarian law into practice

13-09-2013 News Release 13/149

Conakry (ICRC) – Law students from eight Guinean universities are taking part in a moot-court competition in international humanitarian law, also known as the law of armed conflict. The event, taking place in Conakry, is being organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the universities concerned.

The budding jurists are participating in qualifying rounds and in the finals, which will be held on 14 September at the court of appeal in Conakry under the honorary chairmanship of Christian Sow, the minister of State for justice.

The winners will have the opportunity to represent their country at the regional moot-court competition, which will be held in Tunis in November.

"These simulated trials are an essential form of learning for law students, who have to carry out research, develop arguments and present them before real judges," said Mamadou Souaré, a legal adviser with the ICRC delegation in Guinea. "The students have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of international humanitarian law while also improving their oral advocacy skills."

International humanitarian law, a set of rules designed to limit the effects of armed conflict, protects people not, or no longer, taking part in hostilities and restricts the means and methods of warfare. The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977, ratified by Guinea in 1984, are the main instruments of this body of law.

International humanitarian law is now taught in all law schools in Guinea. The ICRC supports this effort by providing teaching materials, training instructors, holding awareness-raising events and organizing the annual moot-court competition.

The ICRC has been working in Guinea without interruption since 2001. It cooperates closely with the Red Cross Society of Guinea and strives to protect people adversely affected by situations of violence. It visits detainees, advises prison authorities and promotes international humanitarian law.

For further information, please contact:
Alyona Synenko, ICRC Conakry, tel: +224 628 40 88 37
Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 49 or +41 79 244 64 05