Corn Adomnáin

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What is the Corn Adomnáin?

The Corn Adomnáin is an IHL competition organised by the Irish Red Cross for those with an interest in this area of law. The competition gets its name from the Cáin Adomnáin, or the ‘Law of Innocents’ as it is often referred to. The Cáin Adomnáin is an early Irish IHL treaty that was signed in Birr, Co. Offaly in 697AD.

The competition involves a fictitious case study of a conflict and participating students take part in role-plays, simulations and moot courts to explore key elements of IHL (e.g. use of autonomous weapons, urban warfare, protection of women and children, and healthcare). Their performance is evaluated by a judging panel composed of highly experienced persons in the field of international law. The Corn Adomnáin offers students a rich and stimulating experience that allows them to develop their understanding of IHL and its application.

Entry Requirements

The competition is for students who are currently studying law in Ireland. Students form teams of three and submit an application form to take part. The 2023 Corn Adomnáin will take place on the 11th of March at UCD.

We are currently accepting applications until the deadline of the 25th of January. Selected teams will be notified shortly thereafter.

Multiple teams from a university/institution can apply and we ask each institution to rank these applications in the event that the competition is oversubscribed. We will accept the teams in order of this ranking.

Team Resources

The Irish Red Cross provides specific resources for topics that will be covered in each year’s competition to assist teams with their preparations. The resources include reading lists and coaching and strategy tips.

There are also resources available from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), including the How does law protect in war? database which includes updated information, cases, and references in a user-friendly format.  

Contact details for more information

For further information and inquiries about the competition, please email Sarah West at or call (01) 642 4600.

2022 Corn Adomnáin

The latest edition of the Corn Adomnáin was held on 2nd April 2022 at University College Cork with teams participating from UCC, NUIG, Trinity and The Law Society of Ireland. The day involved lively discussions of a fictitious conflict between a national army and an armed group from a separatist region.

Teams participated in role plays that examined the key issues of the use of autonomous weapons in urban areas, the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare systems that were already under pressure due to conflict and the provisions under IHL for the protection of women from sexual violence during conflict. These role plays were followed by moot courts examining the case against a general in the national army.

The standard of the contributions by all teams was very high with teams from NUIG and UCC taking first and second place.

Below is the winning team from NUIG: Sarah Cox, Saskia Heineken, Mohammed Al Asttal


Runners up from UCC: Hassan Kallon, Estelle Casadesus, and Belen Moges Awdenegest