NYU Law’s team in the 2010 Jean-Pictet Competition on International Humanitarian Law made its way to the final round for the first time since 2000. The competition took place in Orford, Quebec, Canada, and finished on March 27. The NYU Law team of Colin Gillespie '11, Graham Dumas '11, and J. Benton Heath '11 were among only three teams to make it through to the final round. Eighty-seven teams from 47 countries had applied to compete, out of which 45 participated. The teams are divided into two English-language sections and one French-language section, with one team from each section being selected to compete in the final round. The winner this year was the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya of Israel.

The Jean-Pictet Competition is one of the most challenging and prestigious of the various moot court competitions in the field of international law. Its focus is on International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and the event is hosted each year by an independent organization and sponsored by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross, the Canadian and Swiss foreign ministries, and others. The challenge is to “take law out of the books” by using simulations and role plays to allow the jury to evaluate both the theoretical knowledge and practical understanding of IHL. The situations revolve around a fictitious, but nonetheless realistic scenario of armed conflict.

Philip Alston, one of the directors of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, which, together with the Hauser Global Law School Program, supported the team, remarked that “this is a terrific performance by a really dedicated group of students. The Pictet Competition is one of the very best of the moot competitions and for Colin, Graham, and Ben to have excelled in it is a great achievement.”

Posted on April 1, 2010.