Auckland team triumph in national Red Cross Moot

12 December 2017
Red Cross Moot winning team
The winning team. Back left: Coaches Gretta Schumacher and Hannah Reid. Front left: mooter Nathan Whittle, researcher Adam Hyams and mooter Danyon Chong..

A team from the Auckland Law School has won the 2017 New Zealand Red Cross Moot, held in Wellington in early December.  

The national competition decides which university will represent New Zealand at the 16th Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot in Hong Kong next year.

The winning team consisting of mooters Nathan Whittle and Danyon Chong assisted by researcher Adam Hyams, coached by Hannah Reid and Gretta Schumacher. They were advised by Associate Professor Treasa Dunworth, who provided invaluable guidance and expertise.

The competition, which consists of both written and oral submissions, included teams from Auckland, Canterbury, Otago, Victoria and Waikato universities.


Comprising preliminary rounds and a final round, the moot seeks to raise awareness of international humanitarian issues among law students. It provides an opportunity for participants to make their case and apply the law in a practical setting of the International Criminal Court. While the moot problems are fictitious, they deal with real issues.


This year’s moot problem concerned the classification of conflicts, the distinction between lawful targets and civilians, the war crime of rape and sexual assault, command responsibility and forced displacement.


The team competed against Victoria University in the final round, judged by Colonel Lisa Ferris (Director Defence of Legal Services for the New Zealand Defence Force), alongside Judge William Hastings and HE Swiss Ambassador David Vogelsanger. 

The event in Wellington also included a seminar titled "Current Challenges in International Humanitarian Law: A Seminar in Memory of Henri Duant", organised by the Red Cross, the New Zealand Centre for Public Law, the New Zealand Association for Comparative Law and the International Law Association.Sir Kenneth Keith ONZ KBE QC, the first New Zealander to be appointed as a judge on the International Court of Justice, gave the keynote address. Coaches Hannah Reid and Gretta Schumacher took part in the seminar by speaking on the “Emerging Voices in IHL” panel.

The Auckland Law School’s team worked incredibly hard over many weeks to not only master their arguments, but also familiarise themselves with a challenging area of law. They will now begin preparing for the international competition in Hong Kong which will see them compete against dozens of international teams.

The team would like to thank Associate Professor Dunworth for her generous support, as well as the Auckland Law School.