ICU Students win Best Speaker Prize at International Humanitarian Law Role Play Competition

Update: October 1, 2019

(From left to right) Jun  Oikawa ,  Kota Okumura, Yuki Ito(From left to right) Jun Oikawa , Kota Okumura, Yuki Ito

Kota Okumura (first-year student), Yuki Ito(first-year student), and Jun Oikawa (fourth-year student) won the Best Speaker Prize at International Humanitarian Law Role Play Competition held at The University of Tokyo, Komaba Campus on September 8th, 2019.

The Competition tests participants' knowledge of international humanitarian law and public international law, as well as their ability to present, argue and defend legal positions with a diverse range of stakeholders in different simulated environments. The ICU team is now eligible to participate in the Regional IHL Role Play Competition 2019 to be held in Malaysia in October.

Comment by Jun Oikawa:

I am surprised and very happy that we were able to receive the "best speaker award." The competition had the objective of "taking the law out of the books," and it was an excellent opportunity to catch a glimpse of how international humanitarian law may be utilized by various actors during armed conflicts. I am deeply grateful to Prof. Hiromichi Matsuda and Fujioka-san (fourth-year student) for their support in preparing for the competition.

Comment by Kota Okumura:

Before applying this competition, I knew very little about IHL. I very much enjoyed the competition, and I got interested in the critical role of the ICRC. I will definitely attend if there are similar opportunities in the future.

Comment by Yuki Ito:

Through the process of the preparation for this competition, I had the chance to roleplay an officer at the International Committee of the Red Cross who had the mission to negotiate with a leader of a village, whose members were reported as committing inhumane actions. Even though I was fully aware of not being ethnocentric and the word choice, the leader was never convinced against the question of "Why the concept of humanitarianism that we imposed on them was right" and "Why the leader had to serve the International Humanitarian Law?". The biggest takeaway of joining this competition was the posed questions by the village leader, and I would always want to take it into account when studying law, ethics, and other fields.

Comments by Assistant Professor Hiromichi Matsuda:

International Humanitarian Law Role Playing Competition is a precious active learning opportunity for students to learn both theory and practice. ICU team already won the best speaker prize at an international round in France ( I am happy about new students' achievement in this competition, which was held for the first time in Japan. I would like to continue pursuing "legal education in liberal arts" by supporting students' active learning.

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