Kovsies First Year Moot Court Competition
From 8 to 11 August 2017 a team from the Faculty of Law represented the University of Pretoria at the annual Kovsies Moot Court Competition, hosted at the Supreme Court of Appeal by the University of the Free State.
The team comprised of Matikomborera Nyamadzi and Jolanda Pretorius, both first year students, and was coached by Shannon Nauschutz (LLB IV). Upon their arrival in Bloemfontein on 8 August, the team was presented with a case which they were to argue on behalf of the respondent. The case dealt with partners in a civil union who were going through a divorce, while simultaneously expecting the birth of their first child, which was being carried by a surrogate. The applicant sought to prohibit the first and second respondent from departing from the Republic for Namibia until such time as the divorce action was finalised and the fetus born.
With less than 36 hours to prepare the team worked tirelessly to build a case. On the morning of 10 August the teams argued their case in the Supreme Court of Appeal. Following the preliminary rounds the team progressed to the final rounds that same afternoon against a University of the Free State team, appearing on behalf of the applicant.
The matter came down to one of urgency and the repercussions of the child being born in a country which is not party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, and ultimately the court found in favour of the applicant.
Despite the limited time to prepare and the matters at hand being years beyond Pretorius and Nyamadzi's year of study, they performed admirably. Nauschutz expressed that, "They took the challenge head on. Despite being tasked with an exceptionally difficult case, especially as counsel for the respondent, they prepared well and represented the University admirably."
The next moot court competition coming up for UP teams is the Lexis Nexis Moot Court Competition. which will be hosted by the UP Moot Society and the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria.
- Law around the world
Proud sponsor of TuksLaw's participation in the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 competitions
Trotse borg van TuksRegte se deelname in die 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 en 2015 kompetisies
The 11th Annual Kovsie First Year Moot Court Competition was held at the beginning of October 2015. Again the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, was represented by four teams consisting of two members each - two teams represented the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria in the English division and Afrikaans division respectively. The Afrikaans teams were coached by Johann Taljaard and Lize Roussouw and the English teams by Shannon Naauschutz and Alastair Dey-van Heerden.
In previous years, teams received the fact complex (dealing primarily with the acquisition and termination of parental rights and other elements of family law) in early July and were expected only to hand in their respective Heads of Argument in September. This year, due to a rule change, the teams received the facts roughly eleven days before the Heads of Argument were expected to be submitted and 21 days before the oral rounds were to begin. In spite of the short preparation time, the four TuksLaw teams were the first to submit their Heads, which were of an outstanding quality. It is pertinent to note at this stage that one of the Afrikaans teams consisting of Anri Erasmus and Rohann Eloff won the award for Best Heads of Argument, beating the other Tuks Afrikaans team by a mere point or two.
Oral presentations began on Friday, 2 October and in spite of having only a few weeks to prepare, all oralists advocated impeccably and upheld the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria's reputation with aplomb. Although the teams participated anonymously, i.e. they were not allowed to indicate which university they represented, the coaches noticed that both the judges and other competitors alike were very quick to assume that speakers of such a high calibre "must be a Tukkie." TuksLaw’s mooting reputation is indicative of both the standard the Faculty has set at this competition and the eight TuksLaw team members did much to uphold it.
After the preliminary rounds, the scores were totalled and the teams progressing to the finals were announced. The Afrikaans team of Rohan Eloff and Anri Erasmus as well as the English team consisting of Lawrence-John Maralack and Rebecca Hill were through to the finals. However, it is important to note thatduring an informal discussion with the tournament co-ordinator it became clear that the second English team, consisting of Devan Falconer and Arlien Greyling, were also eligible to enter the final, but owing to a newly implemented rule, only one team from each institution could progress to the final round and thus they were excluded.
The fact complex for the final rounds was delivered to the teams at 20:00 on Friday evening and the teams were scheduled to present their arguments at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Saturday at 11:00. The finals motion dealt largely with whether a court could intervene and grant an interdict to a male life partner, ordering that his pregnant female life partner's body be kept alive so that the fetus, a prospective saviour child (a child genetically modified in such a way so as to serve as a marrow donor to another child), could be born and utilised.
After a sleepless night the TuksLaw teams presented their arguments before a full bench in the SCA. Whilst the Afrikaans finals went off without a hitch, after the English final, the presiding officer requested that the team take an hour and a half recess and then return to address her on a matter previously unmentioned in the fact complex. The team was able to apply all their research skills and rose to the task.
At the prize giving ceremony that night, the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria once again reigned supreme and walked away with the following awards:
- Best Afrikaans oralist: Michelle Oelefse;
- Best Afrikaans Heads of Argument: Rohann Eloff and Anri Erasmus;
- Best English team: Rebecca Hill and Lawrence John Maralack; and
- Best English oralist: Rebecca Hill.
- Best overall junior team: Lawrence John Maralack and Rebecca Hill.
Many thanks must of course be given first to our gracious sponsors Norton Rose Fulbright for their continued support. The mooters also thank the staff in the Office of the Dean, and in particular Deputy Dean Anton Kok, Vuyisile Smith and Mornay Hassen, for their support.
And then finally to my fellow coaches, Shannon, Lize and Johan. It was an honour working with you all and it is because of moot members such as yourself that the society is able to be a continuing feather in the cap of the Faculty!
The delegation this year was comprised of a group of the most spectacularly dedicated individuals who worked as hard as need be to ensure that they presented the best possible arguments. Whilst they have achieved many trophies and prizes, the experiences and skills they have learnt will be the thing that will stay with them for the longest.
Thank you once again to all parties who made such a learning experience possible.
- By Alastair Dey-van Heerden, Chairperson of the TuksLaw Moot Society and Coach of the 2015 English teams.
The Kovsies Moot Court Competition took place on 2-3 October with 21 teams taking part, including four from Tuks. The competition was held at the Supreme High Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. Two of the Tuks teams competed in English and two in Afrikaans.
The competition is an annual event for first-year law students to compete based on their ability to apply the law. The competition “is like stepping into the shoes of a real advocate”, explained Tinotenda Kakora, one of the participants.
The English team received the prize for overall best team. Shannon Naushutz won best English speaker while also winning the category for best English team with her partner, Tinotenda Kakora. From the Afrikaans teams, Deváiler Wouda and John Taljaard won best heads of argument and Lize Rossouw won best Afrikaans speaker.
This year the rules changed, making the competition more challenging. Previously finalists were given a fact sheet, with which they had to prepare a case, two months prior to the competition. This year, however, the finalists only received the fact sheet on Friday at 19:00, the evening before the competition. Naushutz explained that this meant preparing through the night. The long hours put in at the competition combined with extensive preparation prior to the competition gave Tuks the upper hand. Wouda explained that the level of preparation entailed the submission of new heads of argument on a daily basis.
The Tuks team identified that their advantage lay in their use of external benches. The bench’s objections helped prepare students for more difficult questions and made it easier to identify arguments according to Stiaan Krause, a member of the Afrikaans team. The students also gave credit to their coaches, who are all students and mooters themselves. One of the coaches, Carlien Wolmarans, said that, “ [the students were] prepared for any eventuality.”
It is their use of student coaches, a more formal approach and intense preparation that set Tuks apart from the other universities in this competition. Overall, the enthusiasm and dedication of both the coaches and students made Tuks the team to beat.
- Journalist Jodi Davidson. Perdeby / Source: Perdeby
The four TuksLaw teams representing the University of Pretoria at the Kovsie First Year Moot Court Competition again walked away with the laurels over the past weekend.
Fourteen teams competed in the English division of which four progressed to the final rounds, resulting in the two TuksLaw teams competing against Rhodes University and Zululand University respectively. In the Afrikaans Division it was a TuksLaw versus TuksLaw final.
The final results are as follows: Best oralist in the Afrikaans Division – Thsepiso Somo; Best two oralists in the English division - Raphael Chitambira and Thandeka Khoza; Best team in the Afrikaans Division - Carlien Wolmarans and Daniel Eloff;Best team in the English Division -Tamrym Gorman and Thandeka Khoza; and Best Overall Team – Tamryn Gorman and Thandeka Khoza.
n the words of Tamryn Gorman “If there is one thing that this competition teaches you, it is that litigation is either for you or it is not. Well, for us TuksLaw teams there is nothing else in the world that we would rather be doing.” The teams were coached by Rochelle van Staden (final year BCom Law) in the Afrikaans Division and by head coach Dudu Mogapi (final year BCom Law) and assistant coach Mary-Ann Gettliffe (second year BCom Law) in the English Division. The Competition gives first year students the opportunity to experience a competition of this nature early on in their studies and also provides them with practical experience for practice one day.
The Faculty of Law is proud of the achievements of our students, and grateful towards the sponsor of the TuksLaw teams, Norton Rose Fulbright.
An international pan-African practice
with one of the largest legal footprints in South Africa
Sponsor of the 2011 and 2012 Competitions / Borg van die 2011 en 2012 Kompetisies
Double gold for TuksLaw teams in the First Year Kovsies Moot Court Competition
by Jason Gouveia (BCom Law, LLB III)
On the morning of 4 October 2012 eight young legal minds, together with their four coaches, set off to Bloemfontein to participate in the 2012 First Year Kovsies Moot Court Competition. Many hours, days, months (and tears) of preparation ensured that all four teams were adequately prepared to face the challenge, competitors and judges.
The two TuksLaw teams involved in the English Division of this Competition were Mary-Ann Getliffe and Nyambeni Davhana and Tatenda Madzingira and Sanan Mirzoyev. In the Afrikaans Division the first team consisted of Carike Jacobs and Daniel du Plessis, and the second Michelle van der Merwe and Andre van Wyk. Jason Gouveia and Marlene Murphy coached the English teams, and Petronell Kruger and Rochelle van Staden coached the Afrikaans teams.
The competition is based on legal principles involving family law and is open to students in their first year of LLB, BA Law or BCom Law studies.
After braving strong crosswinds on the N1 towards Bloemfontein, the participants arrived and settled in. The slight hint of nervousness in the air was quickly overshadowed by the excitement once everyone was in their formal attire ready for the 'Meet and Greet Dinner' with the other participants, judges and organisers. Five national Afrikaans teams, thirteen national English teams and an international team from Charlotte School of Law in the USA participated in this event.
After the meet, it was back to Accommodation HQ to run through the final phases of preparation for the preliminary rounds in the Free State High Court the next morning. The competition was structured to ensure that all teams argued on behalf of both the plaintiff and defendant.
The TuksLaw students performed spectacularly in the preliminary rounds, and all the coaches were proud to see the manifestation of all the blood, sweat, tears and hours of training.
After the preliminary rounds it was time for the 'customary' group photos on the steps of the Free State High Court, which was followed by the announcement of the teams proceeding to the final rounds.
Each and every student present awaited the results with baited breath. The English Division of the competition had a four teams final round, and the Afrikaans Division had a classic two rounds final. The TuksLaw English team of Tatenda Madzingira and Sanan Mirzoyev made it to the final rounds, as well as the TuksRegte Afrikaans team of Carike Jacobs and Daniel du Plessis.
Back at HQ, after a brief respite, a final round of training ensured that our finalists were ready for the challenge the next day.
Final rounds were held in the Supreme Court of Appeal where all finalists in both the English and Afrikaans Divisions presented convincing arguments to a four member bench, which included inter alia Judge Malherbe. Judgment in the final round was reserved until the gala function in the evening.
Once ready for the black tie gala function, our teams were hoping that their efforts of the past few months were sufficient to secure a victory. The jubilant TuksLaw teams were announced winners in both the English and Afrikaans Divisions:
- Carike Jacobs and Daniel du Plessis won the Afrikaans division of the competition and Daniel du Plessis was announced the Best Oralist in the Afrikaans Division.
- Tatenda Madzingira and Sanan Mirzoyev won the English Division and Sanan Mirzoyev received the Best Oralist award in the English Division.
- The Afrikaans team of Carike Jacobs and Daniel du Plessis were the proud recipients of the Best Overall Team award.
The Faculty of Law and the TuksLaw teams and coaches would like to express their sincere gratitude towards Norton Rose Inc for sponsoring the TuksLaw participants. The students obtained valuable skills, which will no doubt benefit their legal careers.
2012 TuksLaw teams/TuksRegte Spanne
Head Coaches / Hoofafrigters
Jason Gouveia (English Division) & Petronell Kruger (Afrikaanse Afdeling)
Co-coaches / Mede-afrigters
Marlene Murphy (English Division) & Rochelle van Staden (Afrikaans Division)
Fltr: Tatenda Madzingira, Nyambeni Davhana, Sanan Mirzoyev, Mary-Anne Getliffe,
Daniel du Plessis, Michelle van der Merwe, Andre van Wyk and Carike Jacobs
Nyambeni Davhana & Mary-Anne Getliffe
Tatenda Madzingira & Sanan Mirzoyev
Carike Jacobs & Daniel du Plessis
Andre van Wyk & Michelle van der Merwe
2012 Fact complex / Feitestel
English / Afrikaans
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Last edited by Elzet HurterEdit