Judges and participants of the 15th IHL Moot Court Competition. PHOTO: ROK Red Cross

Republic of Korea: Handong Global University wins the championship at the 15th IHL Moot Court Competition

On 23 September 2023, the 15th International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Moot Court Competition was held in Seoul, Korea, co-organized by the ICRC mission in Seoul and the Korean National Red Cross. The event was sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of National Defense, the School of Law at Korea University and Onyul, a public interest organization.
Article 24 October 2023 Republic of Korea

More than 20 undergraduate and graduate students from five Korean universities advanced to the general rounds and engaged in debates around a hypothetical IHL case under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. The case addressed complex issues related to the accountability of commanders and individuals for war crimes in a fictional setting.

In the final rounds of intense legal arguments, Handong Global University's International Law School team emerged as the champions, narrowly defeating Yonsei University. Handong Global University will now represent Korea in the 22nd Asia-Pacific IHL Moot Court Competition to be held in Hong Kong in 2024.

Director Miyoung Song (left) with members of the winning team from Handong Global University International Law School (left to right: Yoonseo Kim, Sangdon Park, Seong Min Kim). PHOTO: ROK Red Cross

The competition offered students the opportunity to delve into the complexities of IHL and its practical implementation. Seong Min Kim, a member of Handong Global University's winning team, expressed gratitude for the chance to participate in the competition and encouraged support for IHL. The moot court competition is an important tool for raising awareness of the relevance and applicability of humanitarian law.

Judges for the final round (left to right): Jun-Ki Lee (lawyer, United States Forces Korea), Ki-Gab Park (professor, Korea University School of Law), Marwa Shabbar (regional legal adviser, ICRC regional delegation for East Asia), Jun Kyu Jeon (lawyer, Yulchon LLC) and Miyoung Song (Director of Treaties Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs). PHOTO: ROK Red Cross

The panel of judges for the competition represented a broad spectrum of those associated with the ICRC, including IHL academics, government officials and military personnel. Notably, the Director of the Treaties Division within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the competition for the first time and encouraged participants to continue pursuing international law.

Marwa Shabbar, regional legal adviser of the ICRC's regional delegation for East Asia, emphasized the significance of the competition in promoting the principles of international humanitarian law and its relevance in the evolving global context.