The team travelled to Macedonia for the contest after being coached by a team of leading human rights researchers from our School of Law: Dr Daragh Murray, Dr Tara Van Ho, Vivian Ng and PhD candidate Claire Simmons.
“I was surprised at how intense the preparation was,” said Rumbi. “I was impressed by the amount of time and effort the coaching team put in – this showed a real commitment which really motivated me to try my best.”
Professor Noam Lubell, Professor of International Law of Armed Conflict in our School of Law said: “We are incredibly proud of our students this year, and are grateful also to the colleagues who made up the excellent coaching team. We regularly reach the semi-finals and finals and having last won the title 25 years ago, we are delighted to have regained the crown.”
Dr Van Ho added: “It's the eighth time in the last ten years we've reached the semi-finals and our third time in the finals. Only one other university in the English-speaking world matches that record.”
Rumbi, Rasha and Natasha are all studying for their LLM in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and their previous experiences gave the Essex team a uniquely global view. Rumbi is Zimbabwean and worked as a refugee lawyer in Zimbabwe before coming to Essex. Rasha is Iraqi-Irish, spending half her life in Iraq and half in Ireland, and working on Yemen. Natasha is from New Zealand and worked in Iraq for three years.
“People commented on how diverse our team was,” said Rasha. “That’s what is so beautiful about Essex. We bring such a diverse range of students from across the world who can share their experiences.”
Alumni from our humanitarian law courses have gone on to work with the International Committee of the Red Cross, human rights NGOs, governments, and the UN. In October 2018, we're launching a specialist LLM in International Humanitarian Law.
“Armed conflict situations are possibly the most difficult circumstances in which the capacity of the law is stretched to its limits,” said Professor Lubell. “We take pride not only in teaching our students what the law says, but also how it operates in practice.”