Law of Innocents
Named after Cáin Adomnáin or the 'Law of Innocents', an early international humanitarian law treaty signed in Birr, Co Offaly, in AD 697, the competition gives students an opportunity to engage with IHL on a practical level, applying their knowledge to ‘real-life’ situations.
Participants are coached and take part in role plays, simulations and moot courts. These are evaluated by a highly experienced jury from the field of IHL.
In the five years of the competition’s existence, the Law Society is the only institution to have won this all-Ireland competition twice.
Last year’s winners from Queen’s University Belfast, together with representatives from universities around Ireland, put up strong competition to the two Law Society teams, which comprised Jaymee Cronolly, Claudine O’Driscoll and Aoife O’Neill; and Grainne Hussey and Aneta Szczurek on the other.
The Law Society team of post-PPC1 trainee solicitors, Grainne Hussey (Evershed Sutherland Solicitors) and Aneta Szczurek (Kennedy Solicitors) won the day in the end, impressing the judges with their quick thinking and keen advocacy skills at Tuesday’s competition.
This win by the Law Society is particularly timely in this, the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions.
The Geneva Conventions of 1949 were ratified in the immediate aftermath of World War II, setting the foundation of IHL.
They are ratified by every country in the world. Thec conventions set the boundaries for all armed conflict, whether international or non-international and in contrast to other aspects of international law, they are binding on all parties, including non-state actors.
The International Red Cross is largely responsible for the existence of these laws. The organisation was founded on principles outlined by Swiss activist Henri Dunant, founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and winner of the first ever Nobel Peace Prize.
Dunant’s principles informed the agreement of the Geneva Conventions which requires signatories to recognise the Red Cross as an impartial agent of humanitarian support to all sides in times of conflict.
This year also marks the 80th year anniversary for the Irish Red Cross.
In celebration and acknowledgement of this fact, and the Law Society being the current holder of the Irish Red Cross International Humanitarian Cup, the Law Society will play host to a selection of events this year to promote respect and understanding for IHL both among the public and practitioners.