2020 - UP Law's First-year mooters seize gold at virtual Kovsie Moot Court Competition
2019 - The UP team members were coached by Phenyo Sekati and the oralists were Tamaryn-Rose Robinson and Neha Maharaj.
2018 - Silver for UP mooters at Kovsie First Year Moot Court Competition
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:
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.
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
Sponsor of the 2011 and 2012 Competitions / Borg van die 2011 en 2012 Kompetisies
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:
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.
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
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