China: Shandong University, Weihai, wins 17th Red Cross IHL Moot Court competition

The 17th Red Cross International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Moot Court Competition (China round) concluded on 26 November in Soochow University, China. The event was jointly organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Secretariat of the National Committee on International Humanitarian Law, the International Academy of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IARC), and the Kenneth Wang School of Law of Soochow University. Shandong University, Weihai, won the competition, while Tsinghua University and Jilin University won the runners-up prizes. This year's theme was the protection of the natural environment during armed conflict.

Shen Mingrong (first from right), vice-president, Soochow University, presents the award to the winning team from Shandong University.

Students from 60 universities across China, including two from Macau, participated in the competition. Marking a significant first for People's Liberation Army (PLA) universities, the PLA Aerospace Engineering University participated in this year's competition. The jury comprised about 60 domestic and foreign experts from government agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, international organizations and academic circles.

This year's competition also included a student forum for the first time for law students to share IHL-related research. Li Runlong from China University of Political Science and Law, Su Dongyu from Peking University and Ji Yangziyan from Southwest University of Political Science and Law – who had participated in the moot court competition for Asia-Pacific region held in Hong Kong earlier this year – also joined the event and shared their insights on the theme.

"The IHL moot competition, focusing on students as the next generation of leaders, holds significant weight among academic events. While it is a moot court featuring a fictive case study, the principles you have diligently studied, particularly those pertaining to the protection of victims in armed conflicts and the application of IHL, transcend mere fiction," said Boris Kelecevic, deputy head of the ICRC's regional delegation for East Asia, in his closing remarks.

As guardian of IHL, the ICRC has been at the forefront of promoting and teaching humanitarian law and principles. The IHL moot court is an important initiative that contributes to the development of IHL knowledge and expertise among students and young legal professionals.

"We'll learn and make progress together with our colleagues to collectively promote IHL in China, help build a global community with a shared future and contribute our expertise to the international humanitarian cause," said Shen Mingrong, vice-president and member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Committee of Soochow University, while introducing the historical tie between Soochow University and the Movement.

Liu Xuanguo, vice-dean of IARC, emphasized the close relationship that the ICRC and IARC share. "IHL is the legal cornerstone of humanitarian action and an effective tool for the international community to respond to humanitarian disasters. One cannot comply with the law before knowing it. Only by raising awareness of IHL among armed forces, government authorities, National Societies and the public in peacetime can we bring into full play its role of protecting victims during armed conflict and reduce the humanitarian crisis caused by conflicts," he said.

"We hope that the ICRC can continue to support our school's internationalization strategy and increase bilateral communication for more scientific research, co-teaching and training in the field of foreign-related rule of law," said Fang Xinjun, dean, Kenneth Wang School of Law.

Since 2007, the ICRC's regional delegation for East Asia has jointly held the IHL moot court competition with many leading universities in China, to help integrate IHL into college curriculum and develop students' interest in humanitarian law.

Full List of Winners

Winning Teams

The Winning Team: Shandong University (Weihai)
The Runner-up Team: Tsinghua University
The Second Runner-up Team: Jilin University
The fourth ranking team: China University of Political Science and Law

Best Oralists

Final Round

The Best Oralist: Chen Xinyue, Shandong University (Weihai)

General Rounds

The Best Prosecutor: Zhang Zhuyan, Tsinghua University
The Next Best Prosecutor: Ma Feifan, Zhejiang Gongshang University
The Best Defence Counsel: Yu Runtian, Jilin University
The Next Best Defence Counsel: Yu Fangwei, Jilin University; Zhang Ziwen, China University of Political Science and Law

Best Memorials

The Best Memorial: Nankai University
The Next Best Memorial: China University of Political Science and Law

The Best Memorial: Soochow University
The Next Best Memorial: Ocean University of China

First Prize (8 teams, ranking from high to low)

Jilin University
Shandong University, Weihai
Zhejiang Gongshang University
Tsinghua University
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
China University of Political Science and Law
Nankai University
Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

Second Prize (10 teams, ranking from high to low)

Shenzhen University
Soochow University
Nanjing University
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Shandong University
Southwest University of Political Science and Law
Peking University
Shanghai University of International Business and Economics
Ningbo University
China Foreign Affairs University

Third Prize (14 teams, ranking from high to low)

Guangzhou University
Beijing Foreign Studies University
Ocean University of China
Sun Yat-Sen University
Shanxi University
East China University of Political Science and Law
South China Agricultural University
City University of Macau
Tongji University
Yanbian University
Yantai University
Southwest Medical University
Qufu Normal University
Huaqiao University