IHL Competition: Moot Court 2021

Find out about the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Moot Court Competition and how to get involved as a law school student.

Moot Court Competition 2021

New Zealand Red Cross will hold the tenth New Zealand International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Moot Court Competition in Wellington on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 November 2021. The competition is open to teams from each of the six New Zealand law schools. Take a look at the 2020 winning team who later attended the Asia-Pacific regional IHL Moot competition in March 2021 and won!

The IHL Moot Court Competition seeks to raise awareness of the laws of war. It also provides an opportunity for law students to make their case and apply the law in a practical setting of a war crimes tribunal. The moot problems are fictional, but deal with real issues.

The teams are organised by the law schools. If you are a student in a New Zealand law school and wish to find out more, contact your Dean in the first instance, or rebecca.dudley@redcross.org.nz.

Take a look at the 2021 Moot Problem and the 2021 Moot Rules.

How the Moot Competition works

The IHL Moot is open to teams from all the law schools in New Zealand. New Zealand Red Cross does not select participants; teams are selected through the mooting society active in each law school and/or at the discretion of the Dean of the law school or academic faculty who is working with student mooters. There may be internal competitions or other methods of selection at each school before teams register.

After registration, New Zealand Red Cross sets up travel and accommodation arrangements for participants to arrive Friday morning and depart Sunday morning. To achieve the most economic cost to New Zealand Red Cross, this usually involves travelling very early Friday morning and accommodation for two nights. Further arrangements can be negotiated at the participant’s expense for any difference in cost.

On Saturday morning the Moot preliminaries get underway, judged by IHL experts from wide-ranging professional backgrounds. At lunchtime, the finalists are announced. The final is held on Saturday afternoon in the Old High Court and judged by a panel of distinguished senior judges.

Following the final and the awarding of the trophy, all the participants attend a reception on the Saturday evening. There, a further award is made to the best speaker in the competition. The reception is the formal end of proceedings.


If you are new to IHL, start with this webinar by Sir Kenneth Keith.

Here is a discussion about how we can uphold the law and increase respect for it:

  • Improving Compliance with International Humanitarian Law

There are lots of great resources on our "What is IHL?" page, too.

Australian Red Cross have prepared a guide for students preparing for the IHL Moot in their country and much of the material is also very relevant in New Zealand. They have given us permission to share it here for your preparation work.

There's also an introductory e-learning course Introduction to International Humanitarian Law on the Kaya Connect platform, a learning partner of ICRC.

For more detailed resources, there are lots of links and references mentioned in these documents:

ICRC IHL Resources (PDF)
ICRC Digital IHL Tools (PDF)