Published On: March 20, 2018 10:15 AM NPT By: Sonam Lama

International law in Nepal is as important as domestic law: Prof Husain

International law in Nepal is as important as domestic law:  Prof Husain

The three-day US-Nepal International Moot Court Competition concluded on Sunday, announcing winners in different categories. Six teams representing six different law colleges took part in the 

Five law colleges from Kathmandu Valley- Nepal Law Campus, National Law College, Kathmandu School of Law, Kathmandu University School of Law and Chakrabarti, Habi Education Academy College of Law and Howard University School of Law from the US participated in the competition. 
Nepal Law Campus was announced the winner of the competition with the team bagging the Best Team Award and Second Best Memorial Award. Likewise, the Second Best Team Award was presented to Howard University School of Law. Crystal Nwaogu from Howard University School of Law was announced the Best Oralist while Ojaswee Bhattarai from Nepal Law Campus the Second Best Oralist. Similarly, Kathmandu School of Law won the Best Memorial Award.

The US-Nepal International Moot Court Competition is the first edition organized by the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy. Aiming to foster student-to-student interaction, the competition was led by Waris Husain, adjunct professor at Howard University of Law. In an interview with My City’s Sonam Lama, Mr Husain shares some of his insights about the competition.

What was the purpose of the US-Nepal International Moot Court Competition?
There are international law debates taking place in Washington DC and Europe where Nepali students go and compete. However, when I visited Nepal for the first time, I found this place very suitable for the competition. And so I thought of bringing my students from Howard University here and compete against Nepali students on international legal issue. I wanted to bring moot court competition here so that the students are exposed to debates and discussion on international and human rights issues. One of its key objectives is to ensure that the students interact with each other and that the students are better equipped to handle law and human rights issues. 

How did you come up with the idea of organizing such a competition in Nepal?
It is my third visit to Nepal and I find my every visit interesting here. I have been to all over South Asia but Nepal is such a unique place because the people are very open, they want to talk, share new ideas and want to be a good host to you. International law here is as important as the domestic law which is not the case in most of the countries. Because of this unique quality, Nepal should take a leading role in hosting these kinds of competitions. I brought my students to compete with other five law schools from Nepal. This completion is the first of many and I look forward to bringing more schools from the US next time. 

What were your expectations from the students? 
I had very high expectations and they have been met and exceeded in many ways. These students are very smart. I have been to 30 competitions, from Mongolia to Pakistan to the US and they are just as good as the rest of them. These students are young, motivated, and passionate and they have immensely inspired me with their work. I get inspired when the students are good at their job. Moreover, I also got to learn a lot from the students here. 

Tell us more about being a law professor at Howard University? 
I have immensely enjoyed my six years of teaching as an adjunct professor at Howard University. Teaching is my passion. There are many things that I have learnt in the course of my teaching. I have gained more knowledge about international law than I did as an LLM. student at Washington College of Law at American University.  I am an adjunct professor teaching part time for now but I hope to continue with it as a full-time professor.

Are you looking forward to organizing such events in the future? 
Yes! I hope to make this an annual event with more schools participating from the US. We will hopefully be able to grow the competition so that few years down the line everyone from different countries will want to come to Kathmandu to participate. My hopes and idea have its own challenges but I am going to try my best to make it happen. Moreover, the US Embassy in Kathmandu has been supportive and understands the value of these kinds of competition honing skills of students and fostering person-to-person interaction. 

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