The 2021 Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is going ahead, but in an adjusted hybrid format.
Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the preliminary rounds of the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition will be held online from 7 to 16 May 2021. The eight team qualifying for the quarterfinal rounds in Geneva will be announced on 17 May 2021.
The Quarter, Semi and Final rounds of the Competition will take place in person and in Geneva from 14 to 16 July, with the eight participating teams and judges traveling to Geneva, Switzerland, for the final rounds.
The Competition is presented by the Centre for Human Rights based at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Washington College of Law, American University and the United Nations Human Rights Council Branch (HRCB) at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The Competition will be held in English, French and Spanish.
About the Competition
The World Moot is open to undergraduate and masters students from all universities in the world. Teams of two students (gender diversity is encouraged) from every university in the world are invited to submit heads of argument for a hypothetical human rights case. The 50 teams with the highest memorial grades are invited to participate in the preliminary oral rounds and present their arguments to human rights experts and judges of international tribunals at the UN headquarters in Geneva.
The Moot Court Competition is the largest gathering of students, academics and judges around the theme of human rights in Africa. The Competition is open to students around the world. A team of two students from each university – preferably one woman and one man (gender diversity is encouraged) – is invited to participate in the competition.
The best 10 teams from each UN region are then invited to participate in the pre-final, quarter-final, semi-final and final rounds of the Competition in Geneva. Teams then have to argue the two sides of the hypothetical case, representing, alternatively, both the Applicant and the Respondent before a ‘bench’ of human rights experts.
The eight best teams proceed to the quarterfinal rounds, which is presided over by judges from international courts and tribunals. The Competition is presented in English, French and in Spanish.
As part of the week-long Moot Competition, an Annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture is held. In 2019 the inaugural Annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture was held on 18 July. 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. In 2021 the second Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture will be presented on 15 July 2021
Invitation Letter 2021
For more information, please contact the Nelson Mandela World Moot Court Competition Coordinator, Dr Eduardo Kapapelo, preferably by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
- Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, American University, Washington College of Law and,
- United Nations Human Rights Council Branch (HRCB) at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
With the financial support of
- European Union through the Global Campus of Human Rights
- Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and to the other international organisations in Geneva
- South African Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva and
- The Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)