World Human Rights Moot Court promotes global collaboration and exchange

Posted on December 12, 2012


Over the past four years the final of the World Moot Competition has become part of the official celebration of International Human Rights Day, held on 10 December. The final round was attended by World Moot participants, as well as representatives of diplomatic missions accredited to South Africa. 

After two days of preliminary rounds, two teams advanced to the final round: Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica and the University of Auckland in New Zealand. The final round took place in the Senate Hall of the University of Pretoria and was judged by human rights law experts. The panel of judges in the final round included:

  • Dr Aderlardus Kilangi, President of the African Union Commission of International Law (presiding judge)
  • Ms Jane Connors, Chief, Special Procedures Branch, OHCHR, Geneva
  • Professor Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on Summary Executions and Extrajudicial killings
  • Ms Monica Mbaru, judge of the High Court of Kenya
  • Dr Michal Barzak, lecturer at Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland

The team from Norman Manley Law School argued for the applicant, while the University of Auckland argued on behalf of the respondent. After an hour of intense debate between the competitors the judges retired for deliberation before returning to offer instructive and encouraging comments to the participants.

The final round of the World Moot Competition was followed by the annual graduation ceremony of the Centre for Human Rights’ LLM students, as well as the closing dinner where the results of the World Moot Competition were announced. During the closing dinner, Prof Frans Viljoen presented the first ever African Union Prize for the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa to the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, Prof Cheryl de la Rey. The NGO Prize was awarded to the Centre on the occasion of the African Commission celebrating its 25th birthday, during the opening of its 52nd Ordinary Session in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire, on 9 October 2012.

In recognition of their continuous support, distinguished guests from embassies, donor countries, human rights organisations as well as former directors and staff of the Centre for Human Rights were invited.

Professor André Boraine (Dean of the Faculty of Law) welcomed the guests to the dinner, while Justice Johann van der Westhuizen (first Director of the Centre for Human Rights and a judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa) talked the audience through the history of the Centre, which was established during the apartheid era in South Africa.

Professor Christof Heyns (UN Special Rapporteur and the Centre’s second Director) shared a few anecdotes on the development of the Centre and its human rights education programmes. Professor Frans Viljoen (current Director) concluded the trio of insightful reflections that covered the past 26 years of the Centre’s existence. Professor de la Rey congratulated the Centre and thanked all donors of the University of Pretoria for their constant and continuous support.

Ms Jane Connors from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva announced the results of the fourth World Human Rights Moot Court Competition. The winner – for the third time in a row – was the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica. The best memorials prize was awarded to the University of Lucerne, Switzerland, and the prize for the best orator was awarded to Mr Kemoy Orane McEkron of the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica.

The World Human Rights Moot Court Competition was supported by the following donors: OHCHR, the Flemish Delegation and the Embassy of Belgium.
 

Photos:

Closing Dinner   :: Pretoria, South Africa Closing Dinner   :: Pretoria, South Africa Closing Dinner   :: Pretoria, South Africa Closing Dinner   :: Pretoria, South Africa Closing Dinner   :: Pretoria, South Africa Closing Dinner   :: Pretoria, South Africa 

 

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