Truth born through debate
7th International Youth for Peace Law Competition hosted by Belarusian Ratomka
By Yekaterina Medvedskaya
The forum is unrivalled within the CIS and Eastern Europe, gaining in popularity every year. Initiated by the Minsk International Institute of Labour and Social Relations, it began with a few teams from neighbouring states but now gathers students from 15 countries — including those from Nepal, Cuba, Poland, China and, even, Kenya.
Tomorrow’s diplomats, lawyers, judges, attorneys, ministers and presidents debated how best to promote world peace. The final of the Olympiad is traditionally organised in non-standard form, with role-playing games in which young people pretend to be employees of law companies protecting the interests of various sides of a debate, playing experienced lawyers and, even, presidential advisers. Their decisions influence the fate of nations, as they settle military conflicts, end economic and information blockades and counteract terrorist threats. Undoubtedly, the challenges of promoting peace became evident.
The jury, comprising highly professional experts in international law from New Zealand, Argentina, Norway, Armenia, Belgium and Belarus, had a difficult decision in choosing the winners. “There were no weak teams,” asserted Vladimir Vardanyan, who heads the International Treaty Department and is a lawyer with the Legal Advisory Service of the Constitutional Court of Armenia.
The Netherlands won the event this year (the University of Leiden and the University of Amsterdam) beating the Russian team by a small margin. Meanwhile, Alexandra Ivlieva, a student at the Moscow State University, was recognised as the best speaker, alongside Vasily Pavlov, from Minsk’s MITSO, and Reika Khollosh, on the winning team. All entrants were presented with books.
Open lectures were also held on international law, prepared by foreign and Belarusian experts. The Youth for Peace Law Competition was held exclusively in English for the second year, to ensure that all those attending were able to understand.
The event is ranked among the top three European international law contests. According to the First Pro-rector of MITSO International University, Prof. Andrey Kozik, who organises the contest, every participant had the chance to chat with experienced lawyers and to make friends with their peers from other countries, while acquiring new knowledge in practice.