University of Juba wins inter-varsity court competition

University of Juba wins inter-varsity court competition
The University of Juba main gate (photo credit: courtesy)

The University of Juba emerged as the winner of the Inter-University Moot Court Competition on International Humanitarian Law held at the High Court in Juba yesterday.

The competition, organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross in South Sudan, featured two of South Sudan’s leading law offering universities: the University of Juba and Stafford University.

The judges who attended the competition included the President of the High Court of Juba, Judge Duoth Kulang, Judge of the High Court of Gender and Juvenile, Joshua Lado and the Legal Advisor for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Marco Chol.

The winner of law students will represent South Sudan in the same competition in Naivasha, Kenya, where all English-speaking countries will battle it out in the next two weeks. 

Speaking after the competition, Judiciary Representative Justice James Alala said the competition was part of the requirement for Law students to compete internationally with their colleagues.

“The University of Juba is a national university and this will give a chance to our law students to go and represent South Sudan internationally. ICRC should continue to play its effective role in South Sudan to promote international humanitarian law,” Justice Alala.

He said moot court competition prepared students of law with the skills and enough knowledge on how to communicate and argue according to the principles of the legal matter.

For the future

“Moot court helps you on how to dissolve the disputes because tomorrow you will become a lawyer and it is very important for you students to know more about the court, ”he said.  

“In the moot court, there is no argument to treat the evidence. 

“Both prosecutors and defendants do not need to argue compared to the mock trial court where you will bring the witnesses and the evidence,” he added

International Committee of the Red Cross Legal Advisor, Marco Chol said law students should first acquire the training on how to present and speak in the court, saying the ICRC has been trying to link international humanitarian law with the law schools in that particular country. 

He said it was very important for the country to pass a law that protects humanity.

“We are not doing this only in South Sudan but in most English-speaking countries in Africa,” he said.

Head of Delegation of the ICRC, Pierre Dorbes said they organised the competition will promote knowledge of the international humanitarian law among the students in Africa.

“Protection of people, civilians and prisoners of war require international humanitarian law minimum human dignity should be respected,” he said.  

The students from the University of Juba who participated in the Inter-university competition include Akot Makur Chuot, Akot Akiir Digiir and Gom Maker Alam. 

“We have learned a lot in this competition, such an event helps to reinforce the significance of international humanitarian law and we hope that we are going to compete with our colleagues in East Africa,” said Akot Makur Chuot. 

In February 2021, the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan lauded the cabinet endorsement for an establishment of a hybrid court. But the body challenged the government to ensure that the victims of war and human rights violations get justice in the reconciliation process.

The commission said the South Sudanese government needed to oversee smooth and quick implementation of the 2018 peace agreement for credibility.

Commission Chair Yasmin Sooka said if the Government of South Sudan is to retain any credibility whatsoever, the political rhetoric must translate into tangible and genuine results.