The 32nd edition of the Christof Heyns African Human Rights Moot Court Competition brought together 47 teams from 14 African countries in Kumasi, Ghana. The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology from 3 – 9 September 2023 hosted the biggest gathering since before covid.

The competition started with preliminary rounds, during which 36 anglophone, 9 francophone, and 2 lusophone teams argued both sides of the hypothetical case. After rigorous arguments, ultimately 3 anglophone teams and 1 francophone team made it through to the finals.

The 3 anglophone finalist teams to advance from the semi-final rounds were: Kenyatta University (Kenya), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana), and University of Nairobi (Kenya).  Université Thomas Sankara (Burkina Faso) emerged as the top team in the francophone stream.

A unique feature of the Christof Heyns African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is that the moot ceases to be a university-focused competition in the final. Instead, the final aims to be a collaborative endeavour to challenge teams to work together beyond the colonial language divides and legal traditions. Finalists are paired into two combined teams with one combined team arguing the applicant’s case and the other the respondent State’s case.

[Watch Final Round]

The University of Nairobi and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology formed the combined team that represented the Applicant. The respondent was represented by Kenyatta University and Université Thomas Sankara, who emerged as the winners.

The two opposing teams appeared before a bench of five eminent jurists that was chaired by Justice Dr Ernest Owusu-Dapaa, judge of the Court of Appeal of Ghana. The other four judges were Justice Sylvain Oré (former President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights), Hon. Wilson Adão (member of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child), Professor Laurence Burgorgue-Larsen (Professor of Law, Université Paris 1) and Advocate Clàudio Foquiço (Attorney and Vice President of the Human Rights Commission of the Bar Association of Mozambique). At the end of the moot court competition the Dean of the faculty of law, University of Pretoria, Professor Elsabe Schoeman, gave closing remarks and thanked all the stakeholders, participants and organisers who contributed in making the event a success.

The 33rd edition of the Christof Heyns Moot will take place in Kigali, Rwanda, and will be hosted by the University of Rwanda on 22 – 27 July 2024. 


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