Posted at 23rd March 2016

MSU: Taking the law out of the books

Taking the law out of the books

A team from Midlands State University is currently representing Zimbabwe in the 28th edition of the Jean-Pictet International Humanitarian Law Moot Competition taking place in Évian-les-Bains (France) and Geneva (Switzerland) until the 26th of March 2016. The team comprising Sandra Kabaya, Brian Madziva and Zwelithini Xaba is already in France for the competition.

The Jean-Pictet Competition is the leading international humanitarian law moot court competition, and one of the most innovative training programmes in public international law for law students. Every year, approximately 150 students representing forty-eight universities from around the world take part in this unique and world-renowned event. Since its inception in 1989, almost 3,000 students from approximately 220 universities and seventy-five countries have participated in the Competition.

The Competition is a week-long training event in international humanitarian law (IHL) intended for students (undergraduate or above) of law, political science, international relations, or other disciplines, as well as students from military academies. Its approach aims to “take the law out of the books” through simulations and role-plays, thus allowing the jury of the Competition to evaluate each team’s theoretical knowledge and practical understanding of IHL.

The simulations and role-plays are based on a fictional but realistic case study of an armed conflict. During the Competition, the simulations are set up so that the teams (each comprised of three students) engage with each other and the jury in different formats: some simulations take place between the jury and only one team, some between the jury and several teams, some between two teams with a silent jury, and so on.

Participants are also required to take on roles that constantly evolve. For example, they may be asked to play the role of representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the morning and, later that same day, to play the role of armed carriers. This stimulates participants to consider the same conflict from different perspectives.

This year’s edition marks the fourth consecutive time that a team from Midlands State University is representing the country in the competition. On behalf of the entire University community, the Information and Public Relations Office wishes the team all the best.

Additional content courtesy of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (ICRC)

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