Moot Court Law of Armed Conflicts

logo Frits Kalshoven International Humanitarian Law CompetitionIntroduction

The ‘Moot Court: Law of Armed Conflicts’ is a course that prepares students for participation in the annual ‘Frits Kalshoven International Humanitarian Law Competition’ (FKC). To this end, selected students must complete a variety of exercises, including several moot court sessions, a targeting exercise (at the Royal Military School in Brussels (tbc)), a role-playing exercise (e.g., on negotiating humanitarian access to an active conflict-zone), attendance at an international conference, and a series of high-level lectures organized by the Belgian and Dutch Red Cross.


Named after one of the world’s most renowned experts in international humanitarian law, the ‘Frits Kalshoven International Humanitarian Law Competition’ is an English-spoken 3-day competition that aims to bring international humanitarian law to life. It is organized by the Netherlands Red Cross and Belgian Red Cross-Flanders in the first half of March, and brings together 10 three-person teams of Dutch and Belgian Universities. It is composed of many different elements, including roleplays and simulations. The core element is the moot court, which takes place at the end of the Competition. Through a fictional case, students are encouraged to rise to the top of their abilities and demonstrate their acquired expertise in IHL in front of an experienced jury of professionals.


Both through the preparatory work and participation in the FKC, students will dramatically improve their knowledge of international law and international humanitarian law in particular, as well as their presentation and pleading skills.


Contact details:;     



Apply / Questions

  1. Come to the introductory information session.
  2. Apply / send questions to the

Additional remarks


  • The admission fee for the five-day FKC is € 110 and covers, among other aspects, the accommodation costs during the competition. It is expected that participating students will bear this cost themselves.
  • For interested LLM students, it must be noted that this course can only be added to the curriculum pursuant to a positive decision by the Curriculum Commission. For more information, contact: Dr. Luca Ferro ( or Professor Tom Ruys (


Date (hours) Activity Location
29 September 2021 (14h30) Introductory session with supervisors Lokaal 7.1 Pleitlokaal (‘Pleading Room’)
30 September 2021 (17h00)

Deadline submission motivation letter and transcript of grades

1 October 2021 (09h – 12h) Online interviews Online
17 October 2021 FKC application deadline Online
9 – 11 March 2022 Official competition – Save the date! TBC




Ana Decoster

“I had the pleasure of joining the Ghent team in 2019. FKC means being submerged in international humanitarian law for a few highly intensive days and for which knowledge of the law, language skills and perseverance are key. At the same time, it is much more than that. You get to work closely together with your team members, fully grasp the variety of topics, and have a great time doing so. In addition, you can rely on Prof. Ruys and Dr. Ferro, who are there to support you with their tips, tricks and expertise. Given the institutional encouragement, you really feel motivated to defend the colours of your alma mater.”


Fatima El Kaddouri

“Taking part in the Frits Kalshoven Moot Court Competition was an invaluable and intense experience. What makes this competition different from other moot courts, is that it gives you a taste of the practice of the ICRC and international humanitarian law outside of court in the form of role plays and simulations. The most impressive simulation for me was when we entered a prisoners of war camp and had to negotiate with the guard in order to be able to inspect the camp. The moot court itself took place on the last day and constituted the highlight of the competition, where we were able to show all our acquired skills and knowledge. The thrill of pleading during the finals before a highly respected jury was an incomparable and extremely rewarding experience. I would recommend this to every student who has a keen interest in international humanitarian law and the workings of the ICRC.”


Arno Cuypers (student 2020-2021)


Participating for Ghent University in the 2021 Frits Kalshoven Competition (FKC) competition was one of the most challenging experiences in my student career, but also one of the most rewarding. Even though the competition was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the moot court course and competition were very enjoyable. The course itself offered our team intense training sessions with the support of Dr. Ferro and Prof. Ruys, in which we learned how to handle time sensitive situations. These sessions consisted of both pleading exercises and role-playing simulations which thoroughly prepared us for the actual FKC competition later that year. The competition itself proved to be a stressful but exciting week, during which I gained invaluable experience for my later career. In short, participating in a moot court competition proved to be very stimulating. I would recommend this course to anyone who has a passion for international humanitarian law, who enjoys teamwork and who is willing to challenge himself/herself by stepping outside of his/her comfort zone.


Ilijah Gibbs (student 2020-2021)


Participating in the Frits Kalshoven Competition representing UGent was one of the highlights of my Erasmus-exchange from the UK. I had not previously had much academic experience of International Humanitarian Law, however, the support from Prof. Ruys, Dr. Ferro and external guests and from the Netherlands Red Cross and the Belgian Red Cross-Flanders was impeccable and crucial to my development. I particularly enjoyed the Targeting role play exercise as part of the competition when we were presented with fictional scenarios, and we had to decide and justify to actual military Legal Advisers whether an attack could be carried out under IHL. The actual Moot Court was an intense but perfect ending to months of hard work and a perfect opportunity for our team to show the judges our ability both as a team and as individuals. The overall experience has motivated me to continue looking at pursuing a career as a Legal Officer in the Royal Air Force in the future.