National Schools Moot Court Competition 2010/11

Posted on March 01, 2011

The list of the participating schools is attached.

The learners will be expected to play the role of the lawyers in a fictional court case dealing with constitutional issues. The four teams from each province will be paired against one another to determine the provincial winners at the University of Pretoria on 20 March. The two winning provincial teams, the ones attaining the highest scores, will compete against each other to determine an overall winning team in the final round at the Constitutional Court. The judges in the final round will include Constitutional Court judges like Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, Justice Johan Froneman and Justice Zakeria Yacoob.

All secondary schools in South Africa were invited to enter a team of two learners. In the first round of the Competition, learners were expected to write two short essays setting out the opposing sides of the case. These essays were then evaluated by a panel of experts and the best four submissions in each of the nine provinces were identified.

Legal professionals countrywide made time available to assist learners and educators in preparing them to participate in the competition. Law faculties at universities throughout the country also reached out to learners in order to assist with their preparations.

The aim of the Competition is to reach as many secondary school learners as possible to create greater awareness in schools and communities in South Africa of the Constitution and the values that it embodies through active participation. We also envisage that this Competition will provide a unique opportunity for learners to consider a career in law.

The Moot is a project presented by the Universities of Pretoria, Venda and the Western Cape, in partnership with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the Department of Basic Education and the Foundation for Human Rights.

The language medium of this event will be English but participants will be allowed to use any of the official languages in the final round.

The Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr Andries Nel, fully endorses this project. He has indicated that “Whilst in recent years, we have faced the tremendous challenge of developing and adapting our law to bring it in line with our Constitution which reflects democratic values and a Bill of Rights that prioritises the protection of human rights, the rights enshrined in the Constitution would be hollow and empty if these rights are not realised through programmes and services. To do so people of all ages need to know their rights and obligations.”

In agreeing with this, the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr Enver Surty, is of the opinion that “The National Schools Moot Court Competition provides an excellent opportunity for learners in all the secondary schools in our country to get a taste of how the Constitution and the law works. It is the most ambitious attempt in the last decade to take the Constitution to the people, and it provides the chance for entire communities to join forces with the schools in their neighbourhood to make sure that their learners understand their rights and obligations as stipulated in the Constitution. This initiative will be closely linked to the Bill of Rights and Obligations issued by the Department of Education.”

For more details on the competition please see or contact the organiser, Cherryl Botterill, at [email protected]

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