Early February, student Julia de Weijer won the prize for best speaker in the Frits Kalshoven Competition on international humanitarian law, organised by the Dutch Red Cross and the Red Cross Flanders. 'It was a special experience to learn a lot from people who are active in the field of international humanitarian law on a daily basis'.
UvA students Alette Scheenstra, Julia de Weijer, Pyry Paaulisaari and Alan Feler participated in the online Frits Kalshoven Competition on International Humanitarian Law from 8 to 12 February. They did an excellent job', says accompanying lecturer Jeroen van den Boogaard. UvA student Julia de Weijer won the prize for best speaker. The final was between the universities of Leuven and Leiden, with the latter winning.
Ten universities from the Netherlands and Belgium took part in the competition, including the Netherlands Defence Academy and the VU University Amsterdam. The competition consisted of lectures on the International Committee of the Red Cross, the qualification of armed conflicts, targeting, urban warfare and mental health in armed conflicts. In addition, the students had to demonstrate their knowledge of the humanitarian law of war by, for example, acting in a role-play as a military lawyer, humanitarian aid worker and delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The competition ended with a moot court.
The Frits Kalshoven Competition took place online for the first time this year. This brought difficulties. 'Our team was not even in the same country,' says Julia de Weijer. 'But I am glad that we were able to participate in this way'. The team's coach, Alan Feler, is also a UvA student. He participated fully online from Argentina and, despite the time difference, also used his own network to prepare the UvA team as well as possible for the competition.
Besides coach Alan Feler, UvA professor Terry Gill and UvA lecturer Jeroen van den Boogaard also contributed to the preparation. 'We were well prepared with lectures by professionals from the field of International Humanitarian Law and various practice simulations, including one with a team from Buenos Aires', says Julia.