Maastricht University winner of the 8th edition of the Frits Kalshoven International Humanitarian Law Competition
On Friday 27 February 2015, Maastricht University won the 8th edition of the Frits Kalshoven Competition.
From 23-27 February 2015, the Netherlands Red Cross and the Belgian Red Cross-Flanders organized the 8th edition of the Frits Kalshoven Competition. Over the course of these five days, 24 participants from 7 different universities and the Belgian Royal Military Academy were submerged in the theory and practice of the laws applicable in armed conflict. Their knowledge was enhanced, practiced and tested through role-plays, lectures, quizzes, and an international humanitarian law moot court.
Warfare in densely populated areas
This year's theme was 'Warfare in densely populated areas'. Speakers from i.a. the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Belgian Ministry of Defence, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Criminal Court and NGO PAX shared their experiences on this theme with the participating students. The speakers shed their light on different facets of the topic and discussed the compliance of parties to the conflict with international humanitarian law. Recent conflicts in e.g. Gaza, Syria and Eastern Ukraine were discussed. In their talks it was made clear that in densely populated areas, the duty to distinguish between civilians and combatants is under great pressure.
On Friday the 26th of February, all knowledge gathered over the previous days added up in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in The Hague. In the morning, the first round of the moot court competition was held. Based on a fictional case, all participating teams presented their sturdiest international humanitarian law arguments to establish their persuasive pleas. The jury appointed Maastricht University and Catholic University Leuven as the two strongest teams of the first round – they competed against each other in the final round that afternoon.
The honourable jury of the afternoon included Judge Alphons Orie (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia), Mariya Nikolova (ICRC), Commodore Peter Hebly (Dutch Ministry of Defence) and Mr. Pieter de Jong Schouwenburg (Van Doorne Law Office). After passionate pleas from both teams, followed by intense consultation of the honourable jury, Maastricht University was crowned the Winner of the Moot Court Competition. The price for Best Individual Speaker was awarded to Libor Lochman, and the price for the Best Role Play was given to Tilburg University. The winners were all personally graduated by Professor Em. Frits Kalshoven, who we were honoured to have present again at this 8th edition of the Competition