News release

CHINA: First national inter-university moot court competition on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) held in Beijing

Beijing, Renmin University.Scene from the final at the first Red Cross IHL inter-university moot court competition for Mainland China.

Teams representing eight universities from Mainland China participated in a two-day moot court competition on 3-4 November at Renmin University in Beijing. This first ever national round competition was co-organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Red Cross Society of China and the Law School of Renmin University. 

The winning team from Renmin University won a tightly contested final against the team from Wuhan University. These two teams will be joined by the second runner-up team from the Foreign Affairs University to take part in the Asia-Pacific Regional Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot held in Hong Kong in March 2008. Their participation in this prestigious moot competition with teams from over 10 countries, is sponsored by the ICRC.

The teams made up of two students were required to submit their written arguments to a fictitious case given to them six weeks in advance, and argue the case before the court, alternately for the prosecution and for the defence. This year's case touched on issues such as, what constitutes a war crime, or in what case would national or international courts have jurisdiction to judge such crimes? The competition was supported by a number of embassies in Beijing who sent representatives with international law background as judges.

Beijing, Renmin University. Scene from the final at the first Red Cross IHL inter-university moot court competition for Mainland China.

"IHL moot court competitions are an excellent way to motivate future lawyers to look at the concrete issues International Humanitarian Law deals with", said Thierry Meyrat, Head of the ICRC Regional Delegation in Beijing, or as one of the judges put it: "If you are involved in this competition, you will remember IHL for the rest of your life."

National and international moot court competitions are an integral part of the ICRC's efforts to generate awareness of International Humanitarian Law throughout the world. IHL is a body of law designed to protect people who are not or no longer taking part in an armed conflict, as well as to limit the means and methods of warfare. The ICRC promotes moot competitions on IHL to familiarize law students with this important branch of public international law.

The following teams competed in the first national inter-university moot competition on IHL: China Foreign Affairs University, Beijing; China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing; Fudan University, Shanghai; Nankai University, Tienjin; Renmin University, Beijing; Southwest University of Political Science and Law, Chongqing; Tsinghua University, Beijing; Wuhan University.

For more information, please contact:
Hu Xiangqun, ICRC Beijing
Tel: +86 10 8532 3290
Mobile: 86 13911720733