Law Society team wins Corn Adomnáin 2024

Law Society team wins Corn Adomnáin 2024

Pictured (left–right): Niall O’Keeffe, head of international and migration at the Irish Red Cross, with Calem Martin, Conal O’Gahdra and Chloe McCabe.

A team from the Law Society of Ireland has won the 2024 Corn Adomnáin International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Competition organised by the Irish Red Cross.

The three-person team of Conal O’Gahdra, Chloe McCabe and Calem Martin triumphed over seven rival teams from six other institutions in the competition, which challenges participants on their knowledge of the rules of war.

Teams were told about a fictitious urban armed conflict and then asked to take on various roles in different scenarios and simulations, including acting as legal advisors to armed forces and as humanitarian workers.

Teams were required to advise on different areas of IHL, including protection of healthcare, protection of cultural property, detention and weapons regulation. Students competing were required to display a strong understanding of the fundamental principles of IHL as well as good negotiation and presentation skills.

Following assessments in the scenarios, the two top teams went on to compete at Dublin City University in a final moot court styled on the International Criminal Court. The case related to the destruction of a residential apartment building after the use of explosive weapons.

The judging panel was composed of Judge Patricia McNamara from the Dublin Metropolitan District Court, Military Judge Colonel Michael Campion from the Irish Defence Forces, and Dr James Gallan, associate professor at Dublin City University.

The Law Society team won the day, with a team from Trinity College Dublin coming as runners-up. A team from the University of Galway secured a prize in a mini-moot court focused on prisoners of war.

A spokesperson for the Irish Red Cross said: “This year marks the 75th anniversary of the universally ratified 1949 Geneva Conventions, as well as the 70th anniversary of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

“With over 100 armed conflicts occurring around the world today, awareness of these rules of war are as important as ever. Ensuring the next generation of lawyers and practitioners have a strong understanding of IHL is crucial to ensuring a culture of compliance with IHL in Ireland and around the world.”

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