The final round of the 29th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition was held virtually on 5 December 2020 in collaboration with Université Virtuelle de Sénégal (UVS) and Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD)
For the first time in its 29-year history, the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition took place virtually as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the restriction on movements and the various mitigating measures adopted by several countries on the continent. 29 English-speaking and 7 French-speaking teams took part in the online preliminary rounds from 21 September to 21 October 2020. The semi-final rounds took place from 9 to 14 November, and the final round on 5 December. All these rounds were virtual, using the Zoom platform.
The preliminary rounds involved all participating teams arguing the hypothetical case twice: once as Applicant and once as Respondent. The rounds were held separately in English and French. The panels of judges were made up of human rights law lecturers and practicing human rights lawyers. Scores were awarded based on the following criteria:
- Knowledge of facts
- Articulation and correct analysis of issues
- Familiarity with international law, with preference for African authorities
- Ability to respond to questions
The results of the preliminary rounds were announced during an online ceremony on 23 October 2020.
Welcoming Message: Prof Frans Viljoen, Director, Centre for Human Rights
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition have decided to adjust the format and dates of the 2020 African Moot Competition.
The preliminary rounds of the Competition took place virtually (via videoconference) from 21 September to 21 October 2020. The semi-final rounds took place from 9 to 14 November, and the final round on 5 December. All these rounds were virtual, using the Zoom platform.
Preparation for the 2020 African Human Rights Moot Court Competition was launched formally when the Director of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, and the Rectors of the Virtual University of Senegal and the University Cheikh Anta Diop, on 18 October 2019 signed the Memorandum of Agreement in Dakar, Senegal.
The competition was officially launched on 6 December 2019, when the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, Prof Tawana Kupe, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the three partner universities.
The Competition will be held in English, French and Portuguese.
About the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition
The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is the largest gathering of students, academics and judges around the theme of human rights in Africa. This annual event brings together all law faculties in Africa, whose top students argue a hypothetical human rights case as if they were before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Competition continuously prepares new generations of lawyers to argue cases of alleged human rights violations before the African Court.
Since its creation in 1992, 170 universities from 50 African countries have taken part in this permanent fixture on the Africa legal education calendar. The Moot has been a catalyst for the establishment of the leading programmes in the field of human rights teaching and research in Africa. In 2019, the 28th edition of the Moot Court Competition was hosted at the University of Botswana. The event brought together 47 teams from 20 African countries.
In 2020, the Moot Competition will be co-hosted by Université Virtuelle de Sénégal and Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar. The Hypothetical case will tackle issues relating to Artificial Intelligence, Data Protection and Cyber Security, social media regulation, freedom of speech and corruption.