Law students to compete in international humanitarian law moot court competition

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Kigali Independent University law students who won the first international humanitarian law moot court. / Francis Byaruhanga.

Five law schools in Rwanda, in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Red Cross Rwanda, are organising the second national moot court competition on international humanitarian law.

According to Viater Balinda, a lecturer at University of Kigali and a member of the organising team, the two-day competition will start on October 5.

“Teams of students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of international humanitarian law before a simulated court where each team will have to play the roles of both the prosecution and the defence in a fictitious war crimes trial as they analyse human rights violations in those imagery cases.

“Students will be exercising court activities but insisting on international human rights violations as a topic in a more practical way,” he said.

Four teams from the University of Rwanda, INES-Ruhengeri, the University of Lay Adventists of Kigali and Kigali Independent University will participate in the contest. The winning team will be sponsored by the ICRC’sdelegation in Kigali to take part in the All-Africa IHL Moot Court Competition in Tanzania in December.

Innocent Musonera, a lecturer of international humanitarian law at University of Rwanda’s School of Law, said the reason behind this moot court is to deliver more practical skills and to help students understand the challenges in humanitarian law in the region.

“Law students are the future judges, lecturers, political leaders, government ministers and military generals of the country. When students, especially those participating in moot competitions, are fully informed about the principles of law, they become ambassadors for international humanitarian law and continue to promote it,” he noted.