The Kenyatta University Team during a simulation.(Right to left: Musimbi Martha, Etale Reagan and Cindy Amuka)
The prestigious Jean-Pictet International Humanitarian Law 2015 competition took place from the 28th March 2015 to4th April in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. The Competition involved 56 teams from all over the world and consisted of two simulations for French speakers and English speakers. This particular competition is particularly distinct from any other law competition based on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) owing to the method used to impact upon a student. It entails near real time simulations that require the student to dig dip into their knowledge of theory and actualize it by solving practical scenarios based on real time events.
Kenyatta University School of Law was represented by a team of three students:Etale Reagan Roy, Musimbi Martha Amadalo and Cindy AssuAmuka. The team had amply prepared for the competition and had even been trained by the mooting coordinator on role play and simulations. At the competition the team was called upon to act as military legal advisers to the Defence Ministry of a warring country, Legal advisers to the United Nations, Ministers representing the interests of countries in conflict, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegates on a mission to sensitize a guerilla warfare group on the correct means and methods of warfare as provided for by IHL and finally work with several other teams as a Protection Cluster Working Group conducting a simulated field mission in a war torn country.
This competition has enhanced our ability to quickly think on our feet, produce optimum work despite unsuitable working conditions such as intense pressure and finally to work well together as a team as well as with several other persons of extreme diverse backgrounds. Our knowledge of IHL has further been increased in the most stimulating of ways. Unsurprisingly, other branches of International Law (‘IL’) came into play such as Refugee Law, Law of International Organizations and International Criminal Law as IHL is often debated to be a confluence of several other branches of IL.
The juries/judges we appeared before were individuals of high qualifications from diverse backgrounds worldwide with whom we were afforded the opportunity to mingle with creating the most valuable of networks. Friendships forged with our peers there are equally valuable. In addition, every team was given a tutor who is supposed to monitor the team’s progress from day one by attending each of the sessions which they ought to give feedback on performance. We found this to be a highly accountable competition seeking to develop the individual participant in the midst of overwhelming knowledge needed to be evoked.
We are most grateful to Kenyatta University, the Law Faculty, our lecturer Ms. Nelly Kamunde-Aquino who efficiently helped in our preparation making it a success and the team that represented the school in the 2014 edition of the Jean Pictet Competition for their uncompromised and generous help giving us insight into the makeup of the entire Competition.
Il a ete un bon voyage, indeed it has been a good voyage!