UP Moot Society debuts at the Nuremberg Moot Court Competition.

Posted on August 12, 2022

The University of Pretoria (UP) Moot Society celebrates their team’s debut performance in the Nuremberg Moot Court Competition. 

In late January, the UP team was selected to participate in the competition after submitting a letter of motivation. They then advanced to the oral preliminary rounds, after ranking 14th for their memorials. The preliminary rounds took place virtually in July, with the team appearing once as Prosecution and once as Defence. After ranking 9th in the prelim rounds, the team was placed among the ‘Last 16’ and progressed to knockout rounds. 

The moot addressed complex issues within international criminal law including admissibility where the matter had not yet been heard domestically, jurisdiction where the has been a United Nations Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court and command responsibility for genocide. 

The Prosecution team consisted of Sunusha Moodley (third-year BA Law) , Kate Metzer (second-year LLB) and Lovey Sithole (third-year LLB). Bridget Mutonyi (second-year BCom Law) and Alyssa Getuli (second-year BA Law) were oralists for the Defence team. 

“I am proud to say that the members of the Nuremberg team have proven themselves to be formidable mooters. It was such a pleasure getting to work with a group of fellow students who were so willing to learn, open to criticism and ever ready to sacrifice so much of their time in preparing for this moot,” said delighted coach Dinendri Pillay, final-year LLB student.  

Prosecution team from ltr: Sunusha Moodley, Kate Metzer and Lovey Sithole.

The first-speaker for the Prosecution team, Sunusha Moodley shared that her experience as a part of the Nuremberg team is something she will always remember and be grateful for. 

 

“We learnt more about international criminal law from a practical perspective, which is invaluable considering the complexity of this area of law. From my amazing team who gave the competition  everything, to our brilliant coach, it was an overall incredible experience,” she shared.

“Nuremberg has allowed me to push myself as an individual whilst allowing me to advance my skills in oral advocacy, research, analysis and writing. These skills will not only benefit me in the moots to come but also within my degree and my career. I am truly grateful to my team and to my coach Dinendri Pillay for making this experience one to remember,” said Prosecution oralist, Kate Metzer. 

She added that the opportunity to work with many incredible resources provided by the organisers assisted the team greatly as they were able to gain a deeper understanding of the law. 

In recalling his experience, Lovey Sithole, third speaker for Prosecution said that while he had started off with no knowledge about international criminal law, he was able to learn a lot about the field through this moot. That being said, now that his interest has been sparked, he would like to pursue further opportunities within the field. “Of course, I am no expert in areas of law which were embroiled in this competition. I just moved from one phase to another, where knowledge pertaining to international criminal law is concerned,” he added.

Defence team from ltr: Bridget Mutonyi and Alyssa Getuli.

 

“It is impossible to liken my experience as part of the Nuremberg team to anything else, as nothing comes close to comparison. I had multiple nights where I woke up in a sweat, in fear that I had missed something because public international law is so intricate that the smallest detail can derail an entire argument. On the other hand, I had breakthroughs that amounted to what I am certain world peace would feel like,” said Bridget Mutonyi of the Defence team. 

 

She appreciated that the experience pushed her as a law student, and was pleased to see the growth in her oral advocacy, legal writing, and research skills. She also expressed gratitude for being able to share the highs and lows with such a talented team and an admirable coach.

 

Lastly, Alyssa Getuli the final speaker for Defence said, “The 2022 Nuremberg Moot competition was an experience like no other. It opened up so many interesting avenues of scholarly debate and understanding that not only made the case more interesting but showed me how International Criminal Law is a truly unique and important area of law. I am so grateful for the amazing team that I was able to be a part of and the phenomenal coaching and advice from Dinendri.” 

 

She noted that the competition had its highs and lows. However, she considers that it was all worthwhile because of all that she had learned and the people that she had met. Further, Alyssa recommends mooters to participate in the competition as, “Not only has this competition proven how important it is to hold superiors accountable for their actions and their lack of action; in a world where impunity thrives institutions like the ICC give me hope for the future of humanity and societal governance. This competition has provided a brief look into the intricacies of the ICC and this field of law and it is an experience I will treasure.”

 

Coach Pillay thanked the team for the enjoyable experience as each member always remained positive and energetic despite the tolling nature of the competition. She recognised that the most meaningful achievement was the amount of growth they demonstrated as well as the lasting connections that they have forged through this moot.

From ltr: Lovey Sithole, Sunusha Moodley, Kate Metzer, Bridget Mutonyi and Alyssa Getuli.

 
- Author Dinendri Pillay
Published by Palesa Mbonde

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