Call for Registrations: 8th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition

Posted on February 04, 2016

The 8th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition will be held from 18 to 20 July 2016, at Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and will bring together up to 75 participants from up to 25 universities representing all 5 United Nations regions of the world (Africa; Asia and the Middle East; Eastern Europe; South America and the Caribbean; Western Europe and other regions).

The annual competition is presented by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa in collaboration with the Office of The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva and selected partners.


Invitations are sent to all universities in the world. The Competition, which is held in English, is now open to undergraduate and master’s degree law students. Participating universities select two students: preferably one man and one woman. The students submit written heads of argument for a hypothetical case, which are assessed by a panel of experts. The best 5 teams from each region are then invited to travel to Geneva to participate in the pre-final rounds of the Competition. Here, teams have to argue the two sides of the hypothetical case, the Applicant and the Respondent, before a ‘bench’ of human rights experts.

The World Human Rights Moot Court Competition has been presented every year for the last seven years, and has become a leading human rights educational event. It is unique in bringing together some of the youngest and brightest law students from universities all around the globe to debate burning contemporary human rights issues on the basis of a common UN human rights system, influenced by national and regional perspectives and experiences.

The Competition is unique in the geographic spread of its participants, and in being held in at the Palais des Nations on 20 July. It is also unique in reaching a broad base of participants, also from those parts of the world where regional human rights systems have not been established, or have only been recently introduced.

It was a great honour that, in 2014, the Executors of the estate of President Mandela agreed to rename the Competition after him, and were represented in Geneva that same year.

The competition website containing the rules of procedure, the hypothetical case, and registration details is available at

- Author Centre for Human Rights
Published by Yolanda Booyzen

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