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Bangladesh: from Dhaka to Hong Kong – advocating for IHL

05-10-2011 Feature

Ten universities participated in the seventh edition of the Henry Dunant Moot Court Competition on international humanitarian law (IHL) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, between 29 September and 1 October. The winning team will participate from 21 to 23 October in the regional competition in Kathmandu, Nepal. Winners of this competition will then represent South Asia in the Asian Moot Court competition in Hong Kong.

Sanjeeb Hussain was one of the winners of the 2009 competition. First, his team won the national competition and, then, participated in the regional competition in Hong-Kong.

«During the Moot Court Competition, I studied the art of advocacy. I have learned how to present legal arguments in public and this is a rare opportunity. Thanks to this experience and to my academic background, I got access to the world of international criminal law. Today, I am serving as a researcher to the chief prosecutor at the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh."

Sabera Sultana is 21 years old and studies at Brac University in Dhaka. She participated in the 2011 edition of the Henry Dunant Moot Court competition.

“We learn from books but until you practice, you cannot really have a clear,  concrete idea of advocacy. The competition is a huge thing for us. Being in front of judges is a great opportunity. One thing for sure is that I am going to practice as a lawyer. Next year, I will complete my studies in the U.S."

Nabila Farheen studies at the University of Chittagong. She is now in the semi final of the 7th edition of the Moot Court.

“IHL is not my subject at university. I began to dedicate myself to the domain because of this competition.  I am now deeply involved in this new field. My knees were shaking before I started addressing the court. In the near future, I will start research on IHL and international human rights law."  

Muhammad Mahbubul Huq, former judge advocate, has been a member of the jury  for the last (7th) Moot Court Competition.

“The number of conflicts has increased over the recent years. Almost all countries in South Asia are engaged in one way or another in a situation of conflict or violence. Therefore, younger generations should know what the rights and responsibilities are of parties to a conflict. Awareness of IHL was very low but, thanks to similar events, it is becoming more known. Spreading knowledge of IHL amongst students is the best option."


Dhaka. Sanjeeb Hussain, champion of the Moot Court Competition in 2009. 

Dhaka. Sanjeeb Hussain, champion of the Moot Court Competition in 2009.
© ICRC / C. Cardon


Nabila Farheen, semi-finalist of the Moot Court Competition in 2011, Dhaka.
© ICRC / C. Cardon / V-P-DD-E-00013


Sabera Sultana, finalist of the Moot Court Competition in 2011, in Dhaka.
© ICRC / C. Cardon / V-P-BD-E-00014


Muhammad Mahbubul Huq, former judge advocate general and one of the jury's member for the 2011 Moot Court Competition.
© ICRC / C. Cardon