8th INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAL LAW MOOT COURT COMPETITION 2011
The Road to Hong Kong; UiTM emerged Victorious
Lead Counsel : Prosecutor (Farhan)
Lead Counsel : Prosecutor (Farhan)
Co-Counsel : Prosecutor(Shazwina)
Lead Counsel : Defence(Hannah)
This year’s International Humanitarian Law Moot was held in Universiti of Malaya. The competition was held for 2 days and UiTM sent one team for both sides, Farhan Zafry bin Faiz and Shazwina Binti Ahmad Mazli for the prosecution, Ellena Binti Razif and Nor Hannah Binti Nasir for the defence.
The day of the competition began like any other competition would, with fear and trepidation, butterflies in everyone’s stomach. But it was the unnerving confidence of Dr. Irwin in us which kept us going. When we arrived at Universiti of Malaya, everyone got down to business right away. We went to the canteen and practiced our oral presentation right away. Breakfast came and went, and not long after that we were called to get ready for the preliminary rounds in our respective waiting rooms. The team had a pleasant surprise when the Jessup 2012 team paid them a surprise visit straight from the airport when they arrived from India that very morning, and it only served as a morale boost for the IHL mooters as their seniors and Miss Umi sacrificed their time to rest just to give moral support to them.
The first preliminary rounds went well for both sides with the UiTM team getting good reviews from the guest judges. One of the mooters was no longer a ‘virgin’ as the competition was the first time she mooted. The prosecution team went against Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin and the defence team went against Universiti Utara Malaysia. Constructive criticisms were a must and we took it as a motivation for us to do better in the second preliminary round. The second round also went well but the judges were more critical and pointed out our inefficiencies thus making us more determined to improve ourselves for the better. The prosecution team went against Universiti Utara Malaysia and the defence team went against Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin for the second preliminary round. When it finished, the team waited with bated breath for the results. Almost an hour was spent with everyone relieved that the preliminary rounds were over but tense to know the results and which four teams managed to continue to the semi-final rounds. The wait was soon over as everyone was called to the Tun Suffian Auditorium for the announcement of the results. The UiTM contingent all screamed with joy when both the prosecution and defence managed to advance to the semi-final round. The other two teams who managed to advance were Kolej Damansara Utama (KDU) for the prosecution and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) for the defence. We went back home for the day and our thoughts were circled around the obvious possibility that both UiTM’s prosecution and defence team were to go against each other in the semis. The next day held too many possibilities but Dr. Irwin advised us to get ample rest so that we would be refreshed for the next day.
The second day of the competition started with a pleasant surprise with both UiTM’s prosecution and defence team going up against each other in the first semi-final round. Both the teams were relaxed and actually had fun as they have practiced countless of times together before the competition and that round was just like practice to them.
Prosecutor ( MARA ) v Defence ( MARA )
But, winning the round never left their minds and both teams battled it out evenly. The senior mooters were also present for the round and the God and Goddess of mooting; Shairil Farhana Ruslan and Izzat Asyraf Zamri came to give the team moral support. The round was interesting as we had a very ‘colourful’ judge whom provided us with numerous anecdotes on life and the legal world. We were smiling from ear to ear after the impromptu short lecture. After the first round, the prosecution went against the defence team from USIM and the defence went against the prosecution form KDU. It was tense and the round was fierce. After both the semi-final rounds ended, the teams went to lunch and mingle with other participants while waiting for the results. Not long after that, all the participants were called to the Tum Suffian auditorium for the announcement of the result. It was truly a nail-biting moment as both teams could make it or break it. The announcement of which prosecution team which made it went first. Screams of joy erupted from the UiTM’s contingent when the prosecution team managed to advance to the finals.
Both Farhan and Shazwina were speechless and only managed to contain their tears of happiness. The happiness was cut to a halt when the defence team did not manage to make it to the finals. The adage ‘nothing is fair in love and war’ could not have been more apt for the situation. The defence team put up a strong fight and were truly remarkable but it was sad that the judges did not think that way too. It was the defence team from USIM that managed to advance to the final round
The final round was held at the Tun Suffian auditorium and the judges were distinguished ones including Datuk Mary Chin, a High Court judge and a representative from the International Committee of the Red Cross and an international humanitarian law expert. It was truly a grand affair. The finals started around 4pm with an almost full auditorium of audiences.
After battling it out and giving it our all, the curtain was set. After the judges made their deliberation, everyone was called back into the auditorium for the announcement of the winner of this year’s 8th International Humanitarian Law Moot Court Competition. Before announcing the winning team, the best oralist was announced. It was won by Mohd Azim form USIM’s defence team. The moment of truth arrived and everyone was holding their breath. When the Dean of the Law Faculty of Universiti Malaya announced ‘and the winner of the 8th International Humanitarian Law Moot Court Competition is Team 103 from Universiti Teknologi MARA! Farhan and Shazwina were shell-shocked and could not wipe the smile off their faces. They went down to receive the trophy and the rest is history… UiTM Shah Alam will represent Malaysia in the 10th International Humanitarian Law Moot Competition in Hong Kong March next year. Bon Voyage!
*** The Faculty awarded all four mooters with the “Tun Zaki Foundation : Award of Excellence” at the Annual Law Dinner on the 9th of December 2011, in Shah Alam Convention Centre
prepared by: Shazwina,Farhan,Hannah,Ellena