The final rounds of the 29th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition will be held in Dakar, Senegal, and hosted by the Université Virtuelle de Sénégal (UVS) and Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD) from 16 to 19 December 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Frequently asked questions and answers for the Moot Court Competition:
- Preparation for the competition
- Travel related matters
- During the Moot week
- Leaving the host country
A. PREPARATION FOR THE COMPETITION
1. How and when should the universities register?
Universities are invited to register once information is made available on the Moot website. The Universities must register before the deadline. In the past, some faculties only registered in the last minute, long after the deadline. This complicates the different arrangements made by the organisers as more than 200 participants attend the moot competition. Late registrations will no longer be accepted.
2. What should be the composition of the teams?
The university must register two students and one faculty representative. From this year on, no extra participant will be accepted even if the university covers the costs of the extra participants. Universities should make sure that the students they select are available this period when the Moot takes place. In the past, some students drop off at the last minute. This had a negative impact on the arrangements made by the organisers.
Students participating in the Moot should not have completed their first degree in law. The organisers encourage faculties to select preferably one man and one woman in order to ensure equal gender representation at this event.
3. Why can't the Centre for Human Rights not be involved in the internal selection process?
It is the responsibility of the faculty or the person in charge of the preparation of the Moot Court competition to select the students representing the faculty. As the organiser of the competition, the Centre for Human Rights cannot be involved in the selection of students. But it is clearly understood that the selection of students should be done according to the moot rules available on the Moot website. The selection should be done in a process that is fair and transparent.
4. Is it important to read the Rules of the competition?
Universities that register for the Moot Competition should ensure that they read the Rules of the competition even if they are regular participants. Amendments are made to the rules every year based on the experience of the last Moots.
5. Who should prepare and draft the memorials?
The writing of the memorials should be done by the students themselves under the supervision of the faculty representative. Under no circumstances should the Faculty Representative be directly involved in the writing of memorials.
6. How should students prepare their oral presentation?
Faculty representatives should ensure that both students are prepared both for all arguments. In the event that one of the students is ill, the other is able to make the full argument (on an ex parte basis sometimes).
B. TRAVEL RELATED MATTERS
1. Why do the students need to have their travel documents long in advance?
Universities should make sure that the students they select have a valid passport at least two months before the competition. There have been instances in the past whereby students who were selected could not travel because they did not have any travel document or applied for their passports late resulting in last-minute withdrawal from the competition. The administrative preparations are key to ensure the successful participation of faculties.
2. Why do the universities need to start the visa process as early as possible?
It is the responsibility of the universities to ensure the smooth preparation of all travel arrangements. The Centre will provide the necessary documentation for visa application e.g. letter of invitation indicating that the participating faculty has secured accommodation and transport and meals are covered by the organisers.
The visa process should start as soon as the faculties receive the relevant letters. In the past, faculties which applied for visas at the last minute were not able to attend the Moot. The visa application should be completed at least two weeks before the beginning of the moot.
All logistical details related to the Moot will be sent to the participants a few weeks before the beginning of the competition. Participants should read this information carefully and save contact details (cell phones numbers and emails) of the organisers in order to be able to contact them in case any issue arises at the last minute. In case a team misses its flight, organisers should be contacted immediately and the new itinerary should be communicated as soon as possible.
As any competition, the participation at the Moot Competition also has financial implications. Participating universities should ensure they raise funds to participate to the Moot. They should, therefore, start the process of fundraising as soon as they register.
C. DURING THE AFRICAN MOOT COURT WEEK
1. Can the organisers intervene at any stage during the preliminary rounds?
During the moot week, a steering committee is established to deal with all matters related to the competition itself (complaints, procedural and substantive matters). The judges of the preliminary rounds are the Faculty Representatives. They receive a briefing about the rules and the criteria of assessment of students on the first day of the competition which they are trusted to apply in good faith.
The organisers are therefore unable to assist should there be any complaint lodged about a specific judge unless there is case of obvious and undisputable bad faith. The judges are independents. The organisers cannot change the marks unless there is a mistake in the calculation of the marks. All the marks are verified and certified by recognised auditors.
2. Why is it important to make health arrangements?
When travelling abroad, health is one of the most important things travellers should have in mind. The organisers are not able to take responsibility in case of any health problems. Participants should, therefore, ensure that they have relevant medical insurance. Participants who are on medication should make ensure they come along with their specific medication.
The organisers will be able to supply first aid assistance in case if the need arises. The organisers will also send specific information about the country where the moot takes place in order to enable participants to make their arrangements accordingly. The participants should always keep in mind that this is their primary responsibility.
3. What are the arrangements regarding meals and local transport?
Participants are requested to indicate their food preference when filling the individual registration forms (normal, halal, vegetarian). The organisers try to ensure that they can satisfy all the participants. However, challenges in the host country might make the satisfaction of everyone difficult to fulfil. Participants are therefore requested to bear with the organisers should they be not satisfied with some meals offered.
4. .What are the arrangements regarding accommodation?
As from 2018, Faculties will assume full responsibility for the arrangement and cost of accommodation during the Competition. The organisers (the Centre for Human Rights and the host university) undertake to assist participating teams by negotiating, on their behalf, with service providers to obtain reduced rates on accommodation.
D. LEAVING THE HOST COUNTRY
1. Who is responsible for reconfirmation of return flights?
The Moot Court Competition is an event that brings together participants from all over Africa. They, therefore, make arrangements with different airlines for their arrival as well as for the return. It should be reminded that airlines especially those operating in Africa are most of the time overbooked. Participants should, therefore, make sure that they reconfirm their flights themselves three days before departure. The organisers are not responsible for any delay, cancellation of flights or the failure of the participants to reconfirm their flights. In case this involves financial costs, it is expected that participants take full responsibility and contact the airlines directly.
2. Travel details and Itinerary
Participants are requested to send their travel details and itinerary to the organisers prior to the competition. Participants are requested to consult the Moot calendar to check when travel details should be submitted. This information is important as it allows organisers to make arrangement for airport pickups and dropoffs.