Singapore Management University wins 2024 IBA ICC Moot Court Competition

Monday 10 June 2024

The Singapore Management University team has won the 2024 International Bar Association (IBA) International Criminal Court (ICC) Moot Court Competition, the final round of which was held in ICC Courtroom II in The Hague, The Netherlands. Members of the winning team are John Hoy, Lovein Sui Leying, Tai Yin Kwok, Shu Yi Ling and Sydney Antoinette Siaw Xueying. The coaches were Rauf Hannan Azizi and Andres Chia Cheng Yi. ICC Judge Althea Violet Alexis-Windsor presided over the panel of judges assessing the final round, composed also of ICC Legal Officers Rogiers Bartels and Farhaan Ahmed.

On receiving the first-place award, the Singapore Management University team stated: ‘We had a wonderful experience in The Hague, and immensely enjoyed the rigour and diversity of the competition teams. We bring home with us valuable lessons and unforgettable memories.

'We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our esteemed judges for their expert feedback, the organisers for making all of this possible, our new friends at the competition for cheering us on, and, last but not least, our coaches and supporters back home, for their unwavering support and guidance.'

Dr Mark Ellis, Chief Executive Officer of the IBA said: ‘Many congratulations to Singapore Management University on winning the 11th 2024 IBA ICC Moot Court Competition. I know for certain that international law is in safe hands with the prowess shown by this next generation of international law professionals. I congratulate all the individuals who participated in the Competition for their dedication to excel. The experience of the final round taking place in the ICC courtroom is an unmatched experience. I am grateful to the ICC judges, staff, IBA members and others who generously volunteered their time to guide and share legal expertise with the students. Without such collaboration this competition would not be possible.’

Strathmore University, Law School from Kenya came in second place and the University of the Philippines College of Law in third place.

During the course of the Moot Court Competition, held from 31 May – 7 June, more than 500 students in 93 teams representing universities from 47 countries participated in this year's IBA ICC Moot Court Competition.

The competition consisted of a series of written and oral rounds of arguments as the teams were presented with a fictitious case: The Prosecutor v Lionel Strong – Situation in The Republic of Sirax. The students explored the question of whether the destruction of cultural heritage constitutes a prosecutable war crime or a crime against humanity. The teams submitted written memorials that were then assessed by international law practitioners who volunteered as judges or evaluators. There were 300 volunteers. Many were IBA members.

Teams were assessed on their pleading structure, knowledge and use of principles of law and rules of procedure, persuasiveness and rebuttals.

Additional awards were given in recognition of special accomplishments of students, including for the best memorial, the best oralist of the preliminary rounds, the best non-native English-speaking team, and the best newcomer team.

During the award ceremony, IBA Operations Director Joe Bell and Dr Carsten Stahn, Professor of International Criminal Law and Global Justice at Leiden University Chair of the IBA ICC Moot Court Competition Organising Committee, delivered remarks.

Highlights of this year’s competition included the opening address on 31 May by ICC’s President Judge Tomoko Akane, who spoke of the challenging times facing the Court and the need for States Parties, civil society and other stakeholders to work together in support of its mandate of justice. On 2 June, Moot Court judges took part in a commemorative event organised for the former Nuremberg Prosecutor Ben Ferencz and former ICJ Judge Thomas Buergenthal.

On 3 June, a panel organised by the IBA reflected on the evolution of international criminal law and the emergence of new international crimes. IBA ICC & ICL Programme Director Kate Orlovsky moderated the event and IBA Executive Director Mark Ellis delivered remarks as part of the discussion. This event also featured remarks from Lindsay Freeman, Director of the Technology, Law & Policy Program at the Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley School of Law; Kate Mackintosh, Executive Director, UCLA Promise Institute for Human Rights; Jennifer Trahan, Clinical Professor at NYU Center for Global Affairs; and Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum, Professor of Law, Benjamin N Cardozo School of Law. Professor Michael P Scharf, Dean of Case Western Reserve University School of Law and Chair of the IBA ICC Moot Court Competition, delivered closing remarks about the high calibre of students who joined this year’s competition.

Ms Kate Orlovsky commented: ‘The IBA ICC Moot Court Competition offers to participating students not only the opportunity to improve their knowledge of international criminal law and procedures, but also the unique chance to expand their networks by meeting key experts and practitioners in the field and engaging in discussions on relevant ICL issues.’

Professor Stahn said: ‘We have witnessed a fantastic eleventh Moot Court competition! It has been such a privilege to welcome so many excellent teams, coaches and judges here with us in The Hague.

One of the greatest rewards of this week is that not only did we see creative pleads? and inspiring team performances, but also participants were building a network of common bonds and a community of practice beyond their experience at the ICC. Let me emphasise the point that this is more important than ever, and at a time where international justice is subject to greater challenges around the world. Our Moot Court competition is a regular reminder that we must stand up for the role of international law and international judicial institutions in times where criminal acts against humanity are conducted on a daily basis.


Notes to the Editor

  1. At the beginning of 2021, the IBA and Grotius Centre of Leiden University signed a new memorandum of understanding, which positioned the IBA as the primary supporting partner of the event and renamed it the IBA ICC Moot Court Competition.
  2. The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.

  3. The IBA commenced the International Criminal Court and International Criminal Law (ICC & ICL) Programme in 2005. Since its establishment, the IBA ICC & ICL Programme has contributed to the development of international criminal justice through monitoring and analysing issues related to fairness and equality of arms at the ICC, and through conducting outreach to deepen the understanding of the place of the ICC within the broader landscape of international justice and in particular contexts. The Programme works to increase cooperation with and support for the ICC and other accountability efforts, with the goal of strengthening the Rome Statute system globally and achieving fair, effective, and accessible justice for victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and aggression.

    The Programme also acts as the interface between the Courts and the global legal community. As such, special focus is placed on monitoring emerging issues of particular relevance to lawyers and collaborating with key partners on specific activities to increase engagement of the legal community on ICC and ICL issues.

    Based in The Hague, the IBA ICC & ICL Programme consults and engages with court officials, state representatives, civil society organisations, academics, and international lawyers.

For further information, please contact:

Kate Orlovsky
Director, Hague Office
International Bar Association

Nassaulaan 19
2514 JT The Hague
The Netherlands

Mobile: +31 (0) 70 737 0686

Email: kate.orlovsky@int-bar.org
Website: www.ibanet.org

Romana St. Matthew - Daniel
Press Office
International Bar Association

5 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1LG
United Kingdom

Mobile: +31 (0) 70 737 0686
Direct Line: +44 (0)20 7842 0094
Main Office: +44 (0)20 7842 0090
Fax: +44 (0)20 7842 0091

Email: romana.daniel@int-bar.org
Email: IBApressoffice@int-bar.org
Website: www.ibanet.org

Website page link for this news release:

Short link: www.tinyurl.com/mw7f2tu9
Full link: www.ibanet.org/Singapore-Management-University-wins-2024-IBA-ICC-Moot-Court-Competition