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Japan: Kyoto University wins first national moot court competition

14-12-2010 News Release 10/228

Tokyo (ICRC) – A national round of the international humanitarian law moot court competition took place in Japan for the first time on 11 December. The event, held at Hosei University in Tokyo, was jointly organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Law Student Exchange Council.

Students from three universities – Chuo University in Tokyo, Doshisha University in Kyoto, and Kyoto University – took part. Kyoto University was the winner and will represent Japan at the annual regional international humanitarian law moot court competition set to take place in Hong Kong in March 2011.

"In a peaceful country like Japan it can be hard to consider international humanitarian law important. However, the passion and enthusiasm of the students involved in the debate demonstrated their interest in this body of law," said Daisuke Shibasaki, of the ICRC Tokyo office. "Most of the students did not know much about humanitarian law before preparing for the competition, which, incidentally, turns out to be an excellent way to bring like-minded students together."

The ICRC's regional legal adviser, Richard Desgagne, who participated as one of the judges, said that "IHL mooting is an excellent way to not only raise interest in international humanitarian law but also to hone students' skills in the practices of international law and its application in concrete cases."

The ICRC spreads knowledge of international humanitarian law in leading academic institutions in Japan and around the world, supports teaching and research in the discipline and encourages its inclusion in curricula. The aim is to ensure that future leaders and opinion shapers understand the usefulness of international humanitarian law in practical terms, and have a thorough knowledge of its basic principles.

For further information, please contact:
Hitomi Makabe, ICRC Tokyo, tel: +81 80 41 42 97 23
Philippe Stoll, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 40 or +41 79 536 92 49