UP teams up with African universities to win Moot Court

In his remarks to the students, Justice Moseneke expressed appreciation for the quality of arguments by both teams. He noted that if the future of Africa was in the hands of these young lawyers, we would soon see the end of dictatorship in Africa.

The runners-up were the Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis, Sénégal, the University of Lagos, and the Université Mohammed Ier Oujda, Morocco, also forming a combined team in the final.

During the competition, students argued a hypothetical case, rooted in African realities. Issues dealt with in the case include the right to emergency obstetric care, the obligation of states to provide Anti-Retroviral Treatment to people living with HIV, and the emerging international ‘right not to be poor’.

Preliminary rounds took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, 1 and 2 July.  71 teams from 28 countries participated.  With 44 English-language teams, 20  French-language and 7 Portuguese-speaking teams, this event was the largest gathering of African law teachers and law students to be held in South Africa.

Mr Jody Kollapen, Chairperson of the SA Human Rights Commission, addressed the audience at the final awards ceremony. Referring to the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa, Mr Kollapen congratulated the organisers and participants on this Pan-African event which shows how productive co-operation between Africans can be.

Speaking on behalf of the University of Pretoria, Professor Sibusiso Vil-Nkomo, Executive Director, welcomed participants and added that the event was a very symbolic part of the university’s centenary celebrations.

The top teams in the preliminary rounds were also announced.

University of Pretoria, South Africa
Stellenbosch University, South Africa
University of Cape Town, South Africa
Rhodes University, South Africa
University of Johannesburg, South Africa
University of the Free State, South Africa
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
University of Ghana
North-West University (Potchefstroom), South Africa
University of Lagos, Nigeria


Université Mohammed Ier Oujda, Morocco
Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis, Sénégal
Université du Caire, Egypt
Université N’djamena du Tchad
Université Catholique de Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo


Eduardo Mondlane University, Mocambique
Instituto Superior de  Ciencias E Technologia de Mocambique
Universidade Catolica de Angola

The dominance of South African universities may be ascribed to the fact that 20 of the 44 English universities were from South Africa.  In accordance with the Rules of the Competition, the best three English, 2 French and 1 Portuguese teams go through to the final, provided that not more than one team may come from a particular country.

The best oralists in the preliminary rounds were:

English        Ms Candace N Hennessy, University of Johannesburg
French        Ms Narimana Fouda, Université du Caire, Egypt
Portuguese        Ms Stella  Cabral, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mocambique

The Moot Court Competition is an annual event organised by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria.  It aims to cultivate a generation of young African lawyers who will be competent to appear before the newly-established African Court on Human and  Peoples’ Rights.  This Court is based in Arusha, Tanzania, and is set to hear its first cases soon.

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