• Hiroshige FUJII

ICRC Moot Court Competition in 2020 for me

B3 Ayaka Sakakibara


I participated in International Humanitarian Law Moot Court Competition National Round 2020 in Japan held by the Red Cross's International Committee (ICRC) on 28th November 2020. It was the first time for me, and I tackled the preparation relying on the other two senior members.

I was very motivated because I have always wanted to participate in the competition since I saw the previous one. Although I expected how the preparation would be hard from how the last members tired, the reality was more challenging. As a prosecutor, we had to suggest evidence from the factsheet to prove the suspect’s crime in the trial. It was not so challenging to find provisions from international laws to apply the facts. Heavy jobs were to interpret how the provisions applied in precedent cases and to imagine various counterarguments. As for the former one, judgments were long and complicated. It was hard to find the core of the decision and which interpretation was used in the case, and I consulted other members again and again. In terms of the latter one, we began to cling to one idea as we strengthened a logic. So, we asked friends out of members to check our argument. Despite the effort, we found faults in our argument in the performance. Besides, to protest my intuition was also difficult for me. The contents of the factsheet were not apparent to prove both guilt and innocence. It confused me, and I discarded some choices which can support us. I was mortified when some opponents good made use of provisions or interpretations, which I ignored.

Regarding the preparation, there are good points like time management or improved our capabilities to understand documents related to international humanitarian law, although I remember issues to be improved more than that. At this time, more people than last year helped us, but I thought that we could not make the most of their assistance.

Therefore, I want to challenge the next moot court competition overcoming our shortcomings this year. It will be more challenging because no member leads me, and I have to lead other members. Besides, it is not long since we began to participate in the competition, so I hope that each year's efforts are built up and make a fruit some time.