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     Volume 6 | Issue 38 | September 23, 2012 |


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After Class

Law Students Battle it Out!

Promiti Prova Chowdhury

The real purpose of education is served when it comes out of the shell of text books and theories, and converges with the practical field. The National Henry Dunant Memorial Moot Court Competition is such an initiative providing Law students with the platform to practice, apply the theories learnt in classrooms and, most importantly, learn. This year, the 8th National Henry Dunant Memorial Moot Court Competition was organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in association with the Faculty of Law, University of Dhaka (DU). It took place at the Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban of DU from September 13-15, 2012.

The winning team with the guests. Courtesy

"Moot court competition is an extracurricular activity in which students take part in simulating court proceedings. Students are presented a fictitious case and are required to submit written briefs and participate in oral arguments before a panel of professors or legal practitioners who serve as judges. Then, they are expected to present legal arguments based on the facts of the case. Their skill lies in identifying the points and articulating their arguments in support of their positions," explains Mabrook Mohammad, Vice President of Dhaka University Moot Court Society.

The team from University of Dhaka (DU) stood out as the winner of the 8th Henry Dunant Memorial Moot Court Competition. In the final round, they battled South-East University. Dr Shahid Akhtar Hossain, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Admin), DU, handed over the trophies to the Champion and the Runners-up team. Southeast University bagged the Best Memorial award.

Shyikh Mahedi from team DU was adjudicated as the Best Mooter for his outstanding presentation and rebuttal. Mahedi, a student in his third year at the Faculty of Law, DU, said, "Our team had taken only two weeks to prepare for the competition. It was a dream come true! Last year, we were very close to winning the title. Now that we have made it, we have to start preparing for the Regional Round."

The judges for the final round were former Election Commissioner Justice Abdur Rouf, Justice Syed Md Dastgir and Barrister Md Belayet Hossain. A total of 18 teams from different public and private universities participated in this competition which was on International Humanitarian Law (IHL), focusing on genocide and wilful killing (crimes against humanity). Since its inception in 2001, the Henry Dunant Memorial Moot Court Competition- the largest in South Asia- has sought to raise awareness and foster interest in IHL within the South Asian academic community. Barrister Belayet Hossain said, "As future leaders and legal practitioners, law students must sharpen their advocacy and research skills. This event not only provides a platform to explore these opportunities, but also gives these budding lawyers a taste of what it is like to be practicing in an international court."

Presided over by Professor Dr Shahnaz Huda, Chairman of the Department of Law, DU, the closing ceremony was addressed by Professor Dr Taslima Monsoor, Dean, Department of Law, DU, and Frederic Dufour, Acting Head of Delegation, ICRC.

The winning team is now qualified for the regional round of the competition, which is to be held in October 12-13, 2012, in Bangladesh. There, the team will compete with students from Afghanistan, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The regional winner will take part in the Asia-Pacific Round in Hong Kong in early 2013.

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