APU and Ritsumeikan University College of International Relations Seminars Join to Hold Moot Court


Mar 20, 2023

On Sunday, January 8th and Monday, January 9th, 2023, the College of Asia Pacific Studies’ Assistant Professor Dr. Miharu Hirano and Ritsumeikan University College of International Relation’s Associate Professor Dr. Megumi Ochi conducted a moot court competition for both of their seminars. A total of 12 APU students and 9 Ritsumeikan University students from various class years and countries participated in the exclusive experience at the Ritsumeikan University’s cultural heritage, MATSUMOTO Memorial Hall Jury Courtroom. This historic courtroom, relocated from the Kyoto Court, was used for 15 years starting from 1928. Students were given a fictional case set in the International Criminal Court to work on their legal research and oral presentation skills as prosecutor and defendant teams.

On the 8th, an international seminar on the topic of Victim-centered International Law hosted by Professor Ochi (RU), where herself as well as Professor Hirano (APU) and Dr. Hiroko Kawaguchi from Osaka University gave presentations. The seminar gave students from both universities new insights on the victim perspective in various cases under international law. After the seminar, RU students organized a nice food party and a challenging, yet fun, ice break session.

On the 9th, the moot court was held in 3 rounds. At the time of the competition, students presented as if they were lawyers to the mock judges, using all of their knowledge and understanding of the legal subject as well as their oral communication ability to engage in the case debate. Students participated with ambition and felt accomplished at the end of the competition.

One seminar participant stated,“I think moot courts can give us some insight into how international law works in reality, allow us to see beyond the treaties and theoretical studies of international law, and allow us to practice how to combine abstract legal texts with real-world examples. I think that although the moot court is a simulation of a real-life situation, it is a very comprehensive activity. It is very helpful for us to grasp the specific legal provisions of international law, as well as for our research, writing, and presentation skills. For those who want to pursue a career in international law in the future, the moot court is an extremely helpful activity.”

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