Three law students at Nkumba University are in France for a weeklong International Humanitarian Law Moot Competition.
The event is currently going on at the high-market holiday resort of Evian-Les-Bains on France's boarder with Switzerland.
The three students are Athanasius Aronyu, Samuel Muhumuza-both in their third year and their fourth-year counterpart Martha Tendo Naggayi.
They are participating in the prestigious 126 year prestigious competition named after legendary Swiss lawyer and writer Jean Pitche. The event end on March 26.
How the competition runs
Athanasius Aronyu explained how he and his colleagues landed at the prestigious competition: "At the School of Law we have moot coordinators who help us participate in competitions. The Jean Pitche competition was identified for us by our lecturer of cyber-law, Dianah Ajuna Byaruhanga, who shared an internet link to the competition with us and formed us into working teams of three. As applicants, we were required to have sufficient knowledge in International Humanitarian Law. We were also required to be below 30 years."
Aronyu further explained that after filling the participation application forms, they were asked to write three essays on three topics in International Humanitarian Law, something that subjected them to intensive research-work.
He said that the application was open to all Universities, but students of a respective University have to apply as a team, not as individuals.
"Only one team is selected from each country. Our team was the best in Uganda and that is how our University came to represent Uganda."
Ajuna Byaruhanga Dianah, The coordinator of the International Humanitarian Law Moot Competition at Nkumba spoke well of her students achievement:
"I identified Samuel, Athanasius and Martha for the Jean Pitche competition on account of their academic ability, oral skills and knowledge in International Humanitarian Law. I am happy they have not disappointed me. Their victory is an achievement for Nkumba University and for the University's Law school in particular because this is the first time for our law students to participate in an international competition."
She said that the students' involvement in the competition will also be good for them. "It will give them exposure and also broaden their knowledge and experience, which they will subsequently share with their colleagues when they return. I am also sure that the participation of our students in the Jean Pitche competition will boost our mooting culture and elevate it to international standards."
Christopher Kasasa, the Dean of Students at Nkumba University was all smiles as he gave the three students their tickets. "I am lost for words. Nkumba University is not the oldest University in Uganda. Inspite of that, we performed better than all the other Universities. This is a great achievement for the entire University community."
What the students say about their victory
Martha Tendo Naggayi
This is a great opportunity for me. I have participated in many moot competitions, but this is my first time to be in an international one, which is why I am excited. I am anxious to meet students and academicians from the international legal fraternity, with whom I will make friendship and also share academic knowledge.
Participating in this competition will expose me to international students, academicians and gurus of Law. We thank our coordinator, Miss Ajuna Byaruhanga Dianah, who identified us for this competition and subsequently gave us due assistance and guidance that enabled us to be selected.
I am so delighted. This is my first time to participate in an international competition. To compete with students from all over the world is a one-time achievement. This is an opportunity for me to network with other law students. We thank the University for being so supportive to us.
The University gave us the registration fees for the competition, which totaled to about sh4.2m. The University also bought each of us a return ticket at about sh2.73rn.