Centre for Human Rights honours Nelson Mandela at UN headquarters in Geneva

Posted on July 19, 2016

The 8th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court competition is currently underway in Geneva, Switzerland. For the past seven years, the competition was held in December to coincide with International Human Rights Day. From 2016 onwards the competition will be held on and around 18 July to celebrate the birthday of late South African President Nelson Mandela.

This year twenty-five teams coming from the five United Nations regions are participating in the annual competition where a hypothetical human rights case is being argued before a number of human rights experts. The countries represented at this year’s edition of the moot court competition are:

  • Africa:
    Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  • Asia-Pacific:
    India, China, Japan, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand
  • Eastern Europe:
    Belarus
  • Latin America & Caribbean:
    Brazil
  • Western Europe and Others:
    Australia, United States of America

Ambassador Ramón Alberto Morales Quijano, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Panama and Vice-President of the UN Human Rights Council will welcome particpants to Geneva at the opening ceremony. His welcome address will be followed with remarks by Ms Ncumisa Notutela, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa and Mr Eric Tistounet, Chief, Human Rights Council Branch, Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms.

The final round of the competition will be held on Wednesday 20 July at the famous Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room (Room XX), the same room where the of the UN Human Rights Council meets for its regular sessions. Upon completion of the pre-final rounds the two top teams will advance to the final round to argue before a bench of renowned judges and legal academics. The panel of judges in the final round will consist of:

  • Justice Johann van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
    Judge of the South African Constitutional Court (Rtd)
  • Judge Dragoljub Popovic (Serbia)
    Judge of the European Court of Human Rights (Rtd)
  • Judge Raul Pangalangan (Philippines)
    Judge of the International Criminal Court
  • Mr Tawanda Mutasah (Zambia)
    Senior Director for Law and Policy, Amnesty International Secretariat
  • Prof Robert Roth (Switzerland)
    Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
  • Prof Cecile Aptel-Williamson (France)
    Senior Legal Policy Adviser (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights)

The competition is organised by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Regional Office for Southern Africa in partnership with the Global Campus of Human Rights Master’s Programmes, European Inter-University Centre, Venice, Italy, the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, the University of Lucerne, Chair of Comparative and Anglo-American Law / Lucerne Academy for Human Rights Implementation with the financial support of the European Union, the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office at Geneva, the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations Office at Geneva and the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The programme and the invitation to the final round are available to download.

- Author Centre for Human Rights
Published by Lourika Pienaar

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