#UPYouthMonth: Get informed, raise awareness and take action to help your communities – Julia Tosi, law student and Chairperson of the UP Moot Society

Posted on June 25, 2021

Tell us about the UP Moot Society.

A moot competition involves a team consisting of speakers, researchers and a coach. The team is made up of legal students from BA Law, BCom Law or LLB. The team works together on a set of legal facts to research, write memorials or heads of argument and develop oral arguments to present in a fictional court proceeding. The types of issues previously argued have ranged from whether contractual provisions are subject to the Convention of the International Sale of Goods to whether or not the government has infringed on a citizen’s right to freedom of expression.

How has UP Moot involved students in helping communities?

The UP Moot Society endeavors to drive social change through dedicating its time, platform and resources to a diversity of impactful community engagement activities. Our most recent projects include empowering an underprivileged primary school by donating books and educational resources; collaborating on a short documentary with a wholistic development community centre; and volunteering at Wetnose Animal Rescue Centre. In recognising the power of an online presence, we run frequent week-long Instagram campaigns that share vital information and encourage discourse on a range of pertinent social issues. The campaigns are concluded through connecting students to experts through interviews covering navigating activism, gender-based violence, mental health and environmental conservation. While the essence of the outreach portfolio is to reach communities, it also seeks to connect students to communities where they are inspired to use their time, platform and resources for transformation. 

Moreover, the moot competitions UP Moot is involved with often grapple with current, pressing and complex human rights issues. Our internal competitions centre around facts written by students dealing with issues such as xenophobia, fair labour practices, transphobia and children’s rights. UP Moot frequently participates in human rights moots concerning African and International Human Rights Law.

How do students help each other in the UP Moot Society?

Students who are previous mooters coach UP Moot’s teams. Our coaches are usually students still completing their undergraduate degrees, but on certain occasions postgraduate students are involved in coaching. Our coaching process consists of students teaching and training other students. We receive no formal assistance from faculty members but rather benefit from consulting various experts in the Department of Law.

More casually, our close-knit moot community is always available and willing to help other mooters. A competition always involves the community’s support and guidance. Current and past mooters never fail to make themselves available to attend benching sessions for our team, to give them feedback and advice before the start of their competitions.

Why would you encourage students to get involved in moot?

Moot is a valuable learning experience. Students expand their knowledge through researching their moot’s specific practice areas beyond what they would learn from a textbook. Moot develops students’ research and writing skills. Our memorials have a specific and successful “UP style” that our mooters carry with them in their academic writing. Through months of style and speaking training, mooters learn how to converse with their judges at a high intellectual level.

Moot is a unique opportunity to meet like-minded students not only from your university but from all over the world. We have witnessed the most amazing, lifelong friendships being formed through moot. UP Moot has created a competitive and goal-driven environment. When we join a competition, we join not only for the incredible experiences, long-lasting friendships and unique and specialised knowledge of the law but also with the goal of winning.

What advice would you give to young people who want to help their communities?

Get and stay informed! At UP Moot we truly believe that knowledge is power. Through researching and arguing on various human rights issues our mooters have developed their own ideas and views on the world’s problems and how to solve them using the legal skills that we have. This research and knowledge has led to many challenging but important conversations about the state of the world. Second: raise awareness. Finally, take action. In whatever small or big way you can – every person, animal, community or cause you help makes a difference.

What are some of the skills students who are part of the society can expect to learn?

The UP Moot Society instils patience and a good work ethic in students in order to build the skills necessary in moot. This encouragement goes hand-in-hand with UP Moot’s culture of excellence and the pride all mooters have in their achievements. This success requires students to push themselves beyond what they previously believed that they were capable of. This environment in UP Moot inspires and motivates mooters to do well.

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2024. All rights reserved.

COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal

To contact the University during the COVID-19 lockdown, please send an email to [email protected]

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences