Auckland law students head to Hong Kong for competition
Faculty of Law
The University of Auckland
11 March 2013
Auckland law students head to Hong Kong for international competition.
Three students from The University of Auckland’s Law School will be representing New Zealand at the Red Cross International Humanitarian Law (IHL) moot competition in Hong Kong this week. This is the first time there will be a representative team from New Zealand attending.
Following their win of the national IHL moot competition in December, students Anna Devathasan and Gretta Schumacher, accompanied by researcher Sara Chin and coach Ben Prewett, will join 20 teams from around Asia Pacific to compete for the regional title.
“We've been given a complex scenario. It deals with individual criminal responsibility for biological experimentation, the use of child soldiers in armed conflict, and the employment of biological weapons. We argue both the prosecution and the defence in the preliminary rounds, and are then assigned sides as the competition moves forwards,” says Anna Devathasan.
Of their national win, student Gretta Schumacher gives credit to the Auckland Law School’s strength in International and Humanitarian Law.
“We have an International Criminal Law and a Law of Armed Conflict course taught at the University by Treasa Dunworth which has given us an important head start on the nature of the International Criminal Court and international criminal law in general.
“We have received phenomenal coaching from law firm Gilbert-Walker’s Ben Prewett who has helped develop our advocacy skills. We have also been incredibly well supported by Auckland practitioners, members of the Faculty and Alumni from Auckland Law School – We are truly grateful for their help and guidance.
“It's good to see our arguments coming together in the lead up to the competition, and we’re looking forward to seeing how other teams have approached the question,” says Gretta.
International Humanitarian Law is related to the law of war. It governs what can and can't be done in both international and non-international armed conflict in terms of protecting civilians, prisoners of war and wounded soldiers.
The University’s Dean of Law School, Andrew Stockley says the competition puts a spotlight on this vital aspect of international law: “The team has done extremely well so far and I am sure will represent New Zealand with great credit in the international round.
“The Auckland Law School has had a lot of success in international student competitions during the last few months; reaching the Grand Finals in the World Human Rights Mooting Championship in Pretoria in December, and in the International Commercial Mediation Competition in Paris in February. We hope that the team going to Hong Kong does as well!”
The IHL competition runs 14-16 March and is hosted by the University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Red Cross.