The team from the University of Oxford has claimed the title as winners of the 11th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition, on 19 July 2019. Gayathree Devi KT and Ayushi Agarwal who represented the University of Oxford went up against co-finalists Nathan Ricardo and Nessa Salvador of Macquarie University from Australia. The Moot Court Competition, which focused on the UN human rights treaties, takes place annually at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
The two teams made it to the final round by advancing through four gruelling preliminary rounds, surviving an intense quarterfinal round and emerging as winners in the semi-final rounds. The other semi-finalists were Liberty University from the United States of America, and Universidad Libre de Derecho from Costa Rica.
The Final Round was presided over by an esteemed panel of seven judges representing the International Criminal Court (Judge Paul Pangalangan), the European Court of Human Rights (Judge Iulia Motoc), the International Law Commission (Professor Claudio Grossman and Dr Nilüfer Oral), the Constitutional Court of South Africa (Justice Albie Sachs) and the Global Campus of Human Rights (its Secretary-General Prof Manfred Nowak, and it Chairperson dr Veronica Gomez). In addition to holding the title of World Moot Champions, the winners have also been awarded a fully-funded Fellowship to attend the Summer School of the Lucerne Academy for Human Rights Implementation in Switzerland.
As part of the week-long Moot Competition, the inaugural Annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture was held on 18 July 2019 at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Retired Justice Albie Sachs – an apartheid struggle icon and former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa -- delivered the lecture, along with H.E. Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. They celebrated the legacy of Nelson Mandela, who was born 101 years ago on 18 July 2019 and challenged the over 700 attendees to ensure the realization of human rights does not become overtaken by hate and divisiveness. The co-hosts were the South African Permanent Mission to the UN, and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.
In the spirit of the Moot Competition bringing the world together, this year’s edition had participants from 43 universities, hailing from over 30 countries, representing the five UN regions and covering three language groups – English, Spanish and French. It was the first year that the Competition included Spanish as one of the languages. Six teams participated in the Spanish-language rounds.
The Nelson Mandela Moot Court Competition is organised annually by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. This year, a further partner – the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law of the Washington College of Law, American University, Washington DC -- came on board. The Moot is made possible through the assistance of the Global Campus of Human Rights, the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the UN, the Regional Office in Southern Africa of the Office of the Hugh Commissioner for Human Rights and the Swiss Government.
The Director of the Centre for Human Rights, Frans Viljoen, remarked: “This Moot Court week also saw the passing of anti-apartheid songwriter and singer Johnny Clegg. One of Clegg’s memorable songs is “Asimbonanga”, in which he during the 1980s lamented Mandela’s absence (due to his lengthy imprisonment). We were fortunate during this week to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy – his enduring presence – through the poignant and powerful accounts by Justice Albie Sachs and High Commissioner Bachelet, and the human rights arguments by all Moot participants.”
Photos: #WorldMoot2019 Finals
Photos: First Annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture
First Annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture
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For more information, please contact:
Project Coordinator: Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition
Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 4754
Cell: +27 (0) 82 514 6698
Project Assistant: Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition
Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 4754
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743