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Reference : V-P-MM-E-00274
Date : 02/05/2016
Country/Region : MYANMAR
Caption : Yangon, Yangon university. The first national moot court on international humanitarian law organized in the country.
Photographer : AUNG, Hla
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : ICRC website article, 09.06.2016: "Myanmar students compete in country’s first moot court competition. Myanmar's first-ever moot court competition on international humanitarian law took place at Yangon University in May, pitting law students from five universities against each other in hours of arguments. Students from Yangon University won the first prize.

A moot court is a role-playing competition where students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of international humanitarian law before a simulated court. Mooters broaden their knowledge and their advocacy skills. In Yangon, they had to discuss the case of a fictitious head of State charged with multiple war crimes.

"We're not used to moot courts here in Myanmar. We'd been wanting to organize such a competition, but hadn't been able to do so until we received support," said Professor Khin Mar Yee, head of Yangon University's Law Department.

The competition ran from 18 to 20 May and brought together 18 law students from Yangon, Dagon, Yangon Eastern, Mandalay and Yadanabon Universities. "International humanitarian law is one of the subjects for our master's degree in law. But simply teaching theories and instruments doesn't interest students. They just learn them by heart to pass their exams, but they can't keep them at the forefront of their minds." said Professor Yee. "A moot court competition like this helps students understand the application of the law."

Htike Htike Wai was on the Mandalay University team. "I'm pursuing a postgraduate law degree at Mandalay University," she explained. "I've never participated in a moot court or mock trial before, and I didn't know much about international humanitarian law, so I realized that I have much to learn." The panel judging the students' performance included three officers from the Judge Advocate General's Office of the Myanmar army.

"These young students have limited knowledge of the subject and this is their first experience. But their arguments in the trial are satisfactory and they know more about IHL now than they did before," said Lt-Col Myo Win Aung, assistant judge advocate general.

"This is my first moot court competition, and I did a lot of preparation and reading for it," said Aye Thu Thu Thant from Yangon University, who won the prize for best mooter. "International humanitarian law plays an essential role during armed conflicts," she added. "It's important to know how to apply it."

"We're glad to help train a new generation of IHL lawyers and experts in Myanmar. We hope to repeat this competition next year and to send Myanmar law students to a regional contest," concluded Jean-Yves Clémenzo, the ICRC's communication coordinator in Myanmar."
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Resolution : 6016x4016
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour