2013 banner

The 22nd African Human Rights Moot Court Competition will be held at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa from 2-7 September 2013

Students, academics and judges from all over Africa are invited to participate.

All law faculties in Africa were invited to send one faculty representative who works in the field of human rights (dean or another lecturer) who served as a judge in the preliminary rounds, and two undergraduate students (preferably one man and one woman) who constituted the team that represented its university at the Moot Court.

Media coverage:

Important documents:

Download the 2013 Programme
Hypothetical case to be argued (version 2013/03/11)
Download the 2012 Moot Court information brochure

About the Competition

The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition has become the largest annual gathering on the continent of students and lecturers of law. Established in 1992, 1093 teams from 139 universities, representing 48 African countries, have over the last 20 years participated in this premier event on the university and human rights calendar of the continent.

The Competition aims to prepare a new generation of lawyers to argue cases of alleged human rights violations before the newly established African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which is operational since 2008. The programme is organised each year by the Centre for Human Rights, in collaboration with a faculty of law in a host country on the continent.

In 2012, the Moot Court Competition was held at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane of Maputo, Moçambique. Some 65 African universities attended.

The 22nd African Human Rights Moot Court Competition will be held at the University of Western Cape from 2 to 7 September 2013. All law faculties in Africa are invited to attend. Online registration will open soon on the Centre’s website (www.chr.up.ac.za/moot).

This is the first time that the Moot is being held by a university located in the mother city of South Africa. Cape Town has a great and long history and is a city with many historical sites and natural wonders. The organisers look forward to welcoming all the teams in South Africa. See you then!

Moot 2014: Conference

The 22nd African Human Rights Moot Court Competition will be held at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa from 2-7 September 2013

Call for Papers: Constitution-making in Africa
6 September 2013
University of the Western Cape, Cape Town,
South Africa

Download the electronic Call for Papers (PDF version)

Please note:
The email address to use when sending abstract is: dlgordon@uwc.ac.za

The Multi-Level Government Initiative and the Socio-Economic Rights Project of the Community Law Centre (University of the Western Cape), together with the South African Research Chair on Multi-Level Government, Law & Policy are pleased to announce a conference on “Constitution-making in Africa”.

The Conference is organised as part of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, hosted by the Faculty of Law (University of the Western Cape) and the Centre for Human Rights (University of Pretoria) from 2 to 7 September 2013.

Background and aim of the conference
2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of South Africa’s Interim Constitution. The Interim Constitution was the product of the negotiations between the apartheid government and the liberation movements, which had already commenced in the late 1980s. It paved the way for the first democratic elections in 1994 and the adoption of the Final Constitution in 1996. The Community Law Centre played an important role in the drafting of the Interim and the Final Constitution and is proud to host a conference to mark the anniversary of the Interim Constitution.

The anniversary coincides with a trend towards greater constitutionalism in Africa: a number of countries are undergoing constitution-making processes. Some countries are in the process of writing or adopting a constitution (e.g. Zimbabwe, South Sudan) and others have recently adopted a new constitution (e.g Kenya) and are in the process of implementing it.

The conference aims to provide a platform for the critical engagement with current and past constitution-making processes on the continent, drawing on the comparative experience of academics and practitioners.

The conference will commence with a plenary session, in which key participants to the South African Constitution-making process will reflect on the transition from apartheid rule to democratic rule. The remainder of the conference will revolve around four themes:

  • Process of constitution-making
    The process towards the adoption of a constitution is determined by the context in which the constitution is written. It navigates issues such as political engagement, keeping politically agreed timelines, ensuring the inclusion of a variety of constituencies and groups, use of domestic and foreign technical expertise, ensuring legitimacy and public awareness etc. The Conference will look at various examples of constitution-making processes around the continent and how these attempt(ed) to accommodate the many interests at play.
  • Designing the structure of the state
    Questions surrounding the use of a multi-level government structure to respond to peace, development and democratic imperatives arise in all constitution-making processes. The Conference invites papers that deal with the question how the debate about the structure of the state is/was resolved against the backdrop of peace, development and democracy.
  • Limits on state power
    Greater constitutionalism implies that the constitution circumscribes the power of the state. This may take the form of a Bill of Rights, separation of powers and other constitutional mechanisms. Constitution-makers are called upon to take decisions on issues such as the inclusion of justiciable socio-economic rights, the imposition of term limits, the role of independent commissions, the role of the courts etc. The Conference will examine the debates that precede(d) the constitutional choices made on this topic and how those constitutional choices have been implemented.
  • Implementing the Constitution
    Once a new constitution has been adopted, the real challenge lies in implementing the new framework. Almost always, this involves a landmark general election, followed by large scale reforms of statutory frameworks, policies and institutions right across the country. Key issues in this are the political management of these reforms, how to maintain the rule of law and democratic governance, how to involve citizens and stakeholders in the reforms, how to deal with resistance, what transitional mechanisms to use etc. The Conference will debate current and past examples of countries managing the transition to a new constitutional order.

Abstracts are invited on the above four themes. The abstract must contain a name, proposed title and a brief summary in no more than 500 words. If you are a participant in the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, please indicate this on your abstract. Abstracts should be sent to dlgordon@uwc.ac.za on or before 17 May 2013. Decisions with regard to the selection of abstracts will be communicated by 31 May 2013.

A full paper must be submitted by 30 August 2013, using the prescribed referencing style, and be presented at the Conference. Papers will be published as drafts on a dedicated website beforehand. Presenters may be required to rework their papers after the Conference, and resubmit final versions for inclusion in a publication.

For further information, contact Mrs Debbie Gordon at dlgordon@uwc.ac.za


Visit the Conference website: http://www.communitylawcentre.org.za/constitution-making-in-africa-conference



 Subscribe to our newsletter